Aviation noise cannot come at any cost – new noise commission


The new Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) has set out ambitious plans to improve the way that aviation noise is managed across the UK.

Established at the start of the year, ICCAN is a non-statutory organisation that will provide independent, impartial advice to government, regulators and the aviation industry.

On the publication of its Corporate Strategy, which outlines its aims, objectives and priorities for the next two years, Rob Light, ICCAN Head Commissioner, said:

“My mission, and ICCAN’s priority in its first two years, will be to raise aviation noise higher up the agenda for airports, airlines and regulators, at a time when they are rightly looking at their future plans.

“To see the sort of growth in air travel being planned for the UK, intended to benefit the economy, aviation must be sustainable. This means that aviation noise should be considered a priority alongside air quality and carbon reduction. Aviation growth cannot come at any cost. ICCAN will be looking to ensure that aviation noise is better managed, measured and mitigated in the UK.”

"My mission, and ICCAN’s priority in its first two years, will be to raise aviation noise higher up the agenda for airports, airlines and regulators, at a time when they are rightly looking at their future plans."

Rob Light, ICCAN Head Commissioner

In its Corporate Strategy, ICCAN has committed to:

  • examining the links between aviation noise and health
  • improving the provision of consistent and clear data around aviation noise for the public
  • reviewing how airports engage and consult with local communities.

Since being established earlier this year, ICCAN has met with hundreds of stakeholders to better understand issues around aviation noise and hear from as wide a variety of perspectives as possible. These conversations with airports, airlines and community groups, as well as academics, trade associations, regulators and experts have helped to shape the Corporate Strategy.

Rob Light added:

“Noise can be an emotive issue and as such people can feel very strongly about aviation. We have found that, in some cases, relationships have become strained and there is little confidence in the processes that regulate aviation noise.

“We will do our best to repair broken relationships and ensure that communities have access to clear, simple and consistent information. We have seen some good work done by airports and the wider aviation industry to address noise and engage communities and we want to build on this.”

ICCAN’s work programme from 2019 to 2021 includes:

  • Reviewing the Survey of Noise Attitudes (SoNA) and making recommendations to Government by December 2019
  • Reviewing the way in which airports consult with communities when planning airspace changes and publishing guidance by April 2020
  • Producing easy-to-understand information about the airspace change process by April 2020
  • Reviewing existing enforcement mechanisms and considering whether further enforcement and regulatory powers are necessary by September 2020.

Notes to editors:

  • The Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) was established by the Government in January 2019 to act as the credible and impartial voice on all matters relating to civil aviation noise and how it affects communities.
  • ICCAN sought feedback on a draft version of the Corporate Strategy in May, receiving feedback from 102 stakeholders, including many individuals and community groups, as well as airports, regulators, academics, MPs and local authorities.

Read ICCAN’s Corporate Strategy, along with a summary of feedback it received and full published responses here.

For further information, contact: Rupert Basham, ICCAN Media & Engagement Lead, rupert.basham@iccan.gov.uk

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