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Anti Noise are an organisation founded by John Szepietowski, our aim is to provide information to the public about the rise and effects of pollution and noise from the aviation industry.

WHY NOISE IS A PROBLEM

We all know about the affects of pollution, in the sense of carbon emissions, there is a lesser spoken about pollution, noise.

Noise pollution is defined as:  harmful or annoying noise.

There have been and continue to be large numbers of studies into the effects of noise pollution on humans, animals and the environment. The major outcomes of these studies are the cause for concern of noise pollution from the aviation industry.

The harmful effects for people include:

  • Stress
  • Long / Short term Shifted Hearing Thresholds (leading to long term hearing damage or loss of hearing in extreme cases)
  • Increased Stress and Blood Pressure Levels (contributing to heart diseases, immune deficiencies, skin disorders, asthma and other stress related diseases)

Whilst effects on wildlife include:

  • Reduced Milk Production
  • Increased Glucose Concentration
  • Decreased Heamoglobin
  • Reduced Thyroid Function

LONDON HEATHROW

London Heathrow is the UK’s largest and busiest airports and one of the busiest airports in the world. According to figures released in 2014, London Heathrow:

  • Has 2 Runways, 5 terminals and 125 serviceable departure gates
  • Serves 180 destinations in 85 countries
  • Only 7% of the total flight traffic is domestic, whilst the remaining 93% is all international
  • Covers 1,227 Hectares of land
  • Carried 1.42 Million metric tonnes of cargo

The 2008 Opening of Terminal 5 (home of British Airways) brought increased flight figures, increased noise and vehicle traffic.

In July 2013, there was a proposal submitted which documents the addition of a 3rd runway, which would have a large impact on flight traffic and the local countryside. Whilst the proposal has not been given the go ahead, it is undergoing revisions.

Heathrow Airport has 4 ‘stacks’, these are air zones where planes continuously fly around in a circular pattern whilst waiting for final landing instructions from air traffic controllers, these stacks are becoming an increasing concern to residents in areas close in proximity. Noise pollution is now affecting people in the 4 Heathrow stacks at Bovingdon, Lamboune in Essex, Biggin Hill in Bromley and Ockham in Surrey.

Increasing Reliance on computers to guide planes into land is now concentrating flight paths in certain areas, often a significant distance from the airport, causing distress to residents who live below those flight paths.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide workers with hearing protection if they are exposed to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 dBA or more. For those living or working near flight paths of major airports, the noise of aircraft taking off and landing can exceed 100 dBA, though exposure to these levels is for a limited time, an impact is still felt.

High levels of aircraft noise near major commercial airports are known to cause problems to the human body. Sounds louder than a normal conversation can damage the delicate hair cells in the inner ear. Initially damage may be temporary, but with repeated exposure, the damage becomes permanent.

Noise and Pollution as a by product of the aviation industry is not limited to just Air Travel, in 2013 Heathrow Airport reported more than 72 millions traffic vehicles, an average of just over 6 million per month.

Nearly a quarter of a million people live in the Borough of Hounslow and most of them suffer the effects of aircraft noise. With a plane taking off or landing every 60-90 seconds, Hounslow is overflown 75% of the time.

The Enviromental Law Foundation held a public meeting in 2005 in Hounslow, schools under flight paths have to operate in impossible circumstances due to aircraft noise. Harvey (7 years old) who attends Hounslow Heath Infants School says “The noise is very annoying because when I’m outside I can’t hear my teacher if we are trying to learn PE and she can’t hear me. When I am playing with my friends or trying to converse, we have to stop when a plane flies over. So sometimes I don’t bother to talk at all”.

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