London City Airport Consultative Committee

Noise Page

The arrangements made at London City for the monitoring, control and mitigation of noise




Home >  Environment >  Noise Site Map (Alt+1>Enter)

On this Page:

Monitoring and Mitigation Strategy
Noise Monitoring System
Annual Noise Contour
Sound Insulation Scheme
Permitted Aircraft
Hours of Opening
Restrictions on Number of Flights
Ground Noise Studies
Noise Barriers
Aircraft Maintenance
Construction Noise
Other Noise Abatement Measures
European Directive 2002/30/EC - Rules and Procedures for Introducing Noise Related Operating Restrictions

Summer 2010 Noise Contours

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European Directive 2002/49/EC - Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise
Mayor of London’s Ambient Noise Strategy

Attitudes to Noise from Aircraft Sources in in England (ANASE)

Other Noise Files:
Environment Home Page (Alt+2)
1998 Noise Management Scheme (Alt+4)
1998 Noise Insulation Programme (Alt+6)
1998 Noise Insulation Specification (Alt+7)
Summer 2011 Noise Contours (Alt+8)

The Annual Performance Report for 2011 along with Appendices 1-09 and Appendices 10-17 was posted to this website in October 2012..

The Airport's Noise Action Plan 2010-15 can be seen on their website


The Noise Monitoring and Mitigation Strategy

IN the July 2009 section 106 agreement the Airport agreed to draw up a draft Noise Monitoring and Mitigation Strategy (NOMMS). The NOMMS is to embrace the following features along with any alternative arrangements which may be agreed with Newham Council from time to time:

  • a combined monitoring of noise and track-keeping in order to identify any deviations from the standard routes which should be followed by aircraft and to perform noise categorisation functions;
  • the provision of data for noise contour validation purposes;
  • the provision of data on ground noise;
  • provison to record noise levels produced during aircraft departures and arrivals;
  • provison to ensure appropriate access to data by Newham Council;
  • a strategy to prevent the loss of noise monitoring data collection through the failure of the noise monitoring system or because of external influences such as local construction and to ensure maintenance of the existing noise and track-keeping system;
  • a scheme to encourage airline operators to use quiet operating procedures and to observe air and ground noise abatement procedures;
  • a system of incentives and penalties for airlines which may include financial penalties (not for track-keeping infringements) as well as operational penalties in order to (a) minimise noise disturbance from aircraft using the Airport (including any aircraft overhaul facility),           (b) ensure good track-keeping by aircraft using the Airport and (c) control maximum noise levels of aircraft using the Airport;
  • arrangements to minimise noise disturbance from any aircraft overhaul facility or from aircraft at the Approved Ground Running Location or generally from any ground noise from aircraft subject always to to safe operation of aircraft;
  • regular meetings and consultation with the Airport Consultative Committee and any other statutory body nominated by the Council;
  • provision for a calculation procedure in accordance with the INM to calculate the 57 dB Contour, the 66 dB Contour and the 69 dB Contour ;
  • provision to minimise as far as practicable the impact of development outside the Airport on the integrity of the NOMMS;
  • maintenance of the existing glide slope (5.5 degrees);
  • limiting the use of Auxiliary Power Units before departure and after landing.
  • encouraging consistent with safety the minimum use of reverse thrust on landing

Until NOMMS is fully implemented the Airport's Noise Management Scheme (NMS) will continue to operate including particularly its provisions in relation to ground running, penalties and incentives and regular meetings with the Consultative Committee. The NMS has operated since April 1999. Click here to see a copy of the scheme. The Airport has also agreed that pending NOMMS it will ensure that fixed electrical ground power supplies are used at the Airport for conditioning the aircraft prior to engine start-up and for the starting of aircraft engines and that auxiliary power units are not used unless it is operationally necessary and the the Council has agreed.

At a meeting December 2013 the Secretary was told that NOMMS was being harmonised with the Airport's City Airport Development Programme and had still to be issued.

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Noise Monitoring System

PENDING the implementation of NOMMS the Noise Monitoring Scheme (NMS) will continue to operate. The NMS has operated since 1990. It depends on fixed monitors (.pdf, 2.78mb) located a short distance outside the Airport's boundaries to the east and west. They are used to establish the provisional noise category of new aircraft using the Airport, for the annual review of aircraft noise categories and to produce each year the 57 dB LAeq, 16 Hour noise contour.

