Airport noise rules making no difference

March 12, 2008

EU rules introduced five years ago to limit noise at airports have had very little effect, according to a Commission report.

[mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]The report into the effectiveness of the 2002 framework directive on airport noise says the majority of airports admit the rules have not directly influenced noise management. It says ‘it is difficult to point to what has been achieved’ and that more people are now affected by airport noise than when the directive came into effect because of the overall growth in aviation.

The Commission says there may be scope for taking action by insisting on a stricter definition of ‘marginally compliant aircraft’. Under the directive, airports with a noise problem are allowed to ban planes that are less than five decibels inside the maximum noise limit.

CLeaner technology

In a separate development, the EU has helped launch a public-private research partnership aimed at encouraging the development of cleaner aircraft technology. The EU is giving €800 million to the project, which is aimed at halving CO2 and noise emissions, and cutting NOx by 80%.

T&E policy officer João Vieira said: ‘As subsidies to the aviation industry go, this is better than some, but it’s still a subsidy, and the industry has enough already. Ultimately the aviation sector must pay its full costs or we will continue to get distortions of competition that will not help the environment.’

• A British hotel chain says low-fares flights are killing regional tourism. The chain told a parliamentary committee that cheap flights were encouraging people to travel long-distances, and so costing the national economy around €25 billion.

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