Advances in technology have seen plane routes become more efficient in terms of time, but according to a study conducted by academics at Columbia University, this comes at a cost. The results indicate that a change in flight pattern at LaGuardia International Airport has had a negative impact on the health of local residents.
Thanks to technology, new flight routes are becoming more and more efficient, but according to a study by academics at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, this efficiency may come at a cost.
This research, which has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, indicates that these more time-efficient routes – which are usually operated over areas which are more heavily populated – do have an impact on those who reside in the areas over which these flight paths operate.
While the technology used to map out these new routes has been beneficial in terms of pollution reduction, cost effectiveness, flight times and preventing accidents, it may “potentially” cause an increase in noise pollution for those on the ground, indicates the study.
As reported by Columbia Magazine, back in 2012, the patterns of flights operating into and out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) were amended. This shift in pattern has, researchers found, resulted in a substantial increase in aircraft noise for those living in certain parts of Queens.
According to the study, this change in flight pattern “increases airplane noise to above 60 decibels (dB) over some of the most densely populated areas of the city.”
The research also indicates that those impacted by the increased noise are at greater risk of stress-related ailments such as cardiovascular disease.
In terms of longer-term recommendations, Professor Peter Meunnig, the study’s lead author, was quoted by the outlet as stating that, “Ideally, airports should be built farther away from urban centers. The next-best option is to use flight patterns that send planes over green space, waterways and industrial areas.”