New EU rules to improve regulating airport noise

European Parliament votes to make rules on noise more transparent

The European Commission has welcomed a decision by the European Parliament to make rules on noise-related operating restrictions at airports more transparent and evidence-based.

“These new rules will make it easier to find solutions that will satisfy citizens living close by the airports without losing sight of the important economic impact that those airports have on local economies, and in full respect of international rules,” Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, also responsible for transport, said.

With the new rules, national and local authorities keep responsibility for concrete decisions about noise-related operating restrictions, tailored to the particular characteristics of each airport. However, those decisions will be taken following an “EU harmonised process” that will “guarantee a fair outcome for all”, the commission says.

The role of the commission will be to review the quality of the process and, if necessary, take legal action before restricting measures are implemented, in order to guarantee the rights of citizens, businesses and all interested parties.

Noise restrictions are measures affecting the capacity of an airport to operate, for instance by introducing noise quotas, restricting the use of runways, phasing out the noisiest aircraft or imposing night bans.

The European Parliament decision ends the legislative procedure. Now the president of the council and the president of the European Parliament will have to sign the law. The new rules will then be published in the coming months. They are expected to enter into force two years after publication, around mid-2016.

[pictured: A 380-861 on the western apron at Munich Airport; Copyright: Flughafen München GmbH]


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