10/08/2010

At Schiphol a new noise measurement calculation scheme to allow more flights

According to the Swiss radio programme Urbanités, the Dutch authorities hope to raise the capacity of Schiphol airport by another 100,000 flights per year with new runways and a new method of noise calculations. Explanation!


The radio programme in question was broadcast on Monday, 4 October 2010, and it included an item on a two-year experiment to allow a growth in the annual traffic without any increased noise. According to the introduction of the radio program,
"l’aéroport vise désormais une circulation de 520′000 avions contre 420′000 actuellement, et ce grâce à un nouveau mode de calcul des nuisances sonores".

I listