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Noise Action Plan

In 2002, the European Parliament agreed the Directive 2002/49/EC commonly referred to as the Environmental Noise Directive (‘END’), to enable a standardised assessment of environmental noise across Europe and set the framework for the future management and ongoing assessment of noise.

The main objectives of END are:
• To determine the noise exposure of the population through noise mapping;
• To make information on environmental noise available to the public; and
• To develop Action Plans based on the mapping results, to reduce noise levels where necessary, and to preserve environmental noise quality where it is good.

END is implemented in Northern Ireland by the Environmental Noise Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 (‘the 2006 Regulations’) which outline a number of stages to manage and, where necessary, improve environmental noise.

The first stage in the assessment of environmental noise in Northern Ireland (‘Round 1’) was completed in 2007 with the publication of strategic noise maps to show levels of environmental noise across the Belfast Agglomeration and in other defined areas in the province. Noise Action Plans were subsequently developed by the designated Competent Authorities for the various noise sources covered under END.

George Best Belfast City Airport (‘GBBCA’) developed its first Noise Action Plan to cover the period 2008-2013 and following a public consultation process, it was formally adopted by the Minister for the Environment in June 2010 and submitted, in summary, to the European Commission.

As required under END, a second round (‘Round 2’) of strategic noise mapping was undertaken in 2012 and Noise Action Plans were developed based on the mapping results. A draft Round 2 Noise Action Plan for GBBCA covering the period 2013 – 2018 was prepared and a public consultation on this draft Plan took place between 14 June and 9 August 2013. A detailed review of all consultation responses was undertaken before finalising the Noise Action Plan. This final Plan was approved by the Minister for the Environment in January 2014.

A copy of GBBCA’s Final Noise Action Plan 2013-18 can be downloaded from here.

This Noise Action Plan summarises the extent of aircraft noise in the Belfast Agglomeration, measures already in place at GBBCA to prevent and reduce aircraft noise and actions proposed over the next five years to continue to do so.