At Vernier, small is not always beautiful!

For the last few days Vernier residents have continued to suffer from aircraft noise pollution. The culprits are not always the big jets!

A few days ago I reported on how the residents of Vernier had been having the doubtful pleasure of overflights by large and noisy aircraft taking off. Since then, they have continued to suffer, because the takeoff direction has been over their heads for much of the time.

In looking on the noise plots for the ARAG microphone in Vernier, and then checking what were the aircraft whose takeoff corresponded to the noise, there are some surprises (to you, but not to me!).

On Saturday 21 August, the two loudest noises, of 89 dBA, were recorded at 9h28 and 9h37. In between those two was a noise of 74 dBA at 9h31 (because the scales are logarithmic, 89 dBA is 32 times as noisy as 74 dBA!). The three aircraft concerned were a Lufthansa Boeing 737, a Continental Airlines Boeing 767 and a small American Falcon 50 private jet. So which of these only registered only 74 dBA? Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to learn that it was NOT the Falcon 50, but the Lufthansa Boeing 737. In other words, over Vernier the small Falcon 50 was as noisy as a big class III Boeing 767, carrying up to 250 passengers and with a full fuel load, taking off for a transatlantic flight.

Then, on Tuesday 24 August, the last two takeoffs of the evening took place just after 23h, registering 76 dBA and 82 dBA (the latter being four times as noisy as the former). One was an easyJet Boeing 737 returning (well behind schedule) to the UK, the other a small Hawker 800 belonging to NetJets (who run lots of flights to and from Geneva) and which typically carries up to 8 passengers. Which was the noisier? You guessed: the small NetJets Hawker 800.

How does this all happen? Simple! Many small jets start their takeoff near the middle of the very long runway, rather than going to the start of the runway (in these cases, to the Ferney Voltaire end). For the Falcon 50 one could speculate that either the pilot was told to get up and away rapidly in order to clear the runway for another movement, or he was a reserve pilot for the US Air Force just keeping in practice.

The second of the two incidents is perhaps more serious, having taken place late at night. After the takeoff of the NetJets Hawker 800 aircraft there was no other movement on the runway for 15 minutes. Furthermore, this aircraft is in the class of the least noisy aircraft (Class V). Then, also, there are supposed to be rules which pilots are supposed to follow in order to keep noise to a minimum. So why all the noise?

It is also a rather unacceptable fact that, whilst we can identify the easyJet flight as EZY2058, scheduled to leave for Luton at 21h40, we can obtain no information about the NetJets flight. For departures after 23h ARAG regularly queries both the airport management and the companies concerned, reminding them that the OFAC regulations ask them to avoid scheduling departures after 22h (there are no such scheduled departures of the regular airlines established in Geneva). The response of the Geneva airport management is either a minimum of information or none at all, whilst NetJets has never yet even answered a query. Other Swiss companies operating private jets have simply said that the regulations of OFAC do not forbid scheduling departures up until midnight, so they will do that whenever the client wants it (UK-based companies do often apologise, stating that they try to persuade their clients to avoid such late departures).

I will (again) signal this blog to the airport management, and will report back with any answer, but don't hold your breath waiting!

08:41 Posted in Noisy aircraft | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: airport, geneva, noise, netjets, vernier | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook


It is getting funnier every day. Keep it up!!

Posted by: ML | 08/26/2010

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