Aircraft noise and human rights

No express reference to the environment is made in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, drafted in 1950, or in any of its five supplementary Protocols. Nevertheless, the result of a recent application against the UK Government suggests that the rights guaranteed under the Convention may now be interpreted to encompass some degree of environmental protection.

According to the Statement of Facts in E A Arrondelle against United Kingdom (Application No 7889/77, Commission Report 13 May 1982), Mrs Arrondelle has lived in a cottage about a mile from the runway at Gatwick Airport since 1960. The runway was extended in 1969 and 1973, and in 1975 the M23 motorway was built some 500 feet from the cottage.

The noise from aircraft and motorway traffic became intolerable, and since 1969 Mrs Arrondelle ha

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