More protection against aircraft noise?

On 7th June 2007, the “Act to improve the protection against aircraft noise around airports” came into force (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 986). For the first time, values for aircraft noise which have also to be considered in proceedings for official approval of a plan for a public works project were legally binding limited. But there is a question mark whether the law really protects the affected population more against the noise than before.

According to that, the law for example “limits” the continuous noise level at night at civil airfields to 53 dB (A) when the window is tilted, while the planning practice, as the proceedings for official approval of a plan for the civil airport Berlin-Schönefeld and the development of civil airport Leipzig / Halle Airport show, has already adjusted to values between 40 dB (A) and 50 dB (A). Moreover, neither planning- nor health care reasons justify that the law grants military airfields additional values of 3 dB (A) for the noise occurring during the day.