ACI and CANSO call for a new approach to community engagement on noise

Joint paper was presented today at ICAO’s Triennial Assembly in Montreal

Montreal, 29 September 2019 – Airports Council International (ACI) World and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) have today presented a paper to the 40th International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly on the crucial issue of how the industry manages the impact of noise.

ACI and CANSO have proposed that ICAO formally recognizes community engagement as an integral part of the ICAO Balanced Approach to Aircraft Noise considering its relevance and effectiveness in identifying practical solutions which include community feedback.

The complexity of managing aircraft-related noise, its impact on a variety of stakeholder groups, and the challenges posed by new technological developments call for a more practical, global approach to noise management. Experience has shown that noise discussions and solutions are more effective when developed using community feedback.

Research has found that actual noise exposure is only responsible for around 30% of community concerns, with other factors such as attitudes towards airports, local authorities, or the aviation industry in general playing a contributing role. ACI and CANSO believe that improving our understanding of the factors which make up the bulk of concerns is needed so that better policies and actions can be developed and planned.

“Despite the reduced noise footprint of individual aircraft and the widespread introduction of noise insulation programs and new operational procedures, more individuals and communities are expressing negative attitudes towards airports and aviation activities,” ACI World Director General Angela Gittens said.

“This could have a negative impact on the ability of aviation to grow to meet increasing demand so it is important that all the factors which contribute to community concern are fully understood and plans and policies can be made to address them.

“Communities have always been at the core of airports’ noise management initiatives and ACI and CANSO believe community engagement should become more codified as a cross-cutting element which supports the implementation of the ICAO Balanced Approach.”

ACI and CANSO believe that the four elements of the Balanced Approach should remain the foundation of aircraft noise management worldwide. They are defined by ICAO as:

  • Reduction of noise at source
  • Land-use planning and management
  • Noise abatement operational procedures, and
  • Operating restrictions on aircraft.

The Balanced Approach provides for a globally harmonized framework, suitable for aviation as an international industry, while also recognizing the varying local situations of airports.

“Managing aviation-related noise is a complex issue and requires the whole aviation community to work together to improve performance, from aircraft design, trajectory and speed, to optimal flight routing and seamless ground-to-air operations,” CANSO Director General Simon Hocquard said. “The air traffic management (ATM) industry has an important role to play in this. ATM is helping to optimise the use of airspace and ensure safe, efficient and effective airborne operations. But there is still work to be done. Our collaboration with ACI has shown that the involvement of local communities in the process of enhancing aviation helps ensure we are socially and environmentally responsible in everything we do.

“ACI and CANSO believe that effective community engagement is key for the development of aviation, and that by ensuring all stakeholder perspectives are taken into account, the industry can further develop appropriate, sustainable solutions for managing the impacts of aviation, including noise, both now and in the future. In doing this, we both effectively address the views of the communities which facilitate vital connectivity worldwide, and ensure we are providing the best possible service to the flying public.”

Notes for editors

  1. Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2019, ACI serves 646 members, operating 1,960 airports in 176 countries.
  2. Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) is the global voice of air traffic management (ATM) worldwide. CANSO Members support almost 90 percent of world air traffic. Members share information and develop new policies, with the ultimate aim of improving air navigation services (ANS) on the ground and in the air. CANSO represents its Members’ views in major regulatory and industry forums, including at ICAO, where it has official Observer status. CANSO has an extensive network of Associate Members drawn from across the aviation industry.

Media contacts

Bojana Jeremic
Manager, External Relations and Special Events
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254
Email: mediarelations@aci.aero

Sabrina Guerrieri
Manager, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1200
Email: mediarelations@aci.aero

Deborah Seymour
Communications Director
CANSO
Telephone: +31 63 047 5595
Email: deborah.seymour@canso.org

Freyja Moorhead
Communications Manager
CANSO
Telephone: +31 65 781 3747
Email: freyja.moorhead@canso.org