We will regularly review feedback received and update the FAQs as required
Q1. Why have you produced this draft NAP, and why are you consulting with the public?
This draft NAP is produced to comply with Edinburgh Airports responsibilities under the European Parliament and Council Directive for Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise 2002/49/EC, more commonly referred to as the Environmental Noise Directive (END). This directive deals with noise from road, rail, air traffic, and from industry. It focuses on the impact of such noise on individuals, complementing existing EU legislation, which sets standards for noise emissions from specific sources.
The three main objectives of the directive are as follows.
Under the requirements of the above legislation Edinburgh Airport must consult with the public on the draft version of this NAP.
Q2. When and how often will the noise maps and NAP be updated?
The noise maps will be updated every five years as required by the EU Directive, unless a substantial change were to take place such as a new flight path being introduced at Edinburgh Airport, at which point our NAP and the maps supplied to the Scottish Government would be reviewed and a further consultation would take place.
Q3. What is a noise contour map?
A noise contour map is rather like a weather map for noise but it shows areas that are relatively louder or quieter. Just as a weather map might have isobars joining points of equal air pressure, a noise map can have contours joining points having the same noise level.
Q4. What are the Noise Contour Maps for?
Noise Contour Maps have three main purposes. Firstly, they can be used to find areas where noise levels are high and these can be linked to population data to estimate how many people are affected. This leads to the second use and the main point of noise mapping to help in the production of noise action plans to manage noise and reduce noise levels where appropriate. Thirdly they are used by Edinburgh Airport to determine which areas are entitled to apply for assistance under our noise insulation scheme.
Q5. Are the airport Noise Contour Maps on the Scottish Noise Mapping website the same as published on the airport website and within the draft NAP?
No, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports have noise maps produced by the Civil Aviation Authority. These are produced using Leq, (16hour) rather than Lden. It must be remembered that the annual average Lden indicator is different from the summer average 16 hour LAeq, T indicator that has traditionally been used to describe the noise exposure from airports. Thus, the two sets of results must not be compared. Instead they should simply be seen as two methods of describing average noise exposure at the airport.
The EU END legislation requires the maps to represent the annual average values. This contrasts with the common UK practice of producing aircraft noise contours for the average summer’s day.
The contour maps published on the Scottish Noise Mapping website are produced using data provided by Edinburgh Airport using their own mapping software, the contour maps provided on Edinburgh Airports website for Leq and within our draft NAP for Leq and Lden are produced by the CAA as required by the EU END legislation.
Q6. How were the maps produced?
Scottish Noise mapping - The maps were created using specialised noise modelling software, which calculates the noise level on a 10m grid at a reception height of 4m as required by the regulations. The data required for the calculations of noise levels have been determined by consultation with various organisations including Transport Scotland, SEPA, Network Rail, British Airports Authority, Local Authorities, and others. The software takes account of physical features such as buildings and the ground contours. The grid information is then used to create the series of noise contours bands as shown in the noise maps.
CAA Noise Mapping - The maps were created using specialised noise modelling software, which calculates the noise level on a 10m grid at a reception height of 4m as required by the regulations. The CAA use ANCON software which takes account of physical features such as buildings and the ground contours. The grid information is then used to create the series of noise contours bands as shown in the noise maps.
Q7. Why not measure the noise?
The European Commission’s advisory group on environmental noise recommends that Member States use computer modelling rather than measurements. There are several technical and practical reasons why noise maps are normally produced using computer predictions rather than from noise measurements. This is because to produce a map based on measurements would require many measurements to be undertaken over long periods and this would be prohibitively expensive. In most cases, the noise at a location is produced by a combination of different sources. These might be, for example, a mixture of roads and railways. Normal noise monitoring cannot distinguish the contribution from each of these different sources and so noise action planning – deciding which source or sources to tackle to reduce the overall noise level – is not straightforward. Noise maps produced by computer prediction can be used to show the noise from individual noise sources.
Noise measurements can also be affected by the weather in several ways. Firstly, the source itself might be affected, traffic noise for example has a different characteristic when the road surface is wet and the direction of take-off at an airport might be affected by the wind direction. Secondly, the measuring equipment can itself be affected – high winds can generate noise at the microphone. Finally, high winds and heavy rain can themselves be sources of noise from their action on trees and buildings surfaces and these can affect the levels of measured noise. Weather conditions therefore impose a real constraint on the number of days (or nights) when measured noise levels can be relied on.
Q8. Why are the noise monitors placed where they are?
They are located in these positions using the recommendations given within a detailed scientific study which was carried out by the CAA for the Department of Transport. This study was carried out to ensure that the major London airports positioned their noise monitors in locations that would ensure consistent and accurate noise measurements could be obtained. Edinburgh airport follows this guidance as do other major airports in the UK, including Gatwick, Heathrow, Stanstead and Glasgow airports.
The scientific studies carried out by the CAA may be found below
Q9. I want the noise measured at my home, how can you know what the noise levels are at my property.
Noise measurements are not taken at individual properties, however Noise Contour Maps are used to predict which geographical areas will likely be the most disturbed by noise.
