EU takes good note of UECNA letter concerning noise pollution

The 27th of August 2022 UECNA submitted a letter to the respective cabinets of Mrs Adina Vălean, Commissioner for Transport, and Mr Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, and to the Directors-General of the Mobility and Transport and of the Environment Directorates-General of the Commission concerning what we consider to be necessary improvements to the Environmental Noise Directive (END) and the Balance Approach Regulation (BAR) – two important components of EU legislation concerning noise pollution due to aviation operations.

‘The European Union is committed to addressing the problems induced on people’s health due to noise’, answered the Directorate Aviation Policy. ‘The Commission followed closely the development of the World Health Organization’s recommendations on noise. Moreover, with the Zero Pollution Action Plan published in 2021, the Commission committed to reduce by 30 % the share of people chronically disturbed by transport noise, by 2030, compared to 2017. In this context, the Commission looked at all possible actions to address the noise from airports in an effective way, and it will report on the implementation of the Environmental Noise Directive and Balanced Approach Regulation in the coming months.’

‘An already published study on airport noise reduction commissioned by the Commission5 analysed the state of implementation of the Environmental Noise Directive and the Balanced Approach Regulation. One of the objectives of the study was to identify elements of both legislative acts that may be improved.’

‘Some of conclusions presented in the report point to elements raised in your letter. In particular, the report recommends the use of Lden indicator; the need to have an objective for the action plan, or at least a long term goal; that all possible measures that an airport can adopt shall be evaluated and that competent authorities should be independent. When it comes to a night ban all over EU airports, please consider that EU legislation is set to leave a large margin of discretion to the competent authorities. These conclusions as well as other ideas expressed by all range of stakeholders will be duly considered by the Commission.’

‘Thank you again for having informed us about the view of the UECNA’s members.’

Link to the original letter, with references