A Review of the Effects of Aircraft Noise on Wildlife and Humans, Current Control Mechanisms, and the Need for Further Study

Christopher B. Pepper, Marc A. Nascarella, Ronald J. Kendall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Military and civilian aircraft overflights are an issue that may impact the quality of life for millions of United States residents. Aircraft noise annoys many people worldwide and is generally thought to adversely affect some wildlife species. In light of increasing demands being placed on airspace, and because of technological improvements in acoustical testing, there is a need to reexamine the effects of aircraft noise exposure on humans and wildlife. This paper reviews past research, current laws and legislation, and presents an argument for the need to revisit the effects of aircraft noise on humans and wildlife. Some evidence suggests that noise may adversely impact wildlife and humans, however, many of the past studies were inconclusive and based on relatively small sample sizes. Given that aircraft noise abatement legislation has been enacted and because of the recent promulgation of community-based noise awareness programs, future studies should be conducted to resolve public policy problems and debates associated with aircraft noise. The need to further study the effects of aircraft noise on humans and wildlife is critical for creating sustainable land use policies near aircraft installations. Data derived from these studies will be used to create sound public policies that enhance the operational capacity of military and civilian aircraft while reducing the opportunity for human and wildlife exposure to aircraft noise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-432
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2003

Keywords

  • Aircraft
  • Aircraft noise
  • Environmental law
  • Human effects
  • Military
  • Overfights
  • Wildlife effects

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