Increased risk of illness: stricter limits required on aircraft noise

DThe aircraft noise committee at Frankfurt Airport has called for the researchers’ latest findings on the impact of noise to be implemented quickly. In November, scientists presented a new report showing that current protection of the population against aircraft noise needs to be improved in order to reduce negative health consequences. “The basis of knowledge is clear: politicians now have a duty,” said the chairman of the aircraft noise committee, Paul-Gerhard Weiß (FDP), who is also head of the city’s airport department. ‘Offenbach, after the largest hearing of the commission. recent meeting. Federal lawmakers must urgently improve the legal basis for protecting the health of the population against aircraft noise.

By analyzing the current scientific literature on research into the impact of noise, scientists from TU Dresden, Ruhr-Uni Bochum and the Center for Applied Psychology, Environmental and Social Research (Zeus GmbH) arrived at results delicate. According to their findings, the limit values ​​​​previously established by the Aircraft Noise Protection Act of 65 decibels of continuous noise level (day 1 protection zone), 60 decibels (day 2 protection zone) and 55 decibels in the night protection zone at existing levels airports are up to eleven points above the limit value from which the health risk increases significantly. The current limit values ​​exceed the desirable threshold value for effective prevention by 16 points.

Increased risk of disease

According to scientists, this leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and even heart attacks. The risk of developing depression is also increased given current limitations.

The Commission also criticizes the fact that noise protection requirements are lower at existing airports, in existing buildings and in buildings that were previously equipped with passive noise protection. What would be relevant would be the protection values ​​that apply to expanding airports, for example airports that are currently being expanded to include a runway.

In the opinion of the Commission, the current regulation, in which less strict limit values ​​apply to the stock for the same exposure and health risks, is not plausible. Protection values ​​for expanding airports must be decisive, but according to the new findings they are still not sufficient, according to the Commission. The limit values ​​are four decibels (dB) too high during the day and six dB too high at night.

In the meantime, airport operator Fraport has announced that in February 2024 it will reintroduce the complaints telephone, which had existed since 1968 before being abandoned as part of savings during the corona pandemic. All that was left was an online form which, according to the commission, is not an adequate substitute for a personal conversation from the point of view of many of those affected.

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