Environmental Issues and Aviation
Airport operations are a significant aspect in any economy, because of, imports, exports, tourism, and trade. Nevertheless, these advantages must be weighed against the effect air travel is having on the quality of life of growing numbers of people around airports and international environment. Noise issues both from airplanes and airport ground operations, are a setback for those who reside, work and study around airports.
From the twentieth century, increase of reasonable mass air travel has led to rising numbers of people being impacted by aircraft noise. For communities neighboring the airports, and people residing or working under flight passageways, aircraft noise is a matter of major concern, and this has introduced a significant issue for airport expansions in the past. Noise is a major issue for the Airports Commission, both in its appraisal of options to make better use of present airport capacity and in viewing plans for new infrastructure (Franssen, Van Wiechen, Nagelkerke, & Lebret, 2004). This paper aims to provide a review of aircraft noise, it affects people living around airports, and the measures carried out by the aviation industry to reduce noise pollution.
The noise caused by airplane has been an issue of great distress to the people around airports plus the flight passageways regardless of the efforts by using quieter aircraft along with engine technology. The noise produced by airplanes has been a matter of debate. The aviation industry has been discussing of a swift shrink among the noise footprints, but the concerned locals have constantly opposed this fact arguing that the information applied to come to this conclusion is old-fashioned. All features of the noise produced by aircraft have stimulated much controversy (Cohen & Coughlin, 2009). In nearly all instances, aspects relating to aircraft noise have been the issues of extreme disputes. The preference of a certain form of noise has an impact on the degree to which noise is perceived as a problem. Measures that place extraordinary emphasis on peak events can disclose grave noise problems. Surveys have revealed that noise pollution from cars and industries have reduced in the recent past, but the noises from aircrafts have increased. The majority of the airports have been determined to be greatest originators of noise throughout the world. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is in charge of formulating aviation noise measures to be followed by other aviation bodies (Lijesen, Straaten, Dekkers, Elk, & Blokdijk, 2010).
The World Health Organization identifies noise as unnecessary auditory sensation; for the purposes of this paper, the effects of aviation noise will be conceptualized by studying them in three categories: health impacts, quality of life impacts, and efficiency and learning impacts. Noise impacts the quality of life in ways that include irritation and nap disorder. Annoyance is the most usually applied outcome to appraise the impact of noise on communities. Annoyance is a complex emotional concept, commonly assessed using an ISO defined questionnaire (Franssen et al., 2004). It tends to increase as noise level rises, and changes in noise pitch or other such aspects can increase anger. Annoyance attests itself when the noise upsets an individual’s daily life, for instance interrupting a discussion or just being a disturbance while resting. Numerous researches have been carried out to understand the connection between the aircraft noise and the impact it has on adjacent residents. A recent study undertaken by the Franssen et al. (2004) has established that 28 percent of people are seriously annoyed at 55dB because of aircraft noise, while only 7 percent of people are greatly annoyed by road noise of the same noise level. The Van Praag and Baarsma (2005) research also proposed that people progressively become more sensitive to numbers of aircraft movements, rather than higher noise levels caused by other forms of transport such as cars.
Sleep disturbance is among the impacts most frequently reported by those who reside within airports and passageways for aircrafts. The extreme levels of noise caused by aircrafts have a considerable impact upon the quality of life of residents in these areas. These residents feel strong bitterness when they are disturbed from sleep by passing aircrafts, which certainly become a major source of annoyance. Additionally, induced awakenings have serious negative impacts on the victims of aviation noise. Nevertheless, it is not comprehensible to what level and at what intensity noise can cause injurious loss of sleep, and similarly whether lesser responses to noise, which do not entail awakening, can influence general welfare in similar ways (Girvin, 2009).
Health impacts of aviation noise encompass Hypertension and Cognitive destruction in kids. The connection between noise and hypertension is reasonably well demonstrated through evidence gathered from several longitudinal and cross-sectional surveillance studies. The most general theory from medical studies is that aviation noise events can put the body under tension, even when an individual exhibits no conscious reaction to the noise. When strained the body produces hormones which raise an individual’s heart rate and blood pressure, although the ensuing impact will differ from person to person. The most destructive aviation noise is the night-time noise when an individual is asleep. This noise may raise blood pressure that can result in cardiovascular ailments, chronic renal failure, and or even heart attack. The evidence concerning cognitive impairment in children exposed to aviation noise is fairly vivid compared that bordering other noise effects on children. Over ten surveys, both epidemiological and investigational, have revealed negative impacts of aviation noise on reading capability and memory enlargement in children (Lijesen et al., 2010). These effects are amplified when learning activities are carried out outdoors. Aviation noise has been frequently demonstrated to impact children’s brain and language proficiencies.
The aviation industry has been introduced noise restrictions at the specified airports to cover the period 0700h – 2300h (Lijesen et al., 2010). Airport institutions are accountable for monitoring observance and violations are subject to financial punishment. Night flights are limited between 2300h – 0600h and airports are given quotas of the number of night travels of noisier airplane permitted to land during night hours. Environmental protection of the United States considers that any expansions or alterations to the United States aviation infrastructure, air performances or flight preparation, should not lead to an increase to the night-time or the day-time noise vulnerability of either the common population or of certain communities.
The aviation industry is attempting to reduce noise in airports through technological improvements. The reduction of noise at source is given effect through The International Civil Aviation Organization noise certification standard procedure, which ascertains that the newest existing noise reduction technology is integrated into airplane design. To obtain certification, new airplanes must show that their highest noise levels are not larger than required confines. Another emphasis of this procedure is to facilitate airports to incentivise take-up of an airplane with the newest accessible noise reduction expertise, through for instance noise-connected landing charges. However, the effect of this endeavor has been scrubbed slightly by the growing size of aircraft over the past six decades, and, in terms of the general noise exposure, due to an increase in the number of airplane movements. Beyond 2020, ICAO expects that the rate of noise exposure might reduce to some extent, but persist in a downward path.
The second pillar of mitigating aviation noise exposure is land-use planning. Principally this aims to assure that new airport expansions are situated away from noise-sensitive zones and that only well-matched land-use development occurs in zones impacted by airplane noise. The industry supports works in two ways, firstly to direct unsuited land use (for instance, homes and schools) away from the airport surroundings, and secondly to support well-suited land use (for instance, industrial and business use) to settle around airport areas (Cohen & Coughlin, 2009). Fulfilling this effect needs policies and standards to be enforced such that the economic enticement of an airport does not draw residential expansion towards it. There is some indication to show that, in the United States, the applicable policy and regulatory measures are accomplishing this goal, but only relating to the highest noise effects.
The other way that the ICAO is managing noise around airports is through noise management operational procedures. These outfitted processes are organized into three classes. The first one involves the application of noise special runways to direct the flight passageways of airplane away from noise-sensitive zones. The second category is the application of particular take-off or arrival methods (for instance, steeper landing trajectories) to optimize the circulation of noise on the land. The last category is the application of noise preferential paths to help airplane in avoiding noise-sensitive zones on departure and arrival (for instance, the application of turns to direct airplanes away from noise-susceptible zones).
Several airports around the world such as Sydney airport have already outlined their noise management strategies. Sydney Airport processes about 36 million commuters and 700,000 tonnes of cargo per annum (Cohen & Coughlin, 2009). Located at the northern seashore of Botany Bay, South Wales, it is the only main airport serving Sydney. Considerable public debate resulted in Sydney assuming the standard that noise sharing should be prioritized at the cost of total noise impact. A Long Term Operating Plan was assumed to enforce this change. A fundamental aspect of the policy entails the runway alternation system, concerning ten different combinations of using the airport’s three runways and connected flight passageways to offer as far as possible individual regions with periods of interval from aircraft noise. Noise sharing modalities have to be applied at the airport (apart from when the weather or abnormal traffic situations hamper this).
An independent appraisal of the performance of the noise management strategy in 2010, after 8 years of operation, established that the majority of the noise sharing endeavors are being achieved. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the general standard has been to limit airplane noise to as few residents as possible. Nevertheless, the strategy of landing-runway fluctuation at Heathrow airport pursues the standards of the Sydney system, in that vacillation shares the noise load across two flight pathways and residents, while concurrently exposing more people to noise in general (raising PEI) (Girvin, 2009). As the designated runway alterations at 3pm every day, this affords expected interval for locals under the arrivals’ trajectory.
In conclusion, the advantages of air transport must be weighed against the effect air travel is having on the quality of life of growing numbers of people around airports and international environment. Among the most important concerns of air travel is noise pollution in communities neighboring the airports, and people residing or working under flight passageways. The effects of aviation noise in this paper has been conceptualized in three categories: health impacts, quality of life impacts and efficiency and learning impacts. The worth of life impacts of noise includes exasperation and sleep commotion. Vigor impacts of aviation disturbance consist of Hypertension and Cognitive deterioration in children. However, the aviation industry has attempted to reduce noise in airports through technological improvements, restricting night flights, and designing quieter aircraft.
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Girvin, R. (2009). Aircraft noise-abatement and mitigation strategies. Journal of Air Transport Management, 15(1), 14-22.
Lijesen, M., Straaten, W. V. D., Dekkers, J., Elk, R. V., & Blokdijk, J. (2010). How much noise reduction at airports?. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 15(1), 51-59.
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