Establishing Variation in Individuals' Values of Aircraft Noise in Europe: What Have We Learnt from Stated Preference Applications?

Establishing Variation in Individuals' Values of Aircraft Noise in Europe: What Have We Learnt from Stated Preference Applications?


A Bristow, Loughborough University, UK; E Arsenio, LNEC, PT; M Wardman, ITS, University of Leeds, UK; S Thanos, Herriot-Watt University, UK


An exploration of the contribution of stated choice experiments to the valuation of aircraft noise and what influences these values.


Although individual aircraft are becoming quieter, the increasing number of movements, which trend looks unlikely to abate without intervention, means that noise from aircraft will continue to be a problem. Airport capacity expansion may subject more people to aircraft noise nuisance, especially as some recent evidence suggests that over time people are becoming annoyed at lower noise levels. The valuation of aircraft noise nuisance is a critical step in effective policy development.

The most popular method used to date has been hedonic pricing. However, valuation studies of aircraft noise are increasingly adopting stated preference techniques, most commonly contingent valuation and more recently stated choice experiments. Such approaches can overcome some of the limitations of the hedonic pricing approach in

? identifying the influence of socio-economic and attitudinal characteristics on marginal values
? examining the temporal variation in values, e.g. by time of day and day of week; and
? providing current values.

Clearly these are important issues in policy formulation. Thus far the stated choice approach has been applied only in a small number of innovative studies.

This paper aims to examine the evidence on the variation in values between individuals and the extent to which this variation can be explained. The paper has two parts. The first part contains a discussion of enhanced models from a study applying innovative SP techniques to the valuation of aircraft noise annoyance at two European airports. The second part of the paper considers the contribution of recent studies in this area to our understanding of the influences on aircraft noise and to the development and future application of SP in this context.

Results are reported from the enhanced analysis of stated preference experiments used to value the annoyance to residents from aircraft noise at two regional airports, Lyon (France) and Manchester (UK). The main surveys took place in 2002 and after discarding those respondents for whose home addresses modelled noise data was not available, data from 403 respondents is used here. This paper builds on previously reported results on influences on the value of aircraft noise (Bristow and Wardman 2006) by reporting findings from the following enhancements to the models:

? Stated choice models including influential variables based on Leq measurements, where previously reported models were based on aircraft movements only.
? The development of models based on pooled data, from the two airports and three choice experiments, including deteriorations and improvements in noise levels and variations in daytime and evening flights.
? Models allowing for random taste variation and that directly estimate the income elasticity.

Three recent applications of the stated choice approach to the valuation of aircraft noise are examined to draw lessons for the future. These are:

? The study discussed above of Lyon, Manchester and Bucharest (Bucharest was excluded from the further analysis due to an absence of aircraft noise data), which employed three different stated preference experiments including stated choice and a priority ranking.
? The ANASE study commissioned by the UK Department for Transport of UK airports which reported in 2007.
? An application of stated choice to the relocation of Athens airport, that builds upon the earlier study of three European airports

The aim is to understand and compare the contribution of these studies in three areas as follows:
? Evidence on absolute values of noise, the role of income effects and other influential variables and variation in values by time of day.
? Issues relating to the functional form of the models including the specification of the noise metric, threshold effects and non-linearities.
? Issues relating to the experimental design including presentation of attributes, approaches to reducing bias in response and the form of the experiment are addressed.

These developments should allow conclusions to be drawn on the role of socio-economic and attitudinal variables in influencing the value of aircraft noise and the importance of considering individual taste variation in range of noise policy applications. Conclusions are drawn on the potential contribution to airport policy development and the development and future application of SP in this context.

Bristow A.L. and Wardman M. (2006) What influences the value of aircraft noise? Paper to the European Transport Conference, 18th-20th September, 2006, Strasbourg.


Association for European Transport