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ARC position paper on aviation noise


Aviation noise is the most critical environmental issue for residents around any airport. However, it's essential to remember that these residents are also impacted by global aviation emissions and local air quality. Noise impacts affect their quality of life, from comfort levels to mental disorders. Also, noise impact hinders urban development and devalues the real estate value of their houses and properties.


Despite the efforts made by public authorities, industry, and sector's stakeholders, the noise exposure reductions have not been associated with a commensurate fall in impacts. Indeed many surveys have shown an increase in annoyance for a given noise exposure level. The sensitivity of the population to noise is growing up as the living standards and quality of life of residents are growing. This situation is becoming a tremendous problem for the management of airports, but especially for the expansion of many of them (e.g. Frankfurt, Barcelona, Amsterdam). Therefore, together with climate change impacts, noise is at the present moment a big challenge for aviation growth, and the experience shows that fighting aviation noise solely with acoustical policies is no longer sufficient. Noise management requires tackling both acoustical and non-acoustical factors.


As a consequence, ARC developed a methodology to assess the implementation of noise policies at a set of given airports. Moreover, ARC has been involved in the ANIMA project as the communication partner. Over the last four years, ARC has been working together with some of the most significant aeronautical research centers in Europe, interacting with the aviation stakeholders by the different dissemination activities of the project, and always putting communities and residents in the center of the process to manage noise impact. As a result, ARC has gathered the primary outcomes in the ANIMA noise platform:

  • A Noise Management Toolset has also been developed and is available on this Platform. This toolset aims to help airports and authorities compute noise maps and awakening indexes to test the impact of different scenarios with various fleet configurations and flights.

  • The Virtual Community Tool, a research tool elaborating, testing and validating new indicators, visualisations and options that can be implemented into the Noise Management Toolset in the future.

  • The Dynamic Noise Maps, a research tool attempting to include the dynamics of the population's movements into the assessment of aircraft noise exposure.


ANIMA noise platform compiles, selects, structures and organises not only the information generated along with the project, but the Platform also gathers as much basic knowledge as possible per each expertise area in the most understandable way to facilitate the dialogue between different stakeholders and communities' representatives. If there is something that ARC has learned in ANIMA is that communication is key, so the Noise platform provides the medium and tools for stakeholders to address the challenges of aviation noise impact management and mitigation from a holistic approach.