Govt sets noise standards for airports across India

The Union environment ministry has issued a notification setting noise standards for all airports across the country. The limits, however, exclude defence aircrafts, and those that are landing and taking-off.

The notification, issued on June 18, states that noise standards within the overall boundary for various airports are equivalent and applicable as ‘Industrial Zones’. The noise limits specified shall replace and supersede the ambient air quality in respect of noise limits of existing zones: silence, residential, and commercial areas.

The rules state that busy airports — a civil airport with more than 50,000 aircraft movements per year (take-off or a landing) – should not exceed noise levels beyond 75 dB(A) Leq (decibels) during the day time (6am to 10pm) and 65 dBA during the night (10pm to 6am). All other airports — an airport having more than 15,000 but less than 50,000 movements annually — should not exceed levels beyond 65 dBA during the day and 60 dBA during the night. Proposed airports however, are excluded so far.

An airport noise zone is an area for each airport based on the master plan, which shall be defined as a noise contour for day and night period by the respective airport operator on the basis of existing rules from the ministry of civil aviation.

Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), which runs Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, said its noise levels are much lower than the safe standards issued by the government. “We have implemented a comprehensive noise monitoring system based on the specifications of DGCA and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to analyse aircraft noise impact on communities.

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