Republic of Cyprus

Environmental Noise



One of the main objectives of the European Union's health and environmental protection policy is to protect the public from noise. Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise. Its aim is “to define a common approach intended to avoid, prevent or reduce on a prioritised basis the harmful effects, including annoyance, due to exposure to environmental noise”.

In order to achieve this, the Evaluation and Management of Environmental Noise Laws 2004 to 2007 (hereafter referred to as the Environmental Noise Law), which have harmonized the above Directive, require the following actions:

(1) the determination of exposure to environmental noise, through noise mapping,

(2) the adoption of action plans based upon the noise-mapping results, and

(3) ensuring that information on environmental noise and its effects is made available to the public.


“Environmental noise” means the unwanted or harmful outdoor sound created by human activities, including noise emitted by means of transport, road traffic, rail traffic, air traffic, and from sites of industrial activity.

The Environmental Noise Law covers the noise to which humans are exposed, especially in built-up areas, in public parks or other quiet areas in agglomerations, in quiet rural areas, as well as near schools, hospitals, and other buildings and areas sensitive to noise. The law does not cover the noises caused by the exposed person, household activities, by neighbours, in the workplace, by vehicles or in military activities within military areas.

Exposure to unwanted noise threatens public health, with an impact on society. In particular, it can cause sleep disturbances, affect cognitive function in students and cause normal stress reactions. Stress can trigger the production of certain hormones which may lead to a variety of intermediate effects, including increased blood pressure. Over a prolonged period of exposure these effects may, in turn, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and psychiatric disorders.

The effects of exposure to noise affect the national economy, leading to a loss of worker productivity, burden on health care systems and depreciation of the value of real estate.


The Department of Environment, as the authority responsible for the implementation of the Environmental Noise Law, sees to the preparation of strategic noise maps and action plans and reports to the European Commission every five years.

THE first cycle of noise mapping was completed in 2008 and the second in May 2015. More specifically, the first cycle concerned the maximum limits, for major roads which have more than six million vehicle passages a year, for the agglomerations of Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos. Respectively, the second cycle concerns the minimum limits for major roads with more than three million vehicle passages a year, for the agglomerations of Nicosia, Limassol with a population of over 100,000 inhabitants.

For the noise mapping of the second cycle, 85 (24 hour) audio recordings of noise indicators (Lden, Lday, Levening & Lnight) where made, namely 50 and 35 measurements for the agglomerations in Nicosia and Limassol, respectively, with the use of special motor noise monitoring stations. At the same time, an environmental and traffic noise prediction software (CadnaA) was used to supplement strategic noise maps. The method of calculating road traffic noise is the French national method of calculation “NMPB-Routes-96 (SERRA-CERTU-LCPC-CSTB)”.

In the first cyle no noise was estimated from Larnaca and Paphos airports because fewer than 50,000 movements (lift-off and landings) were recorded annually. Nevertheless, the Department of Health, Safety and Environment of Hermes Airport has developed Strategic Noise Maps for the international airports in Larnaca and Paphos. These maps show the expected noise values for a period of 10 years from the date of their preparation (until 2018 for Larnaca airport and until 2020 for the Paphos airport).


In the context of strategic noise mapping the limits of 70 dB (A) and 60 dB (A) were proposed, for the day-evening-night noise indicator (Lden) and night-time noise indicator (Lnight), respectively, for the major roads in areas of pure and/or mixed residence. Observing the results of mapping, the population exposed to more than 70 dB(A) Lden and 60 dB(A) Lnight was estimated at 5.9% and 6.4% respectively for the Agglomerations of Nicosia and 5.2% and 5.9% for the Limassol Agglomerations.

In particular, the results in the Nicosia agglomerations are as follows:

    • The assessment of road traffic noise in the Nicosia agglomerations reveals that 14,378 (5.9%) people are exposed to noise over 70dB during the day-evening-night (Lden), while 15,659 (6.4%) people are exposed to noise over 60dB at night (Lnight).
    • The assessment of noise due to industrial activities in the Nicosia agglomerations reveals that 66 (̴0.0%) people are exposed to noise over 70dB during the day-evening-night (Lden), while 254 (0.1%) people are exposed to noise over 60dB at night (Lnight).
Accordingly, the results in the Limassol agglomerations are as follows:
    • The assessment of road traffic noise in the Limassol agglomerations reveals that 9,692 (5.2%) people are exposed to noise over 70dB during the day-evening-night (Lden), while 11,078 (5.9%) people are exposed to noise over 60dB at night (Lnight)
    • The assessment of noise due to industrial/port activities in the Limassol agglomerations reveals that 37 (̴0.0%) people are exposed to noise over 70dB during the day-evening-night (Lden), while 149 (0.1%) people are exposed to noise over 60dB at night (Lnight)


To address the exposure of the population to high noise levels, an Action Plan was developed concerning the introduction of measures to manage the effects of noise. The public opinion was drawn up for the formulation of the Action Plan during two Seminars carried out by the Department of Environment in cooperation with the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (ETEK) on 19 and 20 March 2015. Successive consultations followed in 2015 with the relevant Ministries / Departments to finalize the Action Plan.

This Plan was authorized by Decree from the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment. Specifically, the measures aim at reducing the noise from road transport, with implementation target: the year 2018 and can be separated into two axes:

A. Measures at source:

    • Road Traffic Management
    • Introduction of electric vehicles
    • Encouraging financial incentives
B. Measures to the recipient:
    • Application of noise-cancelling blankets mainly to sensitive receivers (schools and universities)
    • Implementation of urban planning regulations

The Department of Environment is planning the following actions in relation to the revision of Directive 2002/49 / EC:

    • Harmonization of Directive (EU) 2015/996 establishing common noise assessment methods according to Annex II of the above Directive, by 31 December 2018 at the latest. It includes a set of equations and coefficients to be used for the calculation of noise levels in building faηades.
    • Cooperation with the relevant Departments for the consultation of the draft directive on determining assessment methods for harmful effects, according to Annex III of the above Directive. Methods include dose-effect relationships for a set of health parameters, such as cardiovascular disease, discomfort and sleep disturbance.
    • Coordination of Ministries / Departments for the implementation of the Action Plan of the 2nd Cycle of the Strategic Noise Mapping.
    • Specifying noise limit values for the day-evening-night (Lden) and night (Lnight) indicators, per type of noise (road, rail, aviation, and industrial facilities), the excess of which will involve the intervention of competent authorities for the study or the imposition of noise reduction measures.
    • Defining criteria for quiet areas of agglomerations and the countryside.


International Noise Awareness Day has been celebrated for 20 years and aims to raise public awareness of the impact of noise on hearing and health. The goal of this global campaign, which takes place every year in April, is to alert the general public on the topic of noise and the risks involved.

The Department of Environment, in collaboration with the Laboratory of Experimental Vibrations and Mechanical Signal Processing of the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering of the University of Cyprus, held an event on 30 April 2014 in front of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment. The event’s purpose was to raise public awareness on environmental noise by placing noise measurement tools in Loukis Akritas Avenue, where over 6,000,000 vehicles pass annually. They used a software to present the results of the measurements and distributed leaflets.


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Last Modified at: 07/02/2023 02:31:46 PM
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