Noise is typically defined as ‘unwanted sound’, with sound levels expressed in decibels (dB). People react differently to varying levels of noise, however, it is general consensus that a noise level of 60 decibels (dB) is enough to disturb everyday activity.

The aviation industry is continuously looking at ways in which it can manage and minimise aircraft noise.

Noise studies

A number of studies have been carried out to investigate the impacts of noise, including aircraft noise. Although the results of some studies are inconclusive, particularly those regarding the medical effects of noise, noise can still have an impact on the following:

  • disruption of  normal household activities such as conversation and watching television
  • waking up during the night with loss of quality of sleep, leading to reduced performance and concentration levels the following day
  • some studies have shown that exposure to high levels of noise over a long period can contribute to
  • high blood pressure, heart disease and reduced immunity.

Further examples of noise levels are available under measuring aircraft noise.