Health Effects of Aircraft Noise

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There can be health related consequences of exposure to community noise. For example, cardiovascular effects that may arise as a consequence of stress caused by noise, sleep disturbance where sleep patterns are disturbed and conscious and premature awakenings may occur, and noise related annoyance that can cause negative emotions. Noise can also cause cognitive impairment in children, which can lead to a subsequent impairment in the quality of life.

To optimize airport development, it is important to be able to quantify the impact of noise accurately so that a realistic cost-benefit analysis of a proposed development can be performed. In many cases, hedonistic measures of noise impact, such as differences in house prices in noise exposed vs. non-exposed communities are used. But, by using such an approach, is the true cost of the noise being determined, or are there more serious health effects caused by environmental noise exposure, perhaps not fully understood by people living in communities, that ultimately lead to a shortened life span and/or reduced quality of life? If so, at what noise level do these effects begin to occur and how do they grow with increasing noise levels?

Project 19 was completed with a review of the health effects of noise literature, particularly that portion related to aircraft noise, and a detailed examination of the basis for the findings reported in these recent meta-analysis studies was published in a report, which may be downloaded below.

Projects 25 and 44 are conducting additional aviation noise impact research.


The long term objective of health effects of noise exposure research would be models for estimating aviation noise health impact from predictions of noise exposure. The outcome for the specific research conducted and funded by PARTNER was a survey of the literature relevant to potential health impacts of exposure to aircraft noise. This report can be downloaded below.

Participating university

Purdue University

Lead investigator

Patricia Davies, Ray W. Herrick Laboratories, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University,

Project manager

Mehmet Marsan,


• A Review of the Literature Related to Potential Heath Effects of Aircraft Noise. PARTNER Project 19 final report. Hales Swift. July 2010. Report No. PARTNER-COE-2010-003 Download (pdf 1.3M)