DEFRA publishes airport noise maps

The Environment Department (DEFRA) has belatedly published noise maps for 18 airports in England.1

The UK is required to publish maps of major sources of noise such as airports, road, railways and big cities by the 2002 EU environmental noise Directive. Late implementation caused the UK to miss the June 2007 mapping deadline. The Scottish Executive published its maps last autumn (ENDS Report 392, p 49 ).

DEFRA says it is working on maps for other noise sources. By July, the UK must publish action plans to reduce excessive noise.

Noise from airports is likely to be a major issue, especially after recent official research found there was no annoyance threshold for aircraft noise (ENDS 394, p 16). The government is embroiled in controversial plans to expand Heathrow despite its impacts (ENDS Report 395, pp 30-33 ).

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