Airports are noisy and the activities surrounding them can be disruptive to the people living and working in the vicinity and under the flight paths. Most airports operate 24/7, so noise from aircraft take-off and landing can seriously affects people’s ability to sleep, communicate, and relax – leading to increased stress and deteriorating health. Community concerns and the need to meet regulatory requirements are therefore major issues for airport operators, and can significantly influence the growth of the aviation industry.
Airport noise management
Airports can address the environmental issues and minimize noise exposure through a range of initiatives based on the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) balanced approach to aircraft noise management. To address the noise problem cost-effectively, this balances noise reduction initiatives such as transition to quieter aircraft, developing flight plans to minimize flying at sensitive times and over residential areas, with noise abatement operational procedures and operating restrictions. Detailed noise and flight data on aircraft flight tracks and operators thus provides vital input into the overall noise management efforts. Permanently mounted outdoor microphones linked to centralized computer systems allow tracking of noise in real-time, and remote investigation of noise limits or flight-path breaches.
Airport expansion and noise complaints
New operations and airport growth typically lead airports along a noise management progression curve. Traffic increases, flight procedure changes, and new terminals and runways can alter an airport’s noise footprint. However, community concerns about aircraft noise are the biggest obstacle to the future growth of the aviation industry. Managed badly, noise factors can lead to rejection or delays in expansion projects, underutilized infrastructure, or worse, restrictions that shrink the industry. Beyond the minimum noise monitoring requirements for planning permission or noise abatement rules, best-practice programmes aim to build trust and expand social license through education and communication. By engaging communities online, residents can see for themselves where aircraft are flying and how much noise they make, and develop trust in the organizations that govern them.
The public is becoming increasingly concerned about how airport activity affects their lives. Airports need to gain and maintain a social license to grow to meet increasing capacity demands. Neglecting to reliably measure, manage and report on environmental impact can result in operating restrictions and constrained growth.
Best practice airport environmental management is not just about reducing noise levels. It is crucial that airports are seen to understand aviation impacts, are able to clearly explain them and show how commitments on controlling impacts are met. Effective programmes build community tolerance both by addressing noise impacts and setting accurate expectations of aviation activities.
ANOMS provides 24/7 noise and flight track monitoring to help monitor and manage environmental impact, establish agreed facts and effectively communicate to set the right expectations. The sophisticated system has helped more than 250 airports of all sizes manage and optimize their environmental capacity.
NoiseDesk is a web-based subscription service that enables airports to easily create and manage a comprehensive noise abatement programs without a dedicated noise office or specialized expertise. It uses the ANOMS platform, and offers an easy upgrade path to the full ANOMS system.
Brüel & Kjær’s NoiseOffice subscription services enable airports to focus on core business while cost-effectively contracting their environmental data and information services, removing the need to establish and maintain this expertise in-house. NoiseOffice uses our leading-edge solutions including ANOMS and NoiseDesk.
Effective management of noise abatement procedures can substantially improve compliance with policies that reduce environmental impact. Flight track monitoring enables airports to monitor which aircraft are flying where and how they are flying. Poorly performing aircraft and operators are identified, enabling airports to target engagement and education efforts. Performance rates are cost effectively improved and community annoyance reduced.
ANOMS provides 24/7 noise monitoring to help manage and report environmental impact and build community support. ANOMS integrates data to provide insight into:
- Noise exposure
- Flight procedure compliance
- Operational and air traffic control reports
- Complaint handling
- Community relations
ANOMS is based on unmatched R&D and best practices from more than 250 airports customers worldwide.
NoiseDesk is a web-based subscription service and innovative system that connects noise monitoring equipment with other data sources such as flight tracks, weather systems and airport radar. It continuously monitors all aircraft and determines compliance against a range of measures.
Outsource your airport’s flight track monitoring and reporting with our NoiseOffice subscription service. Our experts use Brüel & Kjær’s leading-edge solutions (including ANOMS and NoiseDesk) to reliably monitor procedural operations so airport staff can focus on core business.
Integrated into ANOMS, WebTrak FlyQuiet allows operators to quickly share fact-based flight data transparently. The system audits every flight against noise abatement procedures. Exceptions are flagged and aircraft operators are automatically alerted to help reduce future violations.
AirTrak helps airports accurately compute carbon emissions from aircraft operations including taxiing, holding, landing, take-off and en route. Providing automatic and continuous assessment, it enables airports to assess aviation greenhouse gas emissions and the effectiveness of reduction measures.
Despite significant reductions in the noise exposure from aviation activities, community annoyance continues to grow. Blocked and delayed infrastructure improvements or operational restrictions due to community annoyance leads to unmet demand for capacity at airports.
Best practice airport environmental management strategy is not just about reducing noise levels. It involves activities to address the other factors that drive annoyance. Airports need to be able to engage community stakeholders with complete and credible data. The data needs to be understood by stakeholders. The shared understanding of what is happening builds the trust that allows for a deeper and richer engagement that leads to credible noise action plans and reduced annoyance in the community. With the right engagement, tolerance for airport growth is increased and capacity demand met.
NoiseOffice is a subscription based service that gives access to our leading-edge solutions for airport community engagement, including NoiseDesk for noise and flight track monitoring, and WebTrak and WebTrak MyNeighbourhood for community engagement.
- NoiseDesk is a web-based subscription service that enables airports to monitor sound levels and flight tracks to assess environmental impact, implement a noise abatement program and report compliance with regulations. When a complaint or enquiry is received about a particularly loud noise event or disturbance, NoiseDesk can identify the aircraft that may have been responsible. Flight operations near the time of the complaint are loaded in the flight operations list from which they can be selected to show on the NoiseDesk map. NoiseDesk delivers insightful information you can share with your community to show what’s really happening in your airspace.
- WebTrak is a low-risk, low-cost, subscription service for community engagement. It improves and maintains valuable dialogue between airport and community by providing access to flight and noise data, both in real time or historical mode, via the airport’s website. Noise office work is reduced by the community being able to self-serve many enquiries. Complaints handling online is made possible with an automated form sent from a PC, tablet or smartphone.
- WebTrak MyNeighbourhood enables community access to airspace trend information in order to increase their knowledge, trust and tolerance. Allowing public self-service reduces noise office workloads and frees staff up to address the concerns people raise.
Used together, these services not only help record and document noise levels, noise events and noise enquiries and complaints, they can also actively engage the community and other stakeholders in understanding airport noise
> Monitoring noise to reduce impact at CSIA Mumbai (Case study)