Noise exposure contours

Summary

The Environmental Research and Consultancy Department (ERCD) of the Civil Aviation Authority estimates the noise exposures around the London airports (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted) on behalf of the Department for Transport. The magnitude and extent of the aircraft noise around these airports are depicted on maps by contours of constant aircraft noise index (Leq) values. The contours are generated by a computer model validated with noise measurements, which calculates the emissions and propagation of noise from arriving and departing air traffic. 

Detail

ERCD produce annual reports on noise exposure contours at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted and previous copies of these  - back to 1997- are available on this website. These are detailed reports and essential reading for those wishing to understand both how noise exposure contours are produced and how they should be interpreted.

The annual reports include small scale diagrams of noise exposure contours which provide an overall impression of their proximity to major towns.

For those wishing to see more detailed representation of noise exposure contours on the ground, ERCD also produces contours overlaid on larger scale Ordnance Survey paper maps ( 1:50,000  ) or, more recently, in AutoCad DXF format (previously supplied on CD-ROM), the latter primarily used by specialist users such as town planners, consultants etc. Both of these have traditionally been available for purchase from the Department as described in the annual reports.

Change to presentation of 2005 contours onwards

Annual reports for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted are available on the website as before.

With effect from 2005, additional representation of noise exposure contours on Ordnance Survey maps has been made available on this website in two formats.

PDF

For the non specialist user in particular, a PDF version of each of the large scale Ordnance Survey maps is available for viewing and downloading. Please note, however, that these are large documents and may take some time to download.

AutoCad DXF

For the specialist user requiring greater detail, AutoCad DXF files are available on the website for download. (These allow the user to plot the contours on any scale of map).

Please note that in order to gain the best reproduction of contours on a larger scale Ordnance Survey map, it is necessary to have software that is capable of reading DXF files.

Please also note that in view of the large size of the files, they have been compressed using WinZip and will need to be 'unzipped' after being downloaded.

Printed Maps

Contours overlaid on large scale Ordnance Survey paper maps (1:50,000) continue to be available, at a charge, as described in the annual reports. Although the information/scale presented is exactly same as in the PDF version (see above), the printed maps are larger.

Further Information

If difficulty is experienced in accessing the contour maps please ring 020 7944 4856.

Noise exposure contours 2009

Noise exposure reports and contours for London airports (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted) in 2009.


Noise exposure contours 2008

Noise exposure reports and contours for London airports (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted) in 2008.


Archived content

The following content is available from the Department for Transport web archive .