Noise Pollution From Small Planes
by Dr. rer. medic. Verena Maria Weihofen, MPH; Dr. rer. biol. hum. Janice Hegewald, M. Sc.;
Dr. med. Ulrike Euler, M. Sc.; Prof. Dr. med. habil. Peter Schlattmann, M. Sc.; Prof. Dr. med. Hajo Zeeb, M. Sc.;
and Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Seidler, MPH in issue 14/2019
I was pleased to see that the Deutsches Ärzteblatt has tackled this neglected and highly relevant topic. Our world is indeed becoming ever noisier, and in subtle ways, and politicians have thus far not paid adequate attention to this problem. One aspect that has received little attention is increasing noise nuisance caused by small aircraft and other such devices that colonize the airspace.
I live near Heidelberg, where so-called leisure pilots increasingly fly their rounds; in particular, at times (evenings and weekends) when “normal citizens” may like to enjoy the good weather in their gardens. Such small planes produce a level of noise that far exceeds that generated by average road traffic. In addition to the obvious injustice/unfairness—why a minority is allowed to tyrannize the majority, just to have fun—and the resultant increases in blood pressure with all their consequences for people’s health, the question that arises is why politicians have not focused more intensely on this problem. Such kinds of non-auditory noise effects are going to increase drastically in the future. We can expect that in future, our public airspace will be used not only by sports aircraft and tourist helicopters, but also by air taxis and drone transports, as has already been grandiosely announced by our transport minister, very much in accordance with economic interests and such like. Regulations are urgently needed, in the interests of our population and their health.
Prof. Dr. med. Olaf Müller, MPH
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health
Medical School, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany
|1.||Weihofen VM, Hegewald J, Euler U, Schlattmann P, Zeeb H, Seidler A: Aircraft noise and the risk of stroke—a systematic review and meta-analysis. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2019; 116: 237–44 VOLLTEXT|