Maps have been issued by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) showing environmental noise around 18 major airports in England.
The mapping, carried out during 2006-07 was based on the EU’s Environmental Noise Directive, and provides details of daytime and night time noise levels at each airport as well as noise levels around each site on an average day in 2006.
The airports covered include Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, as well as regional airports including Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham East Midlands.
Jonathan Shaw, Environment Minister, said: “Noise is an inescapable fact of modern life but we need to do what we can to manage it. A great deal has already been done to reduce noise from transport and industry but we need to build on and continue this work. These maps are part of that process and will enable us to better understand noise and deal with it.”
The maps use contour lines to highlight areas around airports that experience noise from aircraft taking off and landing. The contour lines have been mapped over streets and roads to enable people to track down specific locations.
The airport maps form part of a larger project being undertaken by Defra which will produce noise maps for major roads, railways and big cities in England.
Airport operator BAA currently offers an online tracking service for Heathrow and Stansted that displays flight path information and allows people to post a complaint, a similar system is available for air traffic around Nottingham East Midlands.