Noise Contour Maps are produced for and provided to us by our regulator the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Noise Contour Maps help us to predict areas where noise disturbance may occur and to determine areas that may be entitled to extra insulation in their homes to help reduce the noise disturbance from aircraft.
Leq is measured in decibels (dBA), and is the A weighted equivalent continuous sound level over a period of time which is used to predict or measure the average noise level and disturbance caused, it is commonly used in environmental noise measurements.
Lmax noise measurements are the measurement of individual aircraft movements, noise measurements used for contour maps are a different type of measurement, Leq contour maps and Lmax noise measurements are not directly comparable.
Q10. At what noise level are aircraft operators fined for noise
The noise monitors measure both arriving and departing aircraft noise. The point at which the airlines are fined are the levels 87dBA Lmax night, 94dBA Lmax day.
If aircraft are correctly following our procedures for arriving and departing aircraft, they will not exceed the permitted levels and incur a fine. If an aircraft does exceed these limits they will incur a fine whether or not a complaint has been made.
Q11. How was the population data produced?
The population data provided with in our draft NAP and on the Scottish noise mapping website were produced for the Scottish Government by Jacobs Ltd using the following parameters:
In addition, population and dwellings figures were rounded to the nearest 100 and for area rounded to nearest 1km2, which is in accordance with the EU directive. The Scottish government will publish the maps and statistics on the Scottish noise mapping website.
Q12. Edinburgh Airport ran another consultation, is this part of the same consultation, I responded to this already
This consultation is separate from the consultations on Airspace Change which took place in 2017, further information on the progress of Airspace Change can be found via the link below, comments received relating to Airspace Change will not be considered part of this consultation.
Our consultation booklet and other documentation is currently available on the website. The consultation booklet contains information on proposed flight paths, Noise Contour Maps (which include the altitude of aircraft on the proposed routes) and other relevant data which may be of assistance with your enquiry. A rationale document is also available via the link below which provide information on our submission to the CAA
Q13. Why am I hearing aircraft noise at night? Aren’t there bans on night flights?
Edinburgh Airport is a 24-hour operational airport, and has been for over 20 years.
There are no restrictions on night flying at Edinburgh Airport. Night time is regarded as the period between 23:30 and 06:00.
Q14. Can I get compensation for noise disturbance?
Aircraft noise is governed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). At Edinburgh Airport, we offer a Noise Insulation Scheme to residential properties in the 63 Leq dBA contour and above. Please click on the link below for further information.
Q15. Why do some aircraft appear to fly so much lower than others?
It's quite normal for aircraft to operate at a range of heights. It is important to stress that aircraft vary considerably in size and larger aircraft do often appear to be operating lower than others.
Q16. How do I know if the aircraft that I have seen was on the right flight path and flying at the correct height?
Air Traffic Control is in constant contact with all aircraft, and they define their route and heights. The Standard Instrument Departure (SID) routes in use at this time are not precision routes and as such there is wide dispersal in the routes that aircraft will fly. The current ground based technology directs aircraft to ‘waypoints’ along the route. Noise Preferential Routes were introduced on the SID routes by the airport to minimise disturbance on local communities. The Noise Preferential Routes end at 3,000ft (4,000ft on the GRICE SID from Runway 24). The current SID’s extend 1.5km from the centre line of the route.
When aircraft have passed 3,000/4000 ft. aircraft are vectored towards their destination.
If you would like to make a complaint regarding a specific aircraft please email firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the contact us link at the bottom of this page
Q17. Why was an aircraft flying over my home, I am not under a flight path?
Occasionally aircraft may be diverted off the normal flight path for weather avoidance. An aircraft will request a deviation from the flight path from NATS. NATS agree to the captain’s requested course whenever possible, as it is their responsibility to ensure the safety of the aircraft and NATS have no recourse to that decision making.
You may also be overflown if an aircraft must carry out a ‘go-around’, these ‘go-arounds’ occur on occasion for a variety of reasons; such as another aircraft taking longer than expected on the runway, but are primarily a safety measure.
If an aircraft is off-track without instruction from NATS we contact the airline and request an investigation is carried out by them to determine the reason the captain diverted off-track.
Q18. Why have you refused to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act?
The Freedom of Information act (link attached below) only relates to public authorities such as Local Government, Government depts., NHS etc. and not to private companies.
We are happy to provide all reasonable requests for information and data. However, this will be considered on a case by case basis as per our complaints policy.
Q19. What if I have a question about a specific aircraft or noise -who do I contact?
Please follow the instructions provided below –
Write to: Communications team, Edinburgh Airport, Terminal Building, Edinburgh EH12 9DN
Dedicated free noise enquiry line: 0800 731 3397
All callers will be asked to leave their name and contact information, along with details of the date and time of any disturbance. All calls are recorded and complaints investigated.
The airport aims to contact each individual caller within five working days. They will be provided with either an answer to their enquiry or an acknowledgement.
Names, email addresses and postal addresses given will not be made public or used for any purpose other than registering complaint details, and to allow direct response to the complainant, our complaint policy is available via the following link
Q20. How do I contact the CAA?
You can find contact details on their website
Please complete and submit your response via the link below. If you have no comment to make on the Noise Action Plan, we would still like to know that you considered the information. Please tick the no comment box on the QuestionaireSubmit your response