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Aircraft noise exposure from Schiphol airport: A relation with complainants

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Author: Jong, R.G. de · Wiechen, C.M.A.G. van · Franssen, E.A.M. · Lebret, E.
Institution: Instituut voor Ruimtelijke Organisatie TNO
Source:Noise and Health, 17, 5, 23-34
Identifier: 236713
Keywords: Acoustics and Audiology · Aircraft noise · Annoyance · Complainants · Complaint behaviour · Sleep disturbance · Sound insulation · aircraft noise · airport · annoyance · article · health care · health status · human · noise pollution · noise reduction · prevalence · public health service · public opinion · questionnaire · sleep disorder · Urban Development · Built Environment


The possible relation between aircraft noise exposure and the prevalence of complainants around Schiphol airport was studied. The home address of people who complain about aircraft noise at the Environment Advisory Committee Schiphol was combined with annual average noise levels, using a Geographic Information System. The prevalence of complainants in areas with different noise exposure was calculated. In addition, data from a questionnaire survey was used to gain insight into the influence of sound insulation, personal characteristics, and aspects of health on complaint behaviour. The prevalence of complainants increases from < 1% at 50 dB(A) (Lden) to about 7% at 62 dB(A). Above this level the prevalence drops back to < 3%. An increase in the percentage of sound insulated houses with increasing noise levels is observed, rising markedly above 60 dB(A) (from 24% to almost 90%). When comparing people who complain with those who do not complain about aircraft noise, complainants report more noise annoyance (OR=10.2, 95% CI=8.54-12.3), sleep disturbance (OR=9.87, 95% CI=8.19-11.9), concern about health (OR=8.02, 95% CI=6.75-9.53), and fear for an aircraft crash (OR=3.64, 95% CI=3.07-4.31). Results indicate a relation between aircraft noise exposure and the prevalence of complainants, possibly influenced by sound insulation. Important determinants of complaint behaviour apart from noise level are noise annoyance, sleep disturbance, concern about health, and fear for an aircraft crash. Although complainants do not seem to be representative for the total population, and do not reflect the full extent of noise annoyance, their prevalence does reflect the regional distribution of aircraft noise annoyance in a noise polluted area.