Aircraft noise is environmental pollution. Advances in the quietening of aircraft are entirely negated by increases in the number of aircraft and longer airport operating hours. The main factors determining the nuisance are the noise peak levels, the frequency of disturbance and the time of day. Numerous studies underline the negative consequences of living under a flight path.
A 2018 study in Occupational and Environmental Medicine followed 420 people living near an airport in Greece and found that each additional 10 decibels of aircraft noise at night led to a 69 percent increase in the incidence of hypertension.
A 2013 study found a significant increase in hypertension and cardiac-related hospital admissions in communities surrounding 89 airports across the USA. An earlier study at Heathrow Airport in London found a direct line between airport noise exposure and stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Airport noise raises nervous system and cardiovascular levels even among children. A 2005 study published in The Lancet found that for every 10 decibels of increased noise pollution in the surroundings, reading levels for kids fell behind by two months and comprehension faltered proportionately.
During the past decades, the area (footprint) affected by intrusive noise from the typical new subsonic aircraft has been reduced by 90%.