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Managing night-time construction noise at London City Airport

Starting in March 2016, London City Airport (LCA) has undertaken improvement works and we are pleased to have provided noise monitoring throughout the project. The main works have included overlaying the existing runway surface and widening and reinforcement of the taxiways, all of which have taken place at night so as not to disturb the airport’s operations. During works such as these, there is an obligation to minimise the impact of noise generated by these construction activities on local residents.

Lagan Construction International contracted Anderson Acoustics as acoustic consultants to assess the noise arising from the planned works. As part of the Section 61 (S61) consent process, continuous noise monitoring was requested with weekly reports to be issued to Newham Council as confirmation of compliance and evidence that the works were being undertaken within the agreed noise boundaries. We installed unattended noise monitoring equipment on the roof of residential buildings on the University of East London, directly overlooking the eastern end of the runway.

The scope of our involvement on this project quickly extended beyond continuous unattended noise monitoring with weekly reporting, to include night-time attended monitoring and attended source measurements at multiple locations with residential receptors surrounding the airport. Following the initial S61 consent, we also undertook further assessments to cover the main works as well as dispensations and variations for minor changes to the overall timescale, as and when additional works were requested by LCA. We liaised directly with Newham council to explain the noise issues around the planned works, as well as to demonstrate how to apply Best Practicable Means (BPM) and how BPM is prioritised and implemented.

Compliance with strict noise limits at night is a challenge, particularly given the scale and type of construction works involved. The runway resurfacing included several stages, including milling of the existing runway surface, laying of the new tarmac surface and cleaning of the runway prior to handover back to the airport for their daytime operations using multiple road sweepers. This required the scheduling of specific works throughout different periods of the night, so concurrent operation of plant was minimised wherever possible in order to comply with the noise limits at the residential receptors, which were set at 55 dB LAeq,15 mins

Anderson Acoustics are experts in reducing project risk and costs associated with construction noise and vibration. Our London Bridge and Brighton based consultants support construction clients across the UK including works for Network Rail, Thames Tideway and Crossrail. We also provide Complaints, Community Engagement and Helpdesk services for the construction and aviation sectors.

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