Airport noise report backs change to zones

Proposed changes to regulations on noise levels at Dublin Airport have got the backing of local authority management in Fingal County Council ahead of a crucial vote on the issue.

The proposed variation to the County Development Plan, if passed by councillors, would incorporate revised airport noise zones, revise rural housing policy and remove certain “red zone” aircraft approach areas.

The local authority has recommended the proposed changes in a report following a public consultation, the Sunday Independent has learned. The variation will be voted on by county councillors next month and is a key part of passing a new Dublin Airport Masterplan, which will likely be voted on the same day, and which could have far-reaching consequences for the future development of the airport.

The local authority was handed responsibility for the new Aircraft Noise Competent Authority, a regulator which will rule on whether planning restrictions can be overturned to allow DAA to operate night flights on its new runway against the wishes of some residents.

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The move to give responsibility for airport noise control to Fingal was controversial because the airport accounts for as much as 8pc of the county’s revenue base, with councillors raising fears of conflicts of interest.

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