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Dead-of-Night Roar of Jet Engines Spurs India to Consider Curbs

  • India to formulate guidelines on noise levels at airports
  • Studies have linked aircraft noise with heart disease

India is considering restricting the number of flights that can take off or land at airports to cut noise pollution, in line with with several European and American nations, a senior official at India’s aviation regulator said.

The environment ministry is working with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the regulator, to formulate guidelines on the maximum noise levels to be permitted at existing and new airports, the official said, asking not to be identified citing rules.

The regulator is considering the step after residents and hospitals near the New Delhi airport -- India’s busiest -- complained to the National Green Tribunal, the person said. The airport currently has 118 arrivals and 122 departures between 10:01 p.m. and 05:59 a.m., according to the official.

Two 2013 studies linked aircraft noise to higher rates of cardiovascular diseases. While the first study found rates of strokes and heart disease increased with people’s proximity to London’s Heathrow Airport, the second found that U.S. seniors on Medicare who were exposed to the most airplane noise were also more likely to have been hospitalized for heart disease.

India in September 2013 began collecting data on noise levels at airports in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru -- the three biggest airports at the world’s fastest growing aviation market, the official said.

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