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The 57 dB LAeq, 16 Hour, Noise Contour

This is currently used by the Government as an indicator of the "onset of significnt community disturbance".  The contour relates to the average daily aircraft movements over the three month period 16 June to 15 September during the 16 hours period from 0700 to 2300 hours. 

The index used in calculating the contour incorporates an "energy averaging" of sound.  This is sometimes criticised because it is said it does not reflect people's experience of specific noise events.

On 8th May 2001 the Aviation Minister announced a Noise study including the relationship between noise levels and annoyance. There is a note on this study below

Annual Noise Contours

THE 1998 noise monitoring arrangements require the Airport each year to calculate and supply to the London Borough of Newham and the Consultative Committee the Summer 57 dB LAeq, 16 Hour, Noise Contour - see the the panel to the right for details.

The 2012 Annual Contours are to be found in the 2012 Annual Performance Report (APR) - paragraph 3.6.1 on page 9 and Appendix 4

The new 2009 arrangements require a number of noise contours.

(a) The 1998 57 dB Contour - the 57 dB Contour for the 1998 Permission based on the full use of the Airport according to the 1998 planning permission.

(b) The Full Use 57 and 66 dB Contours- the 57 and 66 dB Contours assuming the Airport is fully used in accordance with the planning permission granted on 9th July 2009, i.e. 120,000 flights

(c) The Predicted 57 and 66 dB Contours - the 57 and 66 dB Contours based on the forecast aircraft movements at the Airport for the summer period (16 June to 15 September) in the calendar year when the Annual Performance Report is submitted. These contours will form part of the Annual Performance Report. Click here to see the 2010 contour

(d) The Predicted Reduced 57 and 66 dB Contours - the 57 and 66 dB Contours based on the forecast aircraft movements at the Airport for the summer period (16 June to 15 September) in the calendar year when the Annual Performance Report (APR) is submitted but reduced to take into account likely cancellation of flights and other factors affecting the number of aircraft movements by reference to historical data from the preceding five calendar years. These contours will form part of the Annual Performance Report.

The contours are defined as the 57 and 66 dB LAeq, 16h Average Mode summer day contours, i.e. the same as in the 1998 scheme.

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Sound Insulation Scheme

THIS scheme has operated since the Airport was first opened. The trigger level for the scheme is much lower than that at most other UK Airports with noise insulation schemes.

The 1998 Scheme

Until the signing of the July 2009 planning agreement the sound insulation scheme operated according to the s.106 Agreement dated 21st July 1998. The trigger point for sound insulation and mechanical ventilation for homes and noise sensitive premises was the Airport's 57LAeq 16 hour noise contour - see the panel to the right for more information. Click the following links to see specification of the scheme and the scheme programme which was substantially completed befoe the new arragements were agreed.

It should be noted that many of the listed properties, notably in West Silvertown, were built or given planning permission after 30 July 1990 and were not, therefore, eligible for sound insulation if this was required to be installed by statute or as a condition of planning permission. The premises were, however, eligible for mechanical ventilation.

The original Drew Road school building has now been demolished to make way for the Airport Extension of the DLR.  The school is now housed in new premises built on a site nearby.

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The 2009 Scheme

The 2009 Sound Insulation Scheme was on hold pending the outcome of the Judicial Review but once this was resolved the scheme was launched at the end of 2011. You will find the details of the current scheme in the attached leaflet published in 2012 and in the 2012 Annual Performance Report:-

Tier 1 properties & eligibility contour

See Appendix 6 of the 2012 Annual Performance report

Tier 2 properties & eligibility contour

Appendix 7
of the 2012 Annual Performance Report

The noise contours for 2013 are now available - 57db and 66db

Banks Wood and Partners work with the airport to deliver the new Sound Insulation Scheme. If you are unclear about your entitlements or wish to arrange a site visit by the sound insulation contractor please contact David Chester at Banks Wood or 01277 262870 . Please remember to provide your address, contact name and telephone number. Banks Wood will register and respond to your query. If your property is eligible the contractor that completes the works (Granville) will follow up with you to arrange a mutually convenient date and time to visit your property and explain your entitlements.

