Project deliverable Open Access

ANIMA D2.1 - Pan-European overview of Existing Knowledge and Implementation of Noise Reduction Strategies

Heyes, Graeme; Dimitriu, Delia; Hooper, Paul

This report presents the work carried out, and the outputs produced for Deliverable 2.1 of ANIMA, in which EU regulations, legal obligations and practical interventions in relation to aircraft noise have been reviewed, focusing on the extent to which policy and practice have enabled effective implementation of ICAO’s Balanced Approach to noise impact mitigation. As described in the methodology, the task was led by MMU and contributed to by all WP2 partners.

In so doing, the report was driven by 2 primary approaches:

  • A Pan-European Review of Existing Regulations and Mitigation Strategies, as driven by the use of data capture templates completed by WP partners and their networks. This review identified different approaches to noise impact mitigation in EU Member States and different patterns of implementation.
  • Elite interviews conducted by an MMU researcher with aviation stakeholders who are impacted by, or who have the ability to influence the impacts of aviation noise. These interviews helped to understand how and why the patterns identified through the template forms have developed.


As well as internal validation by ANIMA members, further validation of the findings of this review will also be provided by the Impacts and Balanced Approach Expert Committee who will have the opportunity, throughout ANIMA, to validate project findings, and feed in additional expertise. The first opportunity for IBAEC feedback on ANIMA will be on the key findings of this report and presented in Deliverable 2.2.


The research found that whilst the transposition of the Environmental Noise Directive and EU Directive 2002/30/EC have gone a long way to ensuring that the ICAO Balanced Approach underpins aviation noise management and mitigation in the European Union, several challenges and priorities for future research remain. The main findings were:

  • There is no one size fits all solution to aviation noise: each airport requires its own solutions based on its specific characteristics. In other words, Balanced Approach implementation needs to be tailored to the requirements of individual airports.
  • Although there is a comprehensive noise policy framework at European level and associated policy at the national level, there remain gaps in implementation of noise mitigation measures.
  • There are significant issues regarding land-use planning around airports, rooted in competing priorities for local-authorities and airport operators, and a lack of clear and robust legislation to protect airports from encroachment by incompatible land uses.
  • There are many stakeholders who have the potential to mitigate aviation noise. Collaboration amongst all stakeholders (including airport communities) seems essential in mitigating noise exposure and impact effectively.
  • There are multiple areas requiring further research that can inform best practice, not least regarding issues such as: quality of life of airport communities; the efficacy of different balanced approach interventions in reducing noise exposure and annoyance; how communities can be effectively engaged with on aviation noise; and, more detailed understanding the factors influencing expressed noise annoyance.
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