This short briefing provides information on the Independent Aviation Noise Authority as proposed by the Airports Commission, what it might do and whether it is going to happen.
An Independent Aviation Noise Authority (IANA) with a statutory right to be consulted on flight paths and other operating procedures was one of the recommendations of the Davies Commission into airport capacity, which reported in July 2015.
The Final Report said that an IANA “should be established with a statutory right to be consulted on flight paths and other operating procedures. The authority should be given statutory consultee status and a formal role in monitoring and quality assuring all processes and functions which have an impact on aircraft noise, and in advising central and local Government and the CAA on such issues”. [p32]
Further, the Commission recommended that the Government introduce a noise charge or levy to “incentivise airports to reduce noise and ensure that they make an appropriate contribution to local communities”. [p292] IANA should “advise on the exact design and weighting of a charge and provide guidance or direction on how funds raised are most fairly allocated with regard to noise impacts. This may include an assessment of pre-existing arrangements at different airports. Local people should be able to see clearly how funds are used in their local areas and should have real influence over how money is spent”. [p293]
The Commission listed a number of activities which it believed IANA could undertake:
In December 2015 the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) published a report into the environmental aspects of the Commission’s Final Report. On noise, it recommended that:
We do not know.
In his response to the Commission’s Interim Report, on 15 July 2014, the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, said “the Government believe that it would be more appropriate to consider the role for such a body [IANA] alongside the Commission’s final recommendations on long-term capacity”. [cc66WS]
On 26 November 2015 the Shadow Aviation minister, Richard Burden said: “why cannot the Government now agree in principle with the Davies commission’s proposal for an independent aviation noise authority, with statutory consultation rights? That could be agreed now”. [c1597]
However, the Secretary of State made no reference to IANA in his statement on 14 December 2015.
If the Government undertook to introduce an IANA along the lines that the Commission recommended, it would probably need statutory authority via primary legislation in Parliament, though this is not clear.
In response to a WPQ on 15 October 2015, the Aviation Minister, Robert Goodwill, said: “Any decision to take forward such a body would be subject to consultation on its detailed functions”. [HC11429]
The Government has made no further comment on this matter to date.
HC Library briefing paper, Heathrow Airport, SN1136, 14 December 2015
EAC, The Airports Commission Report: Carbon Emissions, Air Quality and Noise (First Report of Session 2015–16), HC 389, 1 December 2015
Airports Commission, Final Report, 1 July 2015
HC Library briefing paper, Aviation: noise pollution, SN261, 5 June 2014
Airportwatch, “Concerns about the effectiveness of a new aviation noise authority – and the public’s trust in it”, 4 March 2015