True cost of noise

The government’s not-so-secret spreadsheet (see Noise explanation and notes paras 1-4, 13) goes further than showing the number of people who would be exposed to increased noise. It calculates a monetary or economic cost of noise impacts, including sleep disturbance, daytime disturbance/annoyance and health.

These figures are approximate but are very telling.

In the year 2030 alone, the estimated economic cost of noise is £74.3 million.

See notes paras 13, 14a

This is the cost that would be imposed on society by Heathrow and the airlines as a result of a third runway. Tellingly, there there is no proposal by the government to make Heathrow or the airlines compensate those affected by anything like the true cost.

This refers just to the extra cost of a third runway. The spreadsheet does not show the full cost of noise from all the runways, but it can be calculated directly from the data.

In the year 2030 alone, the estimated economic cost of noise with two runways is £276.5 million.
With 3 runways it would be £350.8 million.

See  notes paras 14b-14e.

There is no policy by government to make Heathrow or the airlines compensate those affected to anything like the full economic cost. (The NPS suggests there could be a “community fund” of £50 million pa for noise and all other impacts.

According to the government, the extra cost of daytime noise due to a third runway is only 22% of the noise cost of 2 runways.  This is deeply suspicious because a third runway would add nearly 50% to the number of flights and passengers.

The claimed extra cost of night noise is 54%. This is close to the expected figure but it demonstrates that the so-called Night Flight Ban will be ineffective. (See notes para 15a.)

It turns out that the DfT has assumed optimisation of the flight paths with 3 runways but not with 2 runways. (See notes para 15b.) Thereby reducing the apparent gap between the cost of 3 and 2 runways. By this means it understates the extra cost of a third runway and therefore increases the claimed net economic benefit of the entire project.  (See notes paras 15b-15d.)

So who is responsible for this misinformation and cover-up? Here’s who.

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