A third of Brussels 'suffers' noisy planes

3rd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 June 2005, BRUSSELS – Night flights over Brussels cause a third of the city’s residents to suffer unhealthy levels of noise, according to a report published on Friday.

3 June 2005

BRUSSELS – Night flights over Brussels cause a third of the city’s residents to suffer unhealthy levels of noise, according to a report published on Friday.

As many as 300,000 residents have to put up with noise from overflying planes which exceeds acceptable levels set down by the World Health Organisation.

The study was carried out by the Brussels Institute for Environmental Management (IBGE), along with Woelfel, a company which specialises in acoustics.

It was commissioned by the Brussels Region. Its environment minister Evelyne Huytebroeck said she has sent the study to federal mobility minister Renaat Landuyt in the hope that the government would use objective evidence to decide the controversial question of flight paths from Brussels National Airport.

Huytebroech admitted that she wanted a cadastral survey of noise – one based on the actual flight paths taken by individual planes in 2004, which would take into account if pilots had to take a diversion for weather or other reasons. However, she said the flight control organisation Belgocontrol had refused to provide radar images of routes taken.

Instead, surveyors, based their study on the flight routes laid out by the authorities, taking into account the number and type of planes used, and their timetables.

The authors of the report concluded that during the day and night, 160,000 residents were exposed to a minimum noise of 55db(A) or more – the level at which WHO believes noise can start to harm health.

In summer, air traffic exposes more than double that amount of residents to worrying levels.

The report also analysed the nuisance caused by specific flight paths, concluding that 61 percent of traffic taking off from runway 25 flew over Brussels. By night, 80 percent of takeoffs involve six routes over the Brussels Region.

At night, two routes leaving from runway 25 cause the most nuisance – that which involves planes turning left and heading towards the periphery of Brussels, which causes noise pollution for 50,000 residents, and the canal ‘Onkelinx’ route, which exposes 27,000 residents to excessive levels.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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