The draft regulation harmonises and strengthens rules on how authorities take decisions to set operating restrictions (including bans on night flights) at EU airports to limit nuisance from aircraft noise. The rules are based on principles agreed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), known as the ‘balanced approach’ to noise management, which is designed to identify the most cost-efficient way of tackling aircraft noise at each airport.

At the initiative of the European Parliament, local authorities would retain their powers to decide on noise-related measures at airports. Moreover, the Commission has been obliged to address health-related aspects of aviation noise. The regulation further harmonises, clarifies and strengthens the common rules on how decisions on noise-related operating restrictions at EU airports are taken. The regulation only applies to larger airports, with more than 50,000 civil aircraft movements per year and does not establish specific noise thresholds, which remain the responsibility of national or local authorities.

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