Manston’s night flying application was backed up by a report on noise nuisance from Bickerdike Allen Partners (BAP). The BAP report assumes that house windows are closed all year, thus understating the decibels heard by residents by 27dB.
The Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) report picks up on this:
[p11] This of course fails to consider the partially open window situation described in both WHO guidelines and PPG24, which might be expected in the late spring, summer and early autumn months of the year. This corresponds to the months of year covered by the summer timetable in which the bulk of activity occurs at most airports in the UK.
The PB report also correctly identifies the obvious flaw with Manston’s proposal to exclude parts of the night from the night quota period. This would inevitably result in a late-night and early morning rush hour:
[p11] In relation to the proposed QC quota, the exclusion of the shoulder hours from the night time period is out of step with other airports, and would result in a “cramming” of movements into the shoulder hours, times in which most of the UK population is attempting to get to sleep, or before they would normally wake.
(The night quota period is when they propose to monitor and limit aircraft noise – 2330 to 0600. The so-called shoulder periods – 2300 to 2330 and 0600 to 0700 – would be treated as normal daytime, and would not be included.)
The PB report says the assessment of noise impact completely under-estimates the noise impact – under any other circumstances this would be an unacceptable proposal:
[p11] … the failure to consider the impacts with windows open, coupled with a mitigation scheme that potentially may not reflect the noise risks from larger aircraft movements at night, may not be as favourable to protecting the local amenity for nearby residents. Had the council been considering a planning application for night operations with 5338 properties above 48 dB, and 312 exposed to the 95 dB Single Event Level, it is unlikely that the application would be seen favourably unless there was a substantive economic argument for its approval.
The PB report says in summary:
[p12] The analysis of the noise impacts have, in our opinion, resulted in an underestimation of the potential adverse impacts on residents in the area.
Next installment: York Aviation