The Airport has entered into a Neighbouring Authority Agreement with the London Borough of Greenwich including binding commitments in relation to the Noise Insulation Scheme as it will operate in Newham and Wake Turbulence - see our Operations Page for details.   Liaison with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to enter into a Neighbouring Authority Agreement is underway.

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Permitted Aircraft

AIRCRAFT are not permitted to use the Airport unless they fit into one of the following noise categories:


Noise Reference Level (PNdB)

Noise Factor

A 91.6 - 94.5 1.26
B 88.6 - 91.5 0.63
C 85.6 - 88.5 0.31
D 82.6 - 85.5 0.16
E Less than 82.6 0.08

Fokker 50 - a Noise Category B aircraft

The Noise Factors are used in calculating the number of aircraft movements - see our Airport Operations page. It will be noted that the arrangements for aircraft categorisation are to be reviewed.

Aircraft must also be capable of making an approach at 5.5 degrees or steeper - this compares with 3 degrees at most other airports. Helicopters and other vertical take off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, and aircraft with a single engine, are not permitted and flying for club or leisure purposes is prohibited.


Hours of Opening

TO avoid noise for residents at night and at weekends and on Bank Holidays there are restrictions on the hours during which the Airport may be used for flights - see our Airport Operations page for details.

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Restrictions on Number of Flights

FOR the same reason there are also detailed restrictions on the number of flights - again see our Airport Operations page for details.

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Ground Noise Studies

THE Airport has agreed that by July 2010 it will carry out a Ground Noise Study and then every three years. Any measures recommended in these studies must be implemented within 6 months of being agreed.

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Noise Barriers

A number of noise barriers were provided when the Airport was first developed and these will be maintained. The pier used by passengers to reach the aircraft is itself an important noise barrier. The construction of the DLR extension to the Airport and North Woolwich immediately to the south of the pier - see pictures on this page - will have added to this barrier effect but inevitably the trains will generate some noise of their own. In response to a Ground Noise Study the local planning authority has the right, after consultation with the Airport Consultative Committee, to request the provision of new or substitute noise barriers.

The Airport agreed by July 2010 to carry out a study of the Camel Road sound screen - see plan - to see if any improvements should be made to improve its noise attenuation properties. Any recommended changes are to be implemented within 6 monthsof being agreed.

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Aircraft Maintenance

For noise reasons there are restrictions on the times when aircraft can be maintained at the Airport and also on the ground running of engines. For details see our Airport Operations page.

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Construction Noise

The the latest agreement with the loal planning authority (Part 2 of the Ninth Schedule) sets construction noise limits which must be observed in carrying out any works at the Airport - click here for details

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Other Noise Abatement Measures

THE rules drawn up by the CAA for pilots using the Airport include the following noise abatement procedures:

  • Noise abatement procedures for aircraft departing from the Airport and joining controlled airspace are included in the Standard Instrument Departure (SID) instructions - see the ATC page.
  • Aircraft departing on other routes, or on training flights within the City CTR, must climb straight ahead to a minimum of 1000 ft before turning on track unless otherwise instructed by ATC.
  • Aircraft making approaches to the Airport without assistance from the ILS must follow a descent path which will not result in its being at any time lower than the approach path that would be followed by an aircraft using the ILS glide path.

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European Directive 2002/30/EC - Rules and Procedures for Introducing Noise Related Operating Restrictions

This Directive, adopted on 26 March 2002, establishes principles for managing noise and rules and procedures for introducing related operating restrictions at Community airports. In the UK the Government gave effect to the Directive in the Aerodromes (Noise Restrictions) (Rules and Procedures) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/1742) which came into force on 6th August 2003  The Directive does not require action to counter noise to be taken at any airport. Rather it sets out a process which must be followed where such action is being contemplated, a process designed to enable local solutions to be developed for local problems.

The Directive applies to civil airports in the EU with more than 50,000 movements a year by civil subsonic jet aircraft with a maximum take-off mass of 34,000 kg or more, or with more than 19 passenger seats. It has additional provisions for a small number of "City Airports", including London City Airport, being airports near the centre of a large conurbation and which are considered to operate in a particularly noise-sensitive location.

