In a major city like Berlin, the population is subjected to a variety of noise sources. Depending on the duration and intensity of the impact, noise can lead to a variety of problems (for further information about the definition and perception of noise, cf. Map 07.02 Traffic Noise 2005 Edition or Wikipedia 2007 “Noise Pollution”).
For a not insignificant number of residents, the environmental noise produced by various noise sources constitutes the primary environmental impact. A recent measurement of the noise situation in Berlin focused on traffic noise was carried out in the context of the implementation of the EU Environmental Noise Directive. The extensive results are published version in Map 07.05 Strategic Noise Maps (2007 Edition). This also ascertained the number of people burdened in their homes by aircraft noise from Tegel Airport.
Germany has no general law for protection against noise, but rather a variety of legal regulations and stipulations (UBA 2007) designed to provide solutions to the noise problem.
For the area of air traffic, the Law for Protection against Aircraft Noise applies, which stipulates noise prevention zones by statutory order with consent of the Bundesrat (the upper house of the federal parliament) for all commercial airports in the regular flight traffic network, and for all military air bases with jet operations.
The purpose of the Law according to §1 of the same is “to ensure structural use restrictions and structural soundproofing in the surroundings of airports, for the protection of the general public and of the neighbourhood from dangers, considerable disturbance or considerable annoyance, due to aircraft noise”. In addition, §5 of the Law contains regulations for building bans in noise prevention zones. On the other hand, the Aircraft Noise Law does not stipulate any immissions ceilings as per the Federal Immissions Law.
The flight noise prevention law dates from 1971, and was hence no longer adequate to present requirements, considering the enormous changes in air traffic since that time. A new version of the law has been in effect since 1 June 2007, the essential components of which provide for stricter limits for noise prevention zones, as well as for the first time defining night protection zones for airports with night air traffic (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.), including a definition of maximum levels for aircraft noise-related, with a frequency factor.
For the Berlin airport Tegel, the existing noise prevention zones do not have to be established anew, since the airport in question meet the requirement of §4 (7) of the Law for Protection against Aircraft Noise, according to which no noise prevention zones need be newly established the airport in question is to be closed within a period of 10 years after presentation of a requirement to establish such a zone (in this case, 2009), for which shutdown the administrative procedure has already begun.
The Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport (BBI), which is under construction, does not fall into the categories “new” or “fundamentally structurally changed”, due to the time of the adoption of its plan.
The noise protection zones shown below and illustrated in the map of Berlin-Schönefeld Airport were ascertained on the basis of flight movements at the airport currently in operation.
They do not refer to the Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport (BBI), which is currently under construction.
The level of additional noise from the operation of the new BBI Airport will depend largely on the determination of future flight paths.
For the current status of proposed noise protection measures, please see the Ministry of Environment, Health and Consumer Protection, Brandenburg (MUGV).