Aircraft noise has been a problem for many decades. Aircrafts are inherently noisy machines, with the powerful engines and large amounts of thrust needed to power the plane through the air producing a lot of noise.
Unsurprisingly the greatest aircraft noise problem is in and around airports, as this is where the aircraft are nearest to people. Whilst only a few houses are likely to be situated close enough to the airport to hear planes on the ground, many households are situated underneath approach and departure flight paths and as such are affected by aircraft taking off and landing. These planes are often flying just a couple of hundred feet above their roofs, and will be noisy enough during approach when engines are in low power or idle, but will be extremely loud when close to full power for take offs.
Airport Expansion Plans
Increasing populations, internet shopping, a rise in disposable incomes and a significant decline in the price of air travel have all culminated in the need for both more passenger and more freight flights to be scheduled. This increase in demand has resulted in a greater requirement for capacity as many airports struggle to accept any more arrivals or departures on their runway(s).
Consequently, many airports are seeking permission to construct additional runways to enable more flights, but this nearly always meets with strong opposition from local residents and environmental campaigners concerned about the noise from even more aircraft flying over their heads, as well as the impact upon the environment such as destruction of habitat for the construction of the new runway and the likely larger terminal buildings which will inevitably be required, and also the increased negative effects upon wildlife from more noisy planes.
Don't People Choose to Live There?
Most large airports have been present on the site for many decades; usually for far longer than the people living their have been. This leads many to wonder how residents can complain about noise when they have chosen to live near an airport. This argument is not always as straightforward though as the construction of new runways or new tall buildings in the vicinity can lead to a change in approach and departure flight paths which would mean towns and villages that were not previously affected by aircraft noise suddenly find themselves with planes flying right over their once peaceful roofs. Runway extensions also enable larger aircraft to take off and land at the airport, which can bring louder aircraft than residents are used to.
Other Environmental and Health and Safety Issues Associated with Aircraft
Even with advancements in technology to make aircraft "cleaner" and more environmentally-friendly, they still create pollution as fuel is burnt and exhaust gases produced. This pollution not only affects the environment but also has health and safety implications for people too as the exhaust gases contribute to problems such as global warming.
With busier airspace comes a greater potential for accidents and collisions, which means everybody associated with the airport from air traffic controllers to on-site emergency response teams will require training to perform at a higher level to cope with the demands of a busier airport.