• Government mulling standards for noise levels due to aircraft ops

    The government is planning to come up with standards to curb noise pollution due to aircraft operations and ensure that noise levels are maintained within permissible levels.

    The proposal, which has been in the works for some time, comes against the backdrop of concerns expressed in some quarters, including by resident welfare associations, about noise pollution being created by aircraft operations.

    To assess the situation at airports, various studies have been carried out by agencies and discussions have been going on between different government departments over the last few years.

    The Environment Ministry is working on a proposal for bringing in standards on noise levels pertaining to aircraft operations and measures for maintaining noise within the permissible limits, a senior official said.

    Multiple rounds of discussions have already taken place among various agencies including the Environment Ministry, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the official said.

    Back in September 2013, a study on noise levels from aircraft operations at the Delhi international airport was conducted by DGCA through a foreign entity.

    Besides, CPCB has done studies on few other airports, the official said.

    In December 2014, the regulator had issued a CAR (Civil Aviation Requirement) on ‘noise management of aircraft operations at airports’.

    The issue of noise pollution from aircraft operations has been simmering for sometime and some entities had also moved court and tribunals in this regard.

    Earlier this week, the National Green Tribunal, while hearing a bunch of pleas, asked why night curfew is not implemented for flights to and from airports across the country.

    According to a DGCA official, the general view has been that it would not be practical to put in place restrictions for night operations on aircraft in the country.

    Such a move could result in foreign carriers choosing other countries rather than India as their hub for operations.

    Many overseas airlines operate flights at night as that helps them in reaching their destinations in the morning hours, the official said. 

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