European Union Member StatesÂ have backed revision of EU rules covering noise at airports.
A meeting of the European Council covering transport issues has seen transport ministers support new measures covering noise from airports.
The measures, which will see the repeal of Directive 2002/30/EC and its replacement by a new regulation, are being portrayed by the Commission as a balancing act between the need to provide more air transport and to control noise from airports.
They will now go for consideration by the European Parliament.
Speaking after the European Union Council meeting yesterday (June 7 2012) in Luxembourgh, Siim Kallas, the European Commission vice-president in charge of transport, thanked the Danish Presidency for its â€œenergetic management of the Better Airports proposals, which has now seen agreement reached by the Council both for groundhandling (on 22 March) and today for noise.â€
Mr Siim continued: “Transport ministers have been able to reach a general approach on this politically sensitive issue which is an important step. Decisions on noise restrictions will remain clearly for Member States, but I am also conscious of the impact of restrictions on the aviation network. So we have to ensure a process which is fair and which respects international rules.”
Originally, the Commission on 1 December 2011 adopted a proposal for a regulation on noise-related operating restrictions, in the context of the “Better airports package”, together with proposals on groundhandling and airport slots.
The Commission said, after yesterdayâ€™s meeting: â€œAir traffic noise is affecting the quality of life of citizens in the vicinity of airports. At the same time, the travelling public wants to maintain a large choice of air services and aviation is a regional engine for growth. The challenge is to strike the balance between these two objectives and take more evidence-based decisions, with due respect for the global character of aviation. The proposal also makes it possible to phase out the noisiest aircraft of the fleet, which contribute in a disproportionate way to air traffic noise.â€
And, the Commission said that the main aspects of its proposal are: