• There’s no getting away from the fact that aviation can be noisy. When aircraft land and take off – and depending on the aircraft and its altitude, as they fly overhead – they produce a considerable amount of noise.

    Aviation noise in the UK

    Nonetheless, aviation noise negatively affects more people in the UK than any other country in Europe. Clearly, the highest levels of noise are experienced close to the busiest airports: noise from Heathrow at a level classified as ‘significantly annoying’ impacts more people than any other airport in Europe.

    The challenge ahead: increasing capacity, reducing noise

    Government and the aviation industry have worked to try and reduce the impact of noise by:

    • creating quieter aircraft
    • restricting the times airports can operate and the routes that can be used, and
    • in some cases, capping the total number of flights that can take place from an airport.

    But with people’s desire to fly consistently growing, there’s a real challenge ahead: how can aviation grow without worsening the impact of aviation noise?

    The pages in this section contain information about the CAA's work with noise, including:

    • How is noise created?
    • What are the effects of noise?
    • How can aviation noise be reduced?
    • How is aviation noise measured?

    Noise and the CAA

    The CAA has three key roles around aviation noise:

    • Airspace management
    • Noise monitoring and information provision
    • Research into the effects of noise and how they can be reduced

    Noise certification

    Standards exist to try and manage aviation noise: aircraft have to obtain a noise certificate, granted by the national regulatory authority – the CAA in the UK – that proves they meet the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards for noise.

    Details of noise certificates for individual UK-registered aircraft can be found on G-INFO, the UK register of civil aircraft.