This study aimed at investigating aircraft noise exposure levels, their annoyance, and potential health effects among communities living within airport catchment areas during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both field measurements and an online survey approach were used to investigate aircraft noise exposure levels, annoyance, and general health effects among residents living near Muscat International Airport (MCT) in Muscat, Oman, amid the COVID-19 period. The study found a drastic decline in aircraft noise levels due to the introduction of COVID-19 intervention measures such as lockdowns, social distancing, and closure of airports. In June 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, average daily aircraft noise levels of LAeq (39.9 dB(A)) and Lmax (49.7 dB(A)) was observed compared to the previous year (April–May 2019) of 58.5 and 76.8 dB(A), indicating aircraft noise reductions level of 32% and 35%, respectively. The results of the online social survey among 187 participants showed that most (58.8%) of the respondents did not feel that the level of noise produced by aircraft causes annoyance. During the day, the vast majority of the interviewees did not complain of any annoyance during the morning (45.5%), afternoon (39.6%), and evening (31%) with only < 4% of residents have reported a very high degree of annoyance of during COVID-19 pandemic period. Very few people (17%) did complain of experiencing general health problems while 29% did not know of any potential health effects that could be attributed to aircraft noise exposures. Aircraft noise annoyance complaints among the As-Seeb residents during the pre-COVID-19 pandemic periods were reported to be extremely high reaching about 84% compared to 41% during this current COVID-19 pandemic period. These findings support the need to develop future sustainable noise mitigation policies in order to help reduce noise exposures and improve human health during post-COVID-19 pandemic periods.
- Aircraft noise
- Health effects
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis