Results of the NORAH study presented

_77A9872 (2)The results of the noise impact study NORAH (Noise-Related Annoyance, Cognition and Health), the most comprehensive investigation carried out so far on the effects of air, rail and road traffic on people, were presented to the public on 29 October in Frankfurt.

For almost five years the effects of sound on up to 27,000 participants have been investigated by nine scientific institutions. Research and professional institutions from the areas of medicine, psychology, social science, acoustics and physics joined forces to do so. The studies took place at Frankfurt airport, as well as at comparison sites in Cologne/Bonn, Berlin and Stuttgart. Never before have correlations been examined in such breadth and depth, said Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Executive Board of the Frankfurt Forum Airport and Region (FFR). NORAH is a milestone in noise impact research.

Over 2500 pages of report findings

The Consortium presented over 2500 pages of reports, which must now be thoroughly analyzed. The results so far can essentially be summarized as follows: Statistically, all three modes of transport have a significant effect on the risk of depression. There is no statistically verifiable relationship between aircraft noise and an increase in blood pressure and heart attacks or strokes. The reading and learning behaviour of primary school children is, however, significantly affected by aircraft noise. This newly available scientific evidence must be evaluated in detail over the coming weeks. During the press conference, Johann-Dietrich Wörner appealed for the results to be dealt with ‘very carefully’.

NORAH – Assignment and financing
The contracting authority of the NORAH study is the Environmental and Neighbourhood Establishment GmbH (UNH) in Kelsterbach, a subsidiary company of the State of Hesse. In addition to the State of Hesse, local authorities, Fraport, airline companies and the UNH contributed to the financing of the studies.

Airport and region forum
In 2008, the Hesse State Government decided to set up an airport and region forum (FFR), in which the dialogue between the region and the aviation industry can be continued. At the centre of the discussions was the impact of air traffic in the Rhine-Main region.

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