ICCAN begins work on new attitudinal noise survey


The Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) has appointed the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to develop the next generation of attitudinal noise surveys.

This follows ICCAN’s review of the Survey of Noise Attitudes (2014), which recommended that new research is needed on a more regular basis to examine people’s attitudes to aviation noise, and more fully understand its impact on health, well-being and quality of life.


ICCAN will work with NatCen to scope and develop a new, regular attitudinal survey by the end of September, the first of which would then be conducted before the end of 2021. These surveys will help ensure that future decisions about the aviation industry are founded on robust evidence of the effects of noise on people around airports, which commands the confidence of communities and industry.


ICCAN and NatCen will work with community groups, academics and industry representatives to agree the parameters of the new survey. This includes looking at methodology, sampling and the noise metrics that could be used to determine the population that is surveyed.


To inform and input to the development study, ICCAN has established an Advisory Board, containing a range of stakeholders, which met for the first time on Tuesday 3 March. The Advisory Board will help ICCAN to ensure that the development study delivers a robust and practical design that meets people’s needs.


The Advisory Board includes representatives from:

  • Communities around the UK
  • Government
  • Regulators
  • Aviation industry
  • Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
  • Research specialists
  • Acoustics specialists


The Board will meet at key milestones through the project and will be chaired by ICCAN. A summary of the Advisory Board meetings will be published on the ICCAN website at iccan.gov.uk.


Notes to editors:

  • The Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) was established by the Government in January 2019 to act as the expert and impartial voice on all matters relating to civil aviation noise and how it affects communities.
  • This development study follows ICCAN’s recommendation from December 2019 that a new, regular attitudinal survey should be conducted to gain a better understanding of the impacts of aviation noise.
  • ICCAN aims to conclude work on the design of the new attitudinal study by autumn 2020, and begin fieldwork on the new survey itself during 2021.
  • NatCen is Britain’s largest, independent social research agency. They have experience in relevant subject areas including social attitudes, communities, health and transport, among others. More information about their work and experience is available on their website: natcen.ac.uk/

Lessons learned from the Survey of Noise Attitudes: 2014 (SoNA) will be used to ensure the success of this new series of surveys.

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

The Independent Commission on Civil Aviation noise ceased operating on 30 September 2021.

You can read the Government’s statement on ICCAN’s closure and Head Commissioner Rob Light’s letter to the Minister to learn more.

Any further questions about ICCAN’s work or aviation noise should be directed to the Department for Transport.