Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Aircraft noise maps

A new proposal has been tabled by the federal government to vastly expand the areas around major airports that could face residential housing construction restrictions due to aircraft noise. Property research and advisory firm MacroPlanDimasi estimated that $33.5 billion worth of future housing projects (which comprise 134,000 new dwellings across Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Canberra) could be potentially at risk. If approved, it may have a significant impact on future urban renewal of residential areas directly beneath air traffic corridors in all capital cities – both positive and negative. For example, it may help to preserve the character of older inner-city suburbs but also restrict multi-storey/multi-dwelling redevelopment opportunities.

The report contains a series of maps that depict noise zones around major airports in Australia. These maps on their own are quite a valuable information resource for prospective home buyers and property developers - they will help in assessing the likelihood of aircraft noise in various parts of the city. In particular, the maps show computed outlines of various types of Aircraft Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF). ANEF is a measure of the aircraft noise exposure levels in decibels around aerodromes based on average daily sound pressure levels:

  • ANEF 20 (zone of expected continuous noise exposure over 5-20 years period).
  • N70 20 - zone with 20 or more daily events greater that 70 dB(A);
  • N65 50 - zone with 50 or more daily events greater that 65 dB(A);
  • N60 100 - zone with 100 or more daily events greater that 60 dB(A).

For comparison, quiet bedroom will record 35 dB(A), passenger car at 60km/h 70 dB(A); and heavy diesel lorry at 40km/h 83 dB(A).

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