Managing Drone Noise – New IOA Briefing

Managing Drone Noise – New IOA Briefing

Posted by
Alex Shaida
Updated Mon, 18/07/2022 - 15:40

The Institute of Acoustics has published a briefing on noise from drones. IOA acknowledge that drones have a wide range of applications, however while safety has been at the forefront of regulation and debate on drones, the potential for disturbance of both people and wildlife by noise from drones has not been thoroughly considered.

Up to 76,000 drones are predicted to be operating in the UK by 2030, with around 628,000 jobs in the drone economy, with applications including postal and medical deliveries.  While offering these benefits, drones also cause noise. Their rotating blades create a mixture of hums and whistles, that is arguably more annoying noise from other modes of transport.

The purpose of a drone the flight can contribute to the noise impact – for example, a drone delivering pizza to a private house is less likely to be tolerated by those affected than a drone generating the same noise impact but carrying medical supplies. To ensure drone noise is measured and managed IOA want to see:

  • The extent of the potential adverse noise impact from drones determined 
  • Control of noise at source – which can be achieved by setting maximum sound levels that can be generated by drones in flight and is an important noise management tool
  • Controlling the number of flights
  • The control of drone flightpaths - for privacy and security, and managing potential impact on wildlife

The IOA Noise from Drones Briefing outlines the noise issues presented by drones, and proposes the measures required for managing their impact.

Full briefing for download att. 'Noise from Drones'