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Airport Noise Complainers

Old 30th Jan 2014, 11:59
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
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Airport Noise Complainers

After reading the other noise complaint thread I have been looking on the internet for data about noise complaints from airports. It seems that every single airport in the world, big and small alike has problems with people complaining about aircraft noise. So I started searching for research about why people have such an aversion to "aircraft". Yet there is nothing I can find.

However I have a theory and would be interested to hear peoples opinion.

Some people simply don't like aircraft, or the idea that aircraft, regardless of size or noise level, or altitude. That leads them to thinking they are hearing noise. Some seem to think their property extends to the heavens.

Do people perceive noise of different frequencies differently. Where I currently live, my house backs on to the busiest railway corridor in Australia. The back fence is laterally 5m from the track. 20 regional trains a day and about 25 heavy freight trains, 3 loco 4000 ton jobs, 24/7, many right through the night.. They are loud and make the ground and air vibrate. Yet, we don't really take much notice of them. They become white noise. They most certainly don't wake anyone up. Just part of the environment. Same as when I lived on the departure path off 25 near YSSY. Kinda miss that familiar noise, had it all through my childhood.

I guess some people just don't like the idea of aircraft, so they don't like the noise, the funniest noise complaint I have heard was of a....glider. I kid you not.

Thoughts anyone?
Ozgrade3 is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 12:13
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Ozgrade3, a lot of train tracks and highways I've seen have been surrounded by partitions of some kind to block the noise that comes from them.

I would suggest that in circumstances where peoples houses back onto some kind of noisy piece of infrastructure like a Highway or Railway the noise is much more easily blocked than that of noise from Aircraft. They complain in those situations and something is relatively easily done by the people responsible and the complaints stop.

It could also be something to do with the pitch of the noises, Trucks, Trains and the likes having much lower pitches whilst Aircraft are most often of a higher pitch which may increase their irritability.
Ixixly is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 13:05
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I believe that the noise complaints are because people can moan about it knowing nothing too much can be done to reduce it (regardless of exactly what noise is actually made), so they gain the 'importance' of being a complainer.

I used to work in a one man operated, very small country airport in Australia (1990-1996). We had a total of 3 flights a day on Shorts 330 and 360 aircraft and I regularly received telephone complaints from the local residents. My response was always the same question...."When did you purchase the your home?" The answer was always within 5 to 8 years ago. My reply was a simple..."the airport has been here since the early 60s, goodbye" and I'd hang up on them.

In my opinion, the crux of the matter is people building/buying properties near to any airport and then complain that the area is too noisy. Sorry, but I have no time for people like that.
pppdrive is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 13:28
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I particularly dislike unnecessary man-made noise, such as slamming doors, blaring thumping over-bassed crap music blasted from oversized speakers in undersized cars driven by yobs with negative IQ levels, and people bellowing at each other when they come out of night clubs deafened and drunk.

I have chosen to live as far away as possible from the noises of cities, and when I stay in hotels, my priorities are clean quiet, safe, comfortable, in that order. That choice costs me money, time, and in some cases, a social life, but I'm happy with it.

People who live near airports generally had a choice about that, and knew that there was an airport nearby, and they therefore lose the right to complain about aircraft noise, although where I would feel sorry for them would be if, for example, a 2300-0600 curfew was lifted or reduced.

I once lived in a very noisy household (Spanish) near D F Malan (CPT/FACT) and they were so noisy that their decibels drowned out even the noisiest of SAA's old 747-200s on departure when they went over us at about 600 feet. Why would I complain? It's a bit like a vegetarian going to a steak house and complaining that they sell 'dead animals'.
Capetonian is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 14:18
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Does a local council have the right to enforce, and threaten to fine people that contravene an ERSA entry inserted by said council (aerodrome owner and operator) that reads 'residential areas are to be avoided at all times'?
Can they interpret their entry in ERSA to include all built up areas in the city, or just the circuit area?
I thought as long as 1000ft over built up areas was maintained, council has no jurisdiction other than banning said aircraft from using their runway.
Comments from those that know the rules better than me much appreciated.
CHAIRMAN is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 15:27
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Just make sure those who complain about the noise register that complaint. So when they go to sell their house....
redsnail is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 21:14
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As a kid, I lived under the approach to 26 at Essendon - lots of noise back then!

But it never bothered us - when we had visitors they would always ask how we put up with the noise - our answer "What noise?". As Ozgrade said, it became white noise, something in the background we never really noticed.

Same with friends of ours under approach to 16 at YMML - they don't notice the noise (such as it is).

I reckon pppdrive has got it right - complaining makes them feel important, look at the pic of the guy in the other noise thread. That, and obsessiveness - while most people can just ignore it so effectively it goes away, for some it becomes an obsession and it eats away at them. They deal with it by becoming a crusader and writing letters, organising committees, talking to the press, running blogs, etc - suddenly they become in their own minds someone really important.