Where it is proposed to introduce noise-related operating restrictions the competant authority (at London City the Airport itself) will now be required to undertake a detailed assessment of the noise situation in the locality, and the full range of possible measures to address the noise problems identified. The process must be transparent and involve consultation. 

The Regulations give rise to interesting procedural issues where it is proposed to impose noise restrictions as a condition of planning permission, or by agreement under s.106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, or (as at London City) significantly to alter existing restrictions imposed originally in that way.  How are the new procedures to be dovetailed with the planning procedures and decision making processes which involve the local planning authority in a leading role?

Click here for more information on this Directive

Top of PageBAe 146/RJ aircraft on the apron - ASugust 2008

European Directive 2002/49/EC - Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise

This Directive, often known as the Environmental Noise Directive (END) came into effect in June 2002.

The aim of the END is to define a common approach across the European Union with the intention of avoiding, preventing or reducing on a prioritised basis the harmful effects, including annoyance, due to exposure to environmental noise. This involves:

  • informing the public about environmental noise and its effects;
  • the preparation of strategic noise maps for large urban areas (known as 'agglomerations' ), major roads, major railways and major airports as defined in the END; and
  • preparing action plans based on the results of the noise mapping exercise.

Such plans will aim to manage and reduce environmental noise where necessary, and preserve environmental noise quality where it is good.

The END should have been transposed into law by the Member States of the EU by 18 July 2004. However, because of the large number of complex technical details which had to be resolved, DEFRA found it impossible to comply with this deadline in the UK and it was not until September 2006 that the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/2238) were laid before Parliament. They came into force on 1 October 2006.

Noise Maps

London City Airport is both a “major airport” (more than 50,000 movements per annum) and located within Greater London. It was, therefore required to produce noise maps on a rolling basis.

The noise maps for London City and 17 other airports in England were published by in December 2007 - these can be seen on the Department's website - click below for the maps relating to London City Airport:

Lden Contour - .pdf (3.05mb)
Lnight Contour - .pdf (3.05mb)

The maps will be used in “developing co-ordinated and cost-effective action plans to reduce noise”. This, too, will be the responsibility of London City Airport .

There was no response from Defra in relation to the concerns expressed by the Consultative Committee's at the consultation stage as to whether Airport operators will have to pay for the noise mapping or how at London City Airport the action plans will fit in with the noise mitigation measures in force at the Airport by virtue of the Airport's planning permission and/or the 1998 s.106 planning agreement.

Noise Action Plan

These Plans specify the measures to be taken by an Airport to mitigate noise from aircraft.

After a period of consultation in the autumn of 2008, Defra on 24th March 2009 published Guidance for airport operators in relation to the drawing up of Noise Action Plans (NAPS).

As expected the Guidance says airport operators should “engage” with Airport Consultative Committees “in the development of the draft Noise Action Plan”. The Airport should also liaise with the local planning authority and other local authorities affected by the airport, as well as NATS and airline operators.

When the draft NAP is ready there will be consultation with the public with 16 weeks allowed for the submission of comments. The Guidance goes on to say that airport operators should “examine and reflect upon the comments” received in consultation and complete the Draft Noise Action Plan including a description of the comments received during the consultation process and a reasoned justification for the response to the issues raised. If there are any unresolved conflicts between the Airport’s NAP and the action plan for the agglomeration (where applicable), these should be reported in the NAP.

At its April 2009 meeting the Consultative Committee appointed a sub-group to engage with the Airport and their noise consultants (Bickerdike Allen Partners) in drawing up the Noise Action Plan. The sub-group met on 18 June 2009 and considered a first draft of the plan prepared by BAP. Members reported back to the next full meeting of the consultative committee on 7th July 2009 - see the minutes of that meeting (Item 11).  It was clear that the draft NAP owed much to the new noise regime prescribed in the July 2009 s106 Agreement as outlined elsewhere on this page. 

The consultation draft of the Noise Action Plan was published on Friday 25th September 2009. The closing date of comments on the draft plan was 15 January 2010. After the clsoing date the Airport collated and considered the comments received and later that year the plan was finalised and sent to the Department of Tranport and Defra for approval. The Noise Action Plan has now been approved by both Departments and a copy can be seen on the Airport's website

Meanwhile, on 15th March 2010 Defra published the Noise Policy Statement for England (NPSE) as well as:

  • The Noise Action Plans for the 23 first round agglomerations including that for London;
  • The Noise Action Plan for major roads outside agglomerations;
  • The Noise Action Plan for major railways outside agglomerations.

