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Based on the current microcensus survey 2011 (STATISTIK AUSTRIA, 2013), 40% of Austrians over 15 years - about 2.8 million people - felt disturbed in their home by noise. The extent of noise interference is therefore similar to the survey carried out in 2007.

In Austria, noise control is a so-called cross-sectional legal issue, with responsibilities located in different areas of legal authorities. There is no general law for noise protection. For this reason, numerous provisions on noise emissions and immissions are found in Austrian law.

With the ambient noise legislation, an important step has been set for noise control across Europe. Strategic noise maps form an important basis for noise protection in Austria.

The purpose of the ambient noise directive is to "...prevent and reduce ambient noise as far as is necessary and in particular in cases where the extent of exposure can have a harmful effect on health and the environment or in cases where it is satisfactory."

Information on noise protection is provided on laerminfo.at. The noise maps show the extent of the pollution on high-level transport infrastructure and conurbations and form the basis for action planning. The responsible authorities (bmvit, bmwfw, bmlfuw) are particularly important in providing information about the local noise situation and the increasing personal noise awareness.

As a noise source, the importance of the transport sector has declined slightly, but it is still the dominant cause of noise. The mention of passenger cars as a noise source has declined, but the fact is that one-lane motor vehicles and rail and air traffic have been mentioned more frequently. Regarding other noise sources, it was found that disturbances caused by building sites decreased, but disturbances caused by neighborhoods and localities have increased.

The proportion of people who are disturbed by aircraft noise in Austria has a strong regional dependency. While the Austrian share is around 6% of people affected by noise, 28% or 23% of the noise-impacted inhabitants indicate that air traffic is the cause of the noise disturbance in the southern suburban areas of Vienna and the surrounding region (STATISTIK AUSTRIA 2013).

Sources and further information:

Umweltbundesamt: http://www.umweltbundesamt.at/umweltsituation/laerm/laermschutz/

10.Umweltkontrollbericht: http://www.umweltbundesamt.at/fileadmin/site/umweltkontrolle/2013/ukb2013_08_laerm.pdf

Initiative Lärminfo of the BMLFUW:  http://www.laerminfo.at/