Noise & Safety

Posted on
Why This is a Serious Problem:

Aircraft flying the same route multiple times a day pose a higher safety risk for anyone living near the flight path or attending one of the nearby schools.

The World Health Organization reports that excessive (aircraft and road traffic) noise is unhealthy and creates a harsher environment for work and home. From the report “CONCLUSION: School children exposed to elevated noise level had significantly decreased attention, and social adaptability, and increasing opposing behavior in comparison to school children who were not exposed to elevated noise levels.

Aviation Safety Network Accident Database
A database from the Aviation Safety Network regarding the Pilatus PC-12 which lists 34 PC-12 incidents in the past 17 years resulting in 79 fatalities. Accidents can occur. Flying too low would seem to increase that risk since pilots would have less space and time to recover from errors.
The 3 May 2012, 15 Jan 2012, 16 Oct 2002, 8 July 2001, and 18 May 1998 incidents were due to engine problems. The 5 Jul 2009 incident was due to an exterior panel separating from the aircraft leading to a crash and 4 fatalities. The 26 May 1998 crash was due to a flap asymmetry “situation.” The rest of the incidents were caused by pilot error, weather, or colliding with airport obstacles (a deer in one case).

For Surf Air passengers and mid-peninsula residents the greatest risk is undoubtedly pilot error.

People who live near airports may be at increased risk of high blood pressure
Business Insider June 16, 2017
People who live near airports are at increased risk of high blood pressure, our latest research shows.

We found that exposure to high levels of noise, especially during the night, more than doubles the risk of being diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure). We also found some evidence that aircraft noise may lead to an increased risk of heart arrhythmia and stroke.
Article >>

Noise Measurement Report, 2010, Seattle
Noise data used to calculate 3 metrics – E Average SEL, Average Lmax, and Max Lmax showed the Pilatus PC12 (Surf Air’s chosen plane) as louder than aircraft such as Boeing 737 – 500, Boeing 777-200, McDonnell Douglas DC8 and MD10.

Huge “NORAH” study in Germany finds significant delay in children’s reading due to impact of aircraft noise
One of the largest and most extensive studies on the impact of aircraft noise on health, and on children’s education has been done in Germany.
Frankfurt, 4 November 2014. Children living in areas exposed to high levels of aviation noise learn to read more slowly than children living in quiet locations
Article >>

American Journal of Epidemiology
Exposure-Effect Relations between Aircraft and Road Traffic Noise Exposure at School and Reading Comprehension
“There were three main findings. Firstly, a linear exposure-effect relation was found between aircraft noise exposure at school and impaired reading comprehension… Secondly, the effect of aircraft noise on reading comprehension could not be accounted for by sociodemographic variables… Thirdly, there was no evidence of a relation between road traffic noise at school and reading comprehension.”
Article >>

International Journal of Comparative Psychology
The Effect of Transportation Noise on Health and Cognitive Development:A Review of Recent Evidence
“In summary, there is convincing evidence for non-auditory effects of noise on health and cognition for some outcomes. Evidence for the effect of aircraft noise on children’s cognitive performance is strong. Evidence for health outcomes is increasing and there is consistent evidence for a small but significant effect of transport noise on hypertension and coronary heart disease. Furthermore, there is sufficient evidence for an effect of noise on sleep disturbance.”
Article >>