The Noise Action Plans can be accessed at See also DEFRA's letter to stakeholders.

After receiving London City Airport’s second round of noise mapping in order to comply with the END and the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006, Defra has now instructed London City Airport to review and revise, as necessary, the noise action plan previously prepared following the first round of mapping and which the Secretary of State adopted.  London City Airport is in the process of completing this and a further update will be provided to members at the January Consultative Committee meeting.

The story moves on to 2013/14 ! The Government is obliged under European legislation to ask major Airports (by way of the Environmental Noise Regulations) to prepare Noise Action Plan’s at this time.  London City Airport is no exception and the Airport’s Noise Action Plan has been revised in line with these requirements and in accordance with DEFRA’s guidance (see attached, in particular ‘Chapter 5: Process for those airports which already have an Action Plan prepared under the terms of the Regulations’).  The draft of the Airport's Noise Action Plan for 2013-2018 is also attached. The Consultative Committee has been consulted at all stages.

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Sounder City - the Mayor of London’s Ambient Noise Strategy

In March 2004 the Mayor at last finalised and issued his Ambient Noise Strategy.  This 295 page Report is available on this site along with a 16 page Highlights summary and an 8 page leaflet.

The Consultative Committtee's report on the Strategy is attached. This notes that the aviation noise chapter of the Strategy is concerned mostly with Heathrow. So far as London City is concerned the Strategy notes that :

  • noise associated with London City Airport is managed under the terms of a planning agreement between the operator and the London Borough of Newham. The Mayor will keep relevant issues under review, having regard to developments in Thames Gateway and the Lee Valley.
  • the Airport is closed at night
  • at Heathrow aircraft continue to need to approach at a standard 3 degree glideslope. London City Airport, with specific obstacle clearance requirements, is exceptional in being limited to use by aircraft which can approach more steeply. Steeper approach reduces the area affected by noise.
  • there is a noise insulation scheme where homes are eligible for sound insulation at lower levels than any other airport in the UK.
  • the Mayor will work with the Government, Transport for London, the Airports and other stakeholders to improve public transport to and around Heathrow and London City Airports and to reduce the adverse environmental impacts otherwise associated with surface access.
  • the extension of the Docklands Light Railway (now opened), Airport Travel Plans and other measures need to continue to be vigorously pursued by airport employers to reduce the impact of private road vehicles in pursuit of overall environmental improvement.
  • aircraft manoeuvre over many parts of London. It may not always be clear to people in Tower Hamlets or Greenwich, for example, whether the aircraft they see are using Heathrow, London City or other airports.

In 2008 the Greater London Authority published two technical reports on noise and physical health risk in London from road traffic and aircraft noise. Both the Phase One and Phase Two reports are available on this site.

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Dornier 328 on the apron - August 2008Attitudes to Noise from Aircraft Sources in England (ANASE)

This long running study was launched in May 2001.  Its aim was to research how people feel about aircraft noise and especially how they perceive the relationship between noise levels and annoyance, or sleep disturbance at night, and how they would value lower noise levels relative to other environmental factors. For more information about the progress of the study visit the UKACCs website

The results of the Study were finally published by the Department early in November 2007 - the consultants' report, together with peer reviews and Departmental statement papers, have been placed on the DfT website. See also the DfT's press release.

The Department say two key conclusions emerge from the study. First, that people are more annoyed by all levels of aircraft noise than they were in 1985, when the last major study in this field was carried out. Secondly, there is no identifiable threshold at which noise becomes a serious problem. Even relatively low levels of noise can cause some annoyance, which rises as the noise increases.

In December 2007 the Airport, in response to a question from Newham Council in connection with their interim planning application, prepared a note on the impact of ANASE at London City Airport (.pdf, 266kb).

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**  This file is in .pdf format and to view it you will need an Acrobat Reader. This can be obtained free of charge by clicking the "Get Acrobat Reader" icon opposite. 


An independent Consultative Committee established by London City Airport pursuant to Section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982
John Adshead     Secretary: Stuart Innes

Page last modified:14th February 2014