The impact of the Amsterdam aircraft disaster on reported annoyance by aircraft noise and on psychiatric disorders



On 4 October 1992 a plane crashed on the south-eastern (SE) borough of Amsterdam. This study examines the effects of this disaster on the reported annoyance caused by aircraft noise and on psychiatric disorders measured by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), in an ongoing Health Interview Survey (HIS).


In the HIS 5092 people were interviewed; 1006 before the accident and 305 in the SE borough. Odds ratios (OR) were computed comparing the period before the disaster with the 8 months thereafter.


After aircraft crossings restarted (weeks 3-10 after the disaster) 60.0% of the respondents in the disaster borough reported annoyance, compared to 36.8% before the event (crude OR = 2.57, 95% confidence interval (Cl); 2.63-3.04). In the three subsequent 2-month periods these OR for the SE borough steadily decreased. No significant change was found either for the rest of Amsterdam or for the GHQ measure. Logistic regression modelling showed the increase to be highest immediately after the aircraft crossings restarted. (OR = 7.50, 95% Cl: 2.40-23.4).


The results suggest that fear is related to a heightened sensitivity to noise, but indicate that this does not lead to widespread psychiatric disorders. The results further indicate that this HIS was sufficiently sensitive to show changes in annoyance caused by aircraft noise after such a severe incident.

Reijneveld SA | 1994
In: International journal of epidemiology, ISSN 0300-5771 | 23 | 2 | Apr | 333-340
Placement code: 
Yzermans collectie