Aircraft Noise, Risk and Impacts
||Aircraft Noise, Risk and Impacts
||16th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference in Stockholm, Sweden
||Technological developments since the 1960s have reduced the absolute noise impact from aircraft on communities in the vicinity of airports by a factor of four, while the perceived risk associated with aircraft noise events in terms of human and economic impact continues to rise. Further reductions in noise levels are possible with existing technology, however this entails trade-offs such as thirstier jet engines and longer, less direct flight paths. Analysing the way aircraft noise is perceived, and how risk and blame has evolved in modern society, provides a critical lens for examining community perceptions of noise disturbance, its capacity to detract from life quality, and its impact on asset value. It may also help to re-frame the aircraft noise problem as a more palatable equity and amenity issue The management of information – understood as knowledge – is central to risk perception, and has a major influence on market-based transactions. In short, real estate values are to some extent a function of information dissemination, as it is the free flow of information that helps to redress market flaws. Cultural theory suggests that it is institutions that are the managers and gatekeepers of information. It positions the ‘rise of risk’ as an increasingly important determinant of decision-making by helping to attribute ‘blame’ to human actors and actions, thereby limiting the liability of risk averse governing regimes. The upshot is that aircraft noise levels and durations deemed ‘acceptable’ to affected communities, are ultimately not determined objectively on a cost-benefit, well-being, or sustainability basis, but is instead negotiated by politically charged social contract. More objective assessments may serve to counter-balance the role that risk is playing in exacerbating the aircraft noise perception problem.
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