George Best Belfast City Airport and noise – the facts
These statistics on noise levels are taken from consultants’ reports commissioned by the city airport and made available to the Airport Forum. The statistics on late flights were provided by the airport to the Airport Forum.
As these statistics show, the number of people exposed to ‘significant’ levels of aircraft noise near George Best Belfast City Airport has tripled over the past three years – and is now far higher than at Gatwick or Stansted airports.
Consultants’ reports commissioned by the airport show that 11,422 people now suffer from a level of aircraft noise deemed by the UK government to cause “significant community annoyance” – compared to just 3,522 in 2007 (measured as 57 LAeq or over, averaged over 16 hours)
A mere 1,500 people suffer from noise at the same level close to Stansted airport, and just 3,600 experience this level of noise near Gatwick, according to figures from the Department for Transport.
The same consultants’ reports show that 23,810 people living near the City Airport suffer aircraft noise at a higher level than that recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – compared to 12,084 in 2007. (This is the number who experience noise at 54 LAeq or over, averaged over 16 hours – in fact, WHO recommends a level no more than 50 LAeq but that level is not measured by the consultants’ reports).
BCAW estimates that approximately 38,000 people in the Belfast City Council area alone are affected by aircraft noise linked to the City Airport.
Further information obtained by Belfast City Airport Watch (BCAW) also shows that there was a 40% increase in the number of late flights at the airport last year, compared to the previous year.
There was a total of 503 late flights after 9.30pm last year – an average of 1.4 late flights per day – despite the fact that government regulations stipulate that late flights should only occur “in exceptional circumstances”. This compares to 359 late flights in 2009.
Information provided to BCAW by the DOE shows that many flights are delayed for routine reasons that could not possibly constitute ‘exceptional circumstances’.