Likely Risks If You Live Near An Airport
Manu Joseph travels so frequently that he considers airports his second home. This is precisely why Joseph, a senior marketing professional, is planning to move into a lovely 3BHK unit close to the Lohegaon Airport in Pune. He is ready to pay a premium for this property.
We do not mind paying more for living close to an airport. Because of the convenience it provides, a property close to an airport is often comparatively pricy. But, health practitioners would want you to let go of the convenience for your own wellbeing.
There is a health risk associated with the noise pollution --- higher risk of heart diseases and stroke. Two studies in the British Medical Journal claim that there is sufficient proof to suggest this. One of these studies looked at the Civil Aviation Authority’s data on aircraft sound levels and about 3.6 million people living near London’s Heathrow Airport– their hospital admissions and mortality rates. Another study looked at a sample size of 72,000 people living in the noisiest areas and found that there is a 10-20 per cent greater risk of cardiac problems.
Interviews with people living close to airports or along flight paths have revealed that they often complain of anxiety levels, fluctuations in blood pressure, stress and the entire audio environment around them has to be adjusted likewise which is a grave situation. Some also worry about the effects of aviation gasoline on children living in the vicinity.
In an interview, Eberhard Greiser, professor, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, University of Bremen, said, “Our study shows that the risk of myocardial infarction or a stroke is increased when people are exposed to aircraft noise, especially aircraft noise at night. Noise is a stress factor. And this stress factor induces a higher level of hormones in the body.”
“These stress hormones, especially cortisole, increase your blood pressure. If you're exposed to such stress over a long time, the acute increase of blood pressure becomes hypertension - and with it, all of the possible consequences: myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure and dementia,” he adds.
Health is not the only concern. At times opting for construction close to airports might turn risky.
Recently, the Bombay High Court directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to demolish illegally built floors of a six-storey building at Santa Cruz (West) that obstructed landing and take offs at the domestic airport.
In Jaipur, too, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has put a cap on construction of highrises within 500 feet of the boundary wall of the Jaipur airport. There could be a possibility of demolitions as certain developers constructed buildings above 15 metres after Jaipur Development Authority’s sanction. Reportedly, there are many G+3 structures in Jaipur within unsafe limits at Jagatpura and Siddharth Nagar. Separate byelaws for this area have not been created yet.
It has also been considered that to ease building constructions, colour-coded zonal maps would be evolved for Pune, Jamnagar, Chandigarh and Bagdogra (in the first phase) and later for Patna, Bhubneshwar, Ranchi, Aurangabad, Surat, Vijaywada and Puducherry. The AAI had already released these maps for Trivandrum in August last year. It, therefore, becomes easier for the authorities --- local, municipal, town planning and development --- to sanction plans for structures without an NOC from the AAI where the height is less than or equal to the permissible height.
However, despite the colour coded maps developed for Mumbai, almost every building is being referred to the AAI.
Points to be noted
- It is always important to check with authorities whether the construction site is approved. Unauthorised constructions run the risk of getting demolished in future.
- London’s Heathrow airport that handles over 70 million passengers per year as per estimates in 2013 started the Fly Quiet Scheme. Aircrafts that make a lot of noise were named, shamed and made to pay a hefty fine under the scheme.
- Do note, living near airports is fine as long as you are not along the flight path.
Also read: 7 Iconic Airports Across The Globe