Airport environment management
Airports can minimize community annoyance through a range of initiatives based on the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) balanced approach to aircraft noise management.
Airports are noisy and the activities surrounding them can be disruptive to people living and working in the vicinity. Noise from aircraft take-off and landing can affect people’s ability to sleep, communicate and relax – leading to increased stress and deteriorating health. As good corporate citizens, airports want to understand and minimize the impacts while meeting regulatory requirements.
For decades, aviation noise management strategies were founded on the premise that community annoyance is directly linked to noise exposure levels. But it's become clear there are other non-acoustic factors at play. Annoyance can be amplified by unmet community expectations and lack of trust due to poor perceptions of transparency and engagement.
To grow sustainably, airports must ensure that their facts are clear, debate is informed and all voices are heard. The benefits of aviation must balance with the impacts. New technology focused on reducing annoyance magnifiers is playing a key role in helping find this balance.
Airport noise management
Airports can address environmental issues and minimize noise exposure through a range of initiatives based on the ICAO’s balanced approach to aircraft noise management. The aim of the balanced approach is to select optimal ways to minimize the negative impacts on the community while enabling aviation growth.
Reliable data on airport operations and noise exposure is essential to ensure that impacts on the community are understood and to show that agreed actions are implemented. Outdoor noise monitoring terminals provide real-time factual data to address community impact. Accurate flight tracking provides information on where aircraft fly and monitoring of compliance with noise abatement procedures. Trusted information is a vital cornerstone for effective community engagement programmes that reduce annoyance.
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 and subsequent community awareness of airport operations. Community concerns about aircraft noise are the biggest obstacle to the future growth of the aviation industry. Managed badly, community annoyance can lead to the rejection of or delays in expansion projects, underutilized infrastructure or operating restrictions.
Beyond the minimum noise monitoring requirements for planning permissions or noise abatement rules, best-practice programmes aim to build trust and expand social licence through education and communication. By engaging communities online, airports can cost-effectively share data that builds community trust and tolerance.
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. Reliable measurement, management and reporting on environmental impact can prevent operating restrictions and growth restrictions.
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 the data to be reported and effectively communicate to set the right expectations. The sophisticated system helps 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 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.
- 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 makes use of 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 how well pilots are implementing procedures. Poorly performing aircraft and operators are identified, enabling airports to target engagement and education efforts. This is a cost-effective solution for improving performance rates and reducing community annoyance.
- ANOMS provides 24/7 noise and flight-track 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
- NoiseDesk is a web-based subscription service that integrates noise monitoring equipment with other data sources such as flight information, weather systems and airport radar. It continuously monitors all aircraft and determines compliance against a range of measures.
- NoiseOffice is a subscription service that allows you to outsource your airport’s flight track monitoring and reporting. 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.
- 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.
Brüel & Kjær helps airports report operational regulatory compliance and show commitments made in Noise Action Plans are being met by delivering high-quality noise and flight track data. Accurate data is required to ensure noise abatement programs are effective and that stakeholders see the information as credible.
To sustainably grow, reliable data is critical. This information helps airports prove to regulators they are meeting planning conditions and environmental commitments. Credible data on noise exposure and clear compliance with operating conditions is a cornerstone of effective community engagement programs that reduce community annoyance. Integrated, comprehensive data is also required when creating new noise policies and procedures, or analysing existing plans.
Our solutions are built on best practices from 250+ airport clients.
- ANOMS provides accurate sound level and flight track data 24/7 to prove airport compliance with environmental regulations. Its trusted data ensures customizable reports, noise impact reduction strategies and community engagement programs are built on reliable information. The sophisticated solution helps airports know what’s actually happening in their airspace in order to develop future policies and plans.
- NoiseDesk enables airports to easily monitor flight operations to show they’re meeting compliance obligations. The system’s reports work right out of the box. Automatic reports using validated data are created to show how an airport is performing against noise abatement procedures. NoiseDesk data can easily be incorporated into summary reports for neighbours and other stakeholders.
- NoiseOffice services enable airports to focus on core business while cost-effectively contracting their environmental data and information services. Reduce your airport’s NoiseOffice workload with our experts taking care of your compliance reporting needs, using our ANOMS and NoiseDesk solutions. The report data provided is complete, validated, timely and easy to understand.
Despite significant reductions in 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 demands 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.
Each airport has different needs and requirements for noise management, based on its size, local environment and regional and international standards. Brüel & Kjær offers a range of community engagement and complaint-handling solutions that can be used individually or in conjunction in order to best fit the unique needs of your airport.
- WebTrak is a hosted subscription service that enriches community engagement. It improves communication between an airport and its community by providing real-time and historical access to flight and noise data via the airport’s website. The public’s ability to self-serve information reduces noise office work. Online complaint handling is made possible with an automated form sent from a PC, tablet or smartphone.
- WebTrak MyNeighbourhood is a community engagement solution that provides the community with flight-track pattern information, answering questions about aircraft noise trends and flight frequency trends for their neighbourhoods.
- Viewpoint is a focused complaint-handling solution that helps airports effectively manage large volumes of complaints. This is a multi-channel web-based system that reduces staff workloads by providing an automated process system for inquiries made by the community.
- ANOMS is a sophisticated, full-service noise and operations management solution that includes community engagement and complaints handling. The data amassed by this solution enables noise management programmes that reduce community impact and effectively communicate noise-management activities. ANOMS automatically record inquiries and compiles responses that identify the problem aircraft.
- NoiseDesk is an easy-to-use, web-based airport noise monitoring service. This system records every community inquiry and automatically compiles a response identifying the aircraft that caused the complaint. This solution also supplies the data needed to identify trends so that you can communicate mitigation actions to establish expectations and build understanding.
- NoiseOffice is a comprehensive suite of fully managed services that are tailored to supplement community engagement resources. This solution’s services improve community engagement by providing insight into noise management operations, delivering reports based on accurate, validated, relevant data.