While the trafficairport Toulouse-Blagnac recorded a decline of 78% in the second quarter of 2021, business representing in the Toulouse sky. Contacted byIndependent Opinion, the Director of Civil Aviation Safety South (DGAC) Nicolas dubois, one announced resumption of 60% of flights by contribution to the year 2019 from Toulouse airport. For his part, Guillaume Faury, the CEO of Airbus, announced on September 22 a real resumption of short and medium-haul flights on the Toulouse-Blagnac site. Announcements that bring up the thorny issue of air pollution, denounced by residents.
“A disaster” for the residents
It is a particularly controversial subject. In fact, for several years now, residents of Toulouse-Blagnac airport have complained about air pollution. They created the CCNAAT (Collectif Contre les Nuisances Aériennes de l’Agglomération Toulousaine), which brings together individuals and associations opposed to the increase in air traffic at Toulouse-Blagnac airport.
With the various confinements and the marked slowdown in air traffic, residents were able to benefit from the quality of the sound environment. But the activity of Toulouse airport gradually resumed in June, putting an end to this short truce. “For residents, this recovery is a disaster”, deplores Chantal Bière-Seeker, the president of the CCNAAT, contacted by theIndependent Opinion. She continues: “It’s not smart. The increase in polluted air traffic, makes noise and contributes to global warming.” Nevertheless, Nicolas Dubois underlines: “although traffic has picked up well over the past three months, it remains lower than the activity of 2019. The residents have just lost the habit with the confinements.”
A negative impact on health?
Considering air traffic as a “source of noise and atmospheric pollution”, the CCNAAT emphasizes negative effects that he can have on health residents. Mentioning a scientific study called DEBATES, Chantal Beer-Asking states that “air traffic can cause serious damage to public health. For its part, the ecological study DEBATS confirms that an increase in exposure to aircraft noise is associated with “higher death from cardiovascular disease”.
In search of solutions
For the CCNAT, air containment an opportunity to “rethink the transport scheme”. A missed opportunity, according to residents. In order to respond to complaints from residents, the DGAC therefore provides for the implementation of several measures, and in particular a environmental noise prevention plan. Adjustment of trajectories, optimization of descent profiles, solutions for the isolation of homes … Several solutions are currently being studied by the DGAC.
According to Chantal Beer-Ask, “these measures are ineffective”. And to add: “despite the initiatives that the DGAC has already tried to put in place, more and more people are affected by the nuisance from air traffic.” For their part, residents claim, among other things,setting up a time slot without planes, except in an emergency. Nicolas Dubois replied: “European regulations do not allow us to implement this measure to restrict exploitation without a preliminary study setting up the balance between environmental and health issues, but also economic and social issues.” According to the results of the environmental noise prevention plan undertaken by the DGAC, this study could be soon.