Tue, Apr 16, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Plan for airport noise redress passes committee

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The government would not use 60 decibels as a standard for compensation for the noise generated by aircraft at international airports after a legislative committee yesterday gave preliminary approval to an amendment to the International Airport Park Development Act (國際機場園區發展條例).

Article 14 in the act states that 60 decibels is the standard to decide if a resident living near an international airport should receive compensation for noise created by aircraft departures and landings.

However, a 2015 amendment to the Civil Aviation Act (民用航空法), which changed noise control fees charged to airlines specified in Article 37 to compensation fees, also removed the 60-decibel standard for determining noise pollution, which means that the international airport act needs to be amended.

The area around the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was divided into noise control zones — Level One, Level Two and Level Three — with residents in the Level-Three zone the most affected by airport noise, Taoyuan Department of Environmental Protection section head Huang Bo-hong (黃伯弘) said.

“Some of the residents not in the Level-Three zone are seriously affected by noise every day and hope that they can be compensated the same as those in the Level-Three zone. Those living outside the 60-decibel line hope to be compensated, as they are also affected by noise,” Huang said.

The Taoyuan City Government has been monitoring the noise around the airport since last year to develop standards for compensation, and those living outside the 60-decibel line would be handled as separate cases, he said.

The city has been paying cash as compensation for the noise that the local residents have to tolerate on a daily basis and the system has been working properly, he said.

The money for the compensation comes from the fees that the Taoyuan International Airport Corp collects from airlines, based on the weight of their aircraft and the noise they generate, he said.

The fees have been increasing in recent years, due to the increase in flights at the airport and, last year, the noise control fund reached about NT$550 million (US$17.8 million), he said, adding that 80 percent is used to compensate residents and the rest covers administrative costs.

Noise control fees from other international airports in the nation are collected by the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), and last year they totaled NT$220 million.

Ninety percent of that money was given to the cities and countries where the airports are located, which decide how to spend the funds, and 10 percent went to administrative costs, CAA Director General Lin Kuo-hsien (林國顯) said.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) said the amendment to the Civil Aviation Act only benefited people living near the Taoyuan airport.

People living near other airports should also receive such benefits once the international airport act is amended, Liu said.

While the Transportation Committee has approved the measure, it still must be passed by the full legislature.

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