Dods EU Alert: Commission confirms Member States' responsibility on airport noise

In response to an EP petition, the Commission concludes that it is up to national or local authorities to evaluate the situation regarding airport noise levels

By Dods EU monitoring

19 Jun 2014

Please follow the link to read a notice to MEPs from the Parliament's Committee on Petitions, related to the following petition:

Petition 0539/2013 by Christopher Burns (French), on behalf of citizens living around the airports, on Airport noise

Summary of the petition:

The petitioner, who lives on the Brussels periphery, requests the European Union to regulate airport noise and adopt stricter measures to protect hundreds of thousands of European citizens living around airports.

The document contains the following conclusion from the Commission:

It is up to the Belgian decision-makers to evaluate the situation regarding the noise levels from the Zaventem airport. In this matter, the Commission provides the Member States with the framework for the assessment of the noise levels.

The Commission bases this response on the notion that local decision-makers are best placed to strike the balance between both aviation and regional policy and public health policy objectives. The Commission also refers to new European legislation on airport noise (recently adopted by the European Parliament and Council) which will link the EU’s noise assessment process even closer with the strategic noise mapping obligations which Member States have under the Environmental Noise Directive.

Please note that if the subject of the original petition concerns an area of activity of the EU, the Committee on Petitions decides what type of action should be taken according to the Rules of Procedure. Depending on the circumstances, the Committee on Petitions may: Ask the Commission to conduct a preliminary investigation and provide information regarding compliance with relevant Community legislation, refer the petition to other Parliament committees for information or further action (e.g. a committee might take account of a petition in its legislative activities), in some exceptional cases prepare and submit a full report to Parliament to be voted upon in plenary, or take any other action considered appropriate to try to resolve an issue or deliver a suitable response to the petitioner.

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