Industry Working Group on Drone noise recommended by IOA

Industry Working Group on Drone noise recommended by IOA

Posted by
Alex Shaida
Tue, 21/12/2021 - 11:52

As part of a regulatory review of the Future of Transport, UK government consulted on the Future of Flight during the autumn. The review examines areas where regulation is outdated, a barrier to innovation or not designed for new technologies or business models. For flight, potential measures to manage the emerging drone industry are examined.

Responding to the consultation, the Institute of Acoustics recognises that growing use of new and novel aircraft in coming years has potential to cause noise disturbance and health impacts for communities across the UK. The inclusion of options for regulating noise in the consultation is therefore welcomed, with IOA agreeing this needs to be addressed in accordance with the Noise Policy Statement for England (NPSE). The Institute also advise that further research is required into the impacts of noise from drones – given acoustic properties and modes of operation are very different to existing aircraft. On noise measurement, it is considered sensitive receptors – including residential properties, care facilities, schools and places of worship should be monitored. Given commercial aircraft are exempt from statutory nuisance, it is not yet clear whether drone operations would also be exempt – so clarity is sought here.

It is agreed the current regulatory framework for managing aircraft noise is a good starting point for regulation, and suggested that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Balanced Approach provides a good model that could be adapted for drone noise – given it covers noise at source; land use planning; operating procedures and operating restrictions.

In conclusion IOA recommend an industry working group is set up to develop guidance on the prediction, assessment, monitoring and management of drone noise, to develop a common, robust and comprehensive understanding of what can and should be done to minimise noise disturbance in accordance with national policy.

Closed consultation overview: Future of transport regulatory review: future of flight - GOV.UK (

See attached IOA response document.

You can also attend an upcoming topic related IOA event Noise & Vibration Engineering Drone Noise: The next public health challenge on 9 February 2022.