A National Study of Attitudes to Aircraft Noise, and Willingness to Pay



A National Study of Attitudes to Aircraft Noise, and Willingness to Pay

Authors

P Le Masurier, J Taylor, M Roberts, C Pownall, MVA Consultancy, UK; I Flindell, University of Southampton, UK; J Bates, John Bates Services, UK

Description

This paper will present the findings of new research commissioned by the UK Government to investigate the relationship between reported annoyance and aircraft sound levels.

Abstract

It is well known that aircraft noise has a number of negative effects, and that many residents around major airports report significant annoyance as a result. Aircraft noise is usually assessed by reference to the 16 hour daytime LAeq, which is a standardised measure of long time averaged daytime sound levels. The statistical relationships between reported annoyance and LAeq have been established by carrying out large scale attitude surveys in the UK and in many other countries which have all shown increasing annoyance with increasing LAeq, but with many detailed differences between different studies.

In the UK, Government policy is mostly based on the number of people resident within the 57 LAeq contour. This is generally understood as the ?onset of significant annoyance? based on the results of the last major survey of attitudes to aircraft noise in the UK which was carried out in 1982. Since that time, average event sound levels have been considerably reduced while overall traffic has increased, while attitudes to aircraft noise may also have changed in line with changing expectations.

This paper will present the findings of new research commissioned by the UK Government to investigate to what extent current understanding of the various relationships between reported annoyance and aircraft sound levels measured in different ways remains current. The stated objectives were to: re-assess attitudes to aircraft noise in England; their correlation with the Leq noise index; and examine ?willingness to pay? using Stated Preference techniques. This paper addresses only the first two out of these three objectives.
This paper:
? briefly describes the methods used to carry out the survey and presents the resulting data;
? reports how attitudes to aircraft noise appear to have changed since the early 1980s;
? suggests alternative measures of long term averaged aircraft sound levels with stronger statistical relationships with reported community annoyance; and
? provides conclusions with a discussion of implications for possible future policies.

The study has just been completed, and the main report is a key item made available by the UK Government to inform the current Consultation into the proposed Heathrow 3rd Runway.

Publisher

Association for European Transport