Public Engagement in the GEES Disciplines 30 April 2012 Engaging Community and Industry Stakeholders to Promote the Sustainable Development of Airports Callum Thomas
Aviation, City and Regional Development • Regional competitiveness • Knowledge economies • Tourism economies • Access to Global economy • Support multicultural society • In current socio-economic model: Many regional economies highly reliant on air transport.
The Challenge of Aircraft Noise • Airport benefits - significant and spread across regions. • Noise impact - significant but borne locally. • Noise can generate significant opposition leading to constraints upon airport capacity. • Community disturbance can limit the ability of airports to contribute to regional development. • It is in the self interest of the industry to deal with noise.
Largest Airports Close to the Largest Cities Noise affects the daily lives of tens of thousands
Individual Variability • 70% complaints from 4 people. • Different responses from 2 halves of a semi.
Response to Disturbance • Complaint • Legal action (Heathrow) • Direct action (US, Sydney) • Tolerance - Sharing benefit • Silence - no point to complain - fear of complaining • Propensity to take action.
Opposition is Likely to Grow • Attitudes are hardening due to climate change. • Traffic growth will expose more people to noise. • Increasing affluence leading to less tolerance. • Democratisation - more vocal / active opposition. • Increasing expectation of the right to be heard.
How does the airport find the ‘sustainable’ balance? • Reduce Noise Exposure • Increase Community Tolerance • Stakeholder Engagement is the Key to Both
Stakeholder Engagement is Key • Engagement with external stakeholders to identify the nature and extent of impacts requiring attention. • Engagement with internal stakeholders to develop the most appropriate strategic and operational responses. • Finding the long term sustainable balance between the priorities of different stakeholders is key.
Industry partners deliver solutions • Airport, airlines, ATC, ground handlers • Conflicting priorities • operating costs • operational efficiencies • on time operations • Passenger convenience • Need to find optimal solution
Promote Community Tolerance • Acknowledge concerns. • Engage in problem solving • Explain what’s feasible • Examine all options • Cost benefit analysis • Feedback on community influence
Offer Community Guarantees • Provide guarantees. • Agree targets, approach, monitoring. • Deliver on commitments. • Transparent monitoring and reporting • 3rd party auditing • Recourse to court if fail
Documentation E-Newsletters Local media articles Telephone hotlines Exhibitions The Internet Meetings Complaints Surveys / focus groups Consultation committees Workshops / meetings Field visits Stakeholder Engagement Methods
Technical Indicators Single events Peak noise (PNdB) Contours Modelling Community Indicators Number flights Number engine tests Adherence to flight paths Number night flights. Provision of relevant and timely information is key
Let Community Select Indicators • How many aircraft will I get? • How noisy will they be? • How high will they be? • When will I get them? • Will I still be able to use my garden?
Complaints 1. Disturbance / Nuisance • Noise disturbs sleep, leisure, watching TV, reading etc • Emissions - odour and deposits (on washing and pools) • Visual impact - over-flying aircraft or contrails • Loss of tranquillity in remote areas • Road traffic congestion / car parking 2. Fear • Future growth • Air accidents • Health effects arising from air pollution • Loss of value / inability to sell house • Impacts on education 3. Concern • Climate change (synergy - local residents and NGOs)
Focus Groups • Small number views • In depth discussion • Reveals underlying issues
Social Surveys • Widespread sample of attitudes • Puts noise alongside other issues • Feeling Safe • Local Crime • Street Cleanliness • Least Important • Noise from Railways • Access to Jobs • Noise from Aircraft (45%)
Consultative Committees • Composition • Issues within remit • Powers • Evidence of change
How does the Airport Know if it has the Balance Right? • External intervention. • Public protest. • Legal challenge. • Planning delays. • Planning failure. • Closure.
Parting Thought • So How Would You Ensure you have achieved the ‘sustainable or appropriate balance’ between aircraft noise disturbance and the socio-economic benefits that arise from airport growth?