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Airport noise issue mulled over

By Chen Xiaoru (Shanghai Daily)

08:23, May 21, 2012

Local authorities are considering reducing the number of large airplanes used at Hongqiao International Airport, in a bid to ease excessive noise complaints from nearby residents, Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) members said yesterday.

Shanghai Urban Construction and Communication Commission agreed to look into the matter, in a recent reply to the city's aviation administration department in charge of large planes at the Hongqiao airport, said CPPCC members Yang Ronghua and Dai Jianguo.

According to Yang and Dai, complaints about noise levels began after the airport's new Terminal 2 was put into use ahead of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. In a proposal earlier this year, the two advised that more large planes be detoured to Shanghai Pudong International Airport to reduce noise levels at Hongqiao.

"Hongqiao airport is close to the city center, and there are many residential communities nearby," Yang told the Global Times yesterday. "The government's slow reaction to the problem has caused fierce conflicts between official departments and the people."

Nearby resident Liu Rongfang said that he and some 7,000 others from two communities about 500 meters from the new airport terminal, have taken turns over the past year to protest against the noise at the airport daily.

"But nothing has come from our efforts," he told the Global Times yesterday. "We're getting tired of protesting, and we're fed up with officials for ignoring our complaint letters."

Two years ago, experts from Beijing-based Tsinghua University were invited by the city's Minhang district government officials to check noise levels in the neighborhoods next to the airport, which resulted in a reading of 81.9 decibels - below the city's 85-decibel limit permitting relocation privileges as local environmental protection authorities previously told residents, according to Liu.

The standard differed from that issued by the nation's environmental protection ministry in 2008, which regulates standard noise pollution, saying that the noise should remain below 45 decibels and 35 decibels during the day and night, respectively.


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