Taking the government to task over lack of norms on noise pollution in residential areas near airports across the country, the National Green Tribunal Tuesday asked: “Why should there not be night flying restrictions at airports?” The principal bench directed the government to file a short note on the steps taken by it to notify noise-level standards for airport noise zones.
It also asked Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to submit a list of flights landing between 10:00 PM and 7:00 AM at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
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The government told the bench it was adopting various aircraft noise mitigation measures like Continuous Descent Approach and mixed mode approach to bring down noise levels at airports. Continuous Descent Approach or Optimised Profile Descent is a landing method designed to reduce fuel consumption and noise. The method is said to reduce noise significantly.
The tribunal had earlier voiced concerns over the government’s failure to fix environmental norms on noise pollution and directed Environment Ministry, DGCA and Central Pollution Control Board to convene a meeting and take a clear decision on the issue.
The Principal Bench was hearing a series of pleas filed by the residents of Vasant Kunj, Bijwasan and Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC), located near the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. The pleas alleged that the noise created by aircraft at the IGI airport was affecting the health of the residents of nearby areas. The hospital has claimed that the noise created by planes were usually between the range of 75 and 94 decibels, which was “clearly beyond the stipulated standards laid down under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000”. The Supreme Court had last November referred the matter to NGT, saying the parties would not claim any interim order before the tribunal.