Results of a socio‐acoustic study of human reaction to aircraft noise around Australian airports are described. The relative importance of night, evening, and daytime operations in determining overall reaction is assessed using a correlation analysis procedure. The results indicate that night‐time weightings used in most existing noise exposure indices including NEF and DNL, are too large. However, other evidence suggests that both night and evening weightings should be greater than 0 dB. The optimal weightings found were about 3 dB for night‐time operations and 9 dB for evening operations. However, other considerations indicate that in a practical noise index it may be more reasonable to apply a weighting of about 6 dB during both night and evening hours.

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