Lisbon calls for noise reduction measures due to airplanes

Lisbon calls for noise reduction measures due to airplanes

Lisbon city council has unanimously approved a motion urging the government to demand ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal (the country’s airports manager) to carry out anti-noise works at Humberto Delgado Airport.

“Humberto Delgado Airport, in its current location, has become an unbearable burden; noise prevention and control of noise and air pollution, aimed at safeguarding human health and the wellbeing of local residents, is therefore a fundamental task of the State,” reads the motion.

In this scope, the Lisbon city council wants “ANA to comply, in a short period of time, with its obligations foreseen in the Humberto Delgado Airport noise action plan, approved by APA (Portuguese Environment Agency), regarding measures to reduce the exposure of residents, implementing soundproofing works in buildings directly affected by aircraft noise”.

By proposal of the PCP (Communist Party) councillors, João Ferreira and Ana Jarra, the motion ‘Aeroporto Humberto Delgado: Demand ANA to carry out anti-noise works in Lisbon’ was discussed and voted on Monday in a private meeting of the municipal executive.

The approval of this initiative coincided with the eve of a meeting that the Mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas, was due to have with the Airport Monitoring Commission, said the PCP, hoping that the mayor “will take the opportunity to make this motion known”.

According to the communists, the noise action plan for Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport was presented by ANA for the 2018-2023 period and had approval from APA in 2019, which “was granted on condition that a number of initiatives were carried out, including the implementation of the acoustic insulation programme, in order to minimise the impacts on the city and in particular on the areas located near the airport”.

The motion states that the interventions were planned to be operationalised in two phases, between 2021 and 2023, through a programme under the responsibility of ANA, for the acoustic insulation of buildings most affected by aircraft noise in the capital, but which “did not get off the ground”, with soundproofing works still to be carried out in buildings directly affected, houses or flats with a housing permit, hospitals, schools and universities.

The noise reduction plans result from an assessment made by the relevant entities, through municipal noise maps and strategic noise maps, which present measures for reducing the public’s exposure to noise.

“ANA has not complied with the planned investment, under the noise plan, which aimed to reduce the exposure of residents, in particular those who live or work in areas located near the aircraft landing or take-off corridors, through interventions at the level of windows and façades of the most exposed buildings, as provided in the plan approved by APA,” indicates the motion.

In the document, the PCP noted that noise is a serious source of disturbance to people’s quality of life, especially at night, and “the noise coming from aircraft landings and take-offs causes countless complaints and serious nuisance to the people of Lisbon and neighbouring municipalities on a daily basis”.

As consequences of airport noise in the affected people, the motion points out sleep disturbances, increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and reduced learning capacity of children, producing serious effects on the health and quality of life of citizens.