Communicating the Impact of Aircraft Noise

18 July 2016

When it comes to choosing a new home or work location, aircraft noise can influence our decisions. Aircraft noise can also affect our health and wellbeing. Taking factors such as personal circumstances, sensitivities and lifestyles into account, certain individuals are impacted more than others.

To manage these concerns, the aviation sector must be able to communicate the extent of aircraft noise clearly to the public. However, providing this sort of guidance can be difficult. Standards Australia has published a handbook to address this issue.

Handbook SA HB 149:2016, Acoustics—Guidance on producing information on aircraft noise, specifies how to present the impact of aircraft noise in a format that is meaningful to the public. It provides guidance for airport owners and operators, government agencies, and other organisations.

The handbook suggests ways of describing aircraft noise in different forms, such as how loud aircraft noise is (average and peak levels), how frequently the noise occurs, when it occurs (during the day and/or night), and whether there are seasonal variations, explained Mr Ron Brent, Australia’s Aircraft Noise Ombudsman.

“Unwelcome and unexpected aircraft noise can be a substantial stress on communities and can create tension with aviation officials. The handbook will assist the Australian aviation sector to more clearly explain noise impacts, which may in turn reduce the levels of annoyance from aircraft noise” added Mr Brent, who also chairs the Technical Committee EV-011, Aircraft Noise.

The standard AS 2021:2015, Acoustics—Aircraft noise intrusion—Building siting and construction is designed for land use planning and addresses building near airports. This handbook was developed to support AS 2021:2015 by improving the availability of information about aircraft noise so individuals are able to make personal judgments about its impact.

Communications Department
Standards Australia

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