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NGT orders stricter noise pollution control at airports across India

NGT directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to enforce stricter noise pollution controls at airports across India.

By Ground report
New Update
NGT orders stricter noise pollution control at airports across India

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on March 21, 2024, directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to enforce stricter noise pollution controls at airports across India. This decision comes in response to the growing concerns over the adverse effects of noise pollution on residents living near airports.

The NGT has mandated the DGCA to issue circulars to all concerned airports and airlines, instructing them to implement effective noise mitigation measures. These measures are to align with the standards set by a notification dated June 18, 2018. The DGCA must append a copy of the NGT’s judgment to these circulars and ensure compliance within three months.

Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) has proactively issued circulars to all airlines operating at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) and ATC Palam, urging them to adopt best practices for noise reduction. These include updating fleets with quieter aircraft, utilizing advanced technologies, and refining operational procedures to minimize noise during aircraft operations. However, this initiative is currently limited to airports under DIAL’s management.

The NGT has observed that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has yet to issue similar directives for the airports it maintains. The tribunal has recommended that AAI follow DIAL’s lead and disseminate comparable instructions to all its airports and the airlines operating therein. AAI has been given a two-month deadline to undertake this task following the NGT’s judgment.

Furthermore, the court has proposed that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), in collaboration with the ministries of Urban Development and Aviation, state governments, and relevant departments, should develop provisions to safeguard the future development of airports. These provisions aim to protect residents from involuntary exposure to noise pollution caused by the construction of residential and commercial buildings near new airports under development.

The NGT highlighted the absence of similar directives from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for airports under its management and the airlines operating there. Therefore, the court mandated that AAI issue similar directions to all airports under its purview and ensure compliance from airlines operating at these airports within two months of the judgment.

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