ANIMA D3.9 - Engagement guideline
Non-acoustic factors can be summarized as factors that are not directly related to noise, but modify, moderate or contribute to its effects. To address aircraft noise annoyance, it is therefore imperative to not only reduce aircraft noise exposure, but to address non-acoustic factors as well. Non-acoustic factors can be attitudes towards, expectations of, or trust in stakeholders related to aircraft operations.
One aspect that can influence perceptions and, thus, personal attitudes towards aircraft noise is the way it is portrayed in the media. In an analysis of media reports published from 2011 to 2013 during the implementation of a night flight ban at Frankfurt Airport with the simultaneous opening of a new runway, the effect on aircraft noise responses was investigated. Results show that reports on various topics such as noise abatement measures, flight routes, and noise exposure can influence annoyance or sleep disturbance due to aircraft noise.
Communication and engagement can directly affect non-acoustic factors, for instance through aspects such as fairness. They can help make Balanced Approach interventions more effective by involving residents in the design of such interventions. Proper communication and engagement are needed to directly address non-acoustic factors such as perceptions of aircraft noise issues, trust, expectations, and fears. Communication is primarily relevant for conveying information and as a unilateral form of exchange, whereas engagement is an interchange, a dialogue, in which residents and airport operators can respond to each other.
Although there has been an increasing interest in non-acoustic factors in recent years, there are still some unanswered questions, such as what form of communication and engagement should be undertaken, which forms are particularly effective and what aspects play a role in this. This Deliverable proposes an ‘IDEAL’ approach to communication and engagement that can act as a useful framework on which noise communicators can develop their communication strategies.
Another factor that can underpin any kind of communication and engagement is fairness. Derived from psychological models of fairness, specific aspects can be identified that should determine the nature of communication and engagement.
The aspects relate to procedural fairness, i.e. how fair the process is that leads to a decision, or informational fairness, i.e. that the communication of information should be honest.
The perception of fairness can also be seen as an indication of how the airport is currently perceived and what points still need to be emphasized. Therefore, a questionnaire is being developed within the ANIMA project to measure the fairness facets in an objective, reliable, and valid way.
In order to answer further open questions, such as what needs affected residents have with regard to the provision of information, the manner in which it is provided and how, in their opinion, a fair, neighbourly relationship can generally be established, in-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted in the vicinity of various European airports. Based on this work, specific recommendations can be made on what aspects of good communication and engagement should be considered.
The Deliverable closes by introducing the important concept of evaluation, which refers to measuring, validating and assessing the success of an intervention. The benefits of evaluation are discussed, as well as specific methods that can be utilized. The evaluation process is discussed in depth, with the importance of considering evaluation from the onset of developing a noise measure or strategy. Practical recommendations for the implementation of an evaluation process when designing an intervention are made.