Dunno what you do - but lots of golf courses around your local airfield is a good start!
triton140 is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 21:15
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My theory is that most of it is irrational fear. It is similar to sharks, more people die from drowning but the time and expense spent on shark patrols, killing sharks etc because of the fear of "terror from the deep". I suspect people fear, and therefor complain, about airports and aircraft because they may "fall from the sky and kill them". The day after the Navajo down at Aldinga, SA, people are on the TV saying the airport/aircraft need more regulation because "they can just fall out the sky'.
Dexta is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 21:22
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Hey CHAIRfella, what is needed is a lovely old B707, earlier engines even better, doing circuits, at night!

They will stop complaining then, either through comparitive noise reduction, or deafness.

It certainly is not them tigers that fly from there. One of which flies right over my house at about 1000AGL, some many miles from the airport.
Jabawocky is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 21:38
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There is some anecdotal evidence coming out of the US, and supported by complaint data that I have seen in Aus, that suggests it is more about visibility than noise.

The rates of noise complaints seem to drop on days when aircraft cannot be seen (ie low cloud cover, fog, smog etc). For example, in the Sutherland area the aircraft are usually about 6000ft. On bright sunny days, there are the normal noise complaints. On cloudy days (ie aircraft in or above cloud) the noise complaints drop.

Yes I know there is one argument that suggests the cloud cover may be acting as an insulator to noise. I cannot argue with this, it sounds logical. But there are currently organisations looking into what the actual source of the complaint is.

Just some food for thought, I offer the following scenario. A few years back John Travolta took his B707 to Melbourne. The outcome of his first approach onto RW16 is well known and was covered on this forum. When he did the go around, most of the noise measuring equipment in west melbourne registered readings of over 100db. The aircraft was in cloud, anyone want to guess at how many noise complaints were made?

My 2 cents worth

alphacentauri is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 21:44
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some just like complaining

it gives them a sense of importance, eg.

I wouldn't put up with this cos I'm important.
BNEA320 is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 21:46
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There are also many more ways to watch and complain these days. Look at sites such as WebTrak, where complainers can watch tracks, watch decibels, and with a click of a mouse, complain.

People in the US have learned they can be very effective in stopping any sort of development or increase at an airport. At Paine field in WA, they complained about an additional 2 flights per WEEK and were successful.
underfire is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 21:48
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people are on the TV saying the airport/aircraft need more regulation because "they can just fall out the sky'.
So regulations keep aircraft in the air?! Here I was thinking it had something to do with airflow over the wings!

Seriously though, the ignorance of the general populace is staggering...
RatsoreA is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 21:52
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I don't live by an airport. I live in Freshwater, Sydney and now under the sightseeing circuit for a number of R44 helicopters. Residents up this way starting to comment about the thumpthumpthump noise these a/c making as they perform the turn back toward the city over this suburb. Never flown a chopper so don't know why these 44s should be louder than your typical turbine machine.

Edit; Yes Rats, thank God for those regulations. Mrs tib would have something to say if one dropped into the pool.
truthinbeer is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 21:56
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Tullamarine built some moons ago for 24 hour ops. Housing estates near flight paths - complaints re noise.
4Greens is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 22:54
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A possible quick solution to deter the little charmers that register multiple complaints--Make it a requirement that all complaints must be a signed hard copy accompanied by a stamped self addressed envelope. At the soon to be $1.40 for two stamps we'd soon see if old mate mentioned on another thread would be so keen on posting 4,000 plus complaints. It'd be cheaper for him to move and everyone would be happy. Cheers RA
rutan around is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 23:47
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F*ck em I say.

They got cheap housing because of the airport nearby.

Get what you pay for..suck it up buttercup!

Next time you want to go somwhere on holidays take a bus, train or a slow boat.
zanthrus is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2014, 01:16
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A possible quick solution to deter the little charmers that register multiple complaints--Make it a requirement that all complaints must be a signed hard copy accompanied by a stamped self addressed envelope.
...and a no fly list for noise complainers to boot. It can be the anti-hypocracy act.
aeropelican is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2014, 02:33
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No, I think once you have complained 5 times and no issues found there needs to be a legal notice attached to any property sales indicating the property is subject to aircraft noise (like an easement, but for noise). It would also act as a notice for future owners that the noise is known and that future complaints can only be raised with data from the EPA to confirm the problem.

Good luck with your property values in future after that.
SgtBundy is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2014, 03:07
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Unfortunately these days noise complaints are basically driven by greed. People want to buy a cheap house, then if they can get the airport shut down they will double their property value. This is especially true in places like Kurnell and Sydenham in Sydney. The airport has been there since 1920's but people think they have some right to move the airport. Same now in Canberra after the geniuses in Macquarie St approved a large land development at the end of the runway.

The noise argument is getting outdated by the advance in engines. The fact that politicians aren't doing anything is because they are all too scared to lose votes.

What I want to know is why a G-IV is exempt from the Sydney Curfew yet a 717 isn't when they both have the same engine?
neville_nobody is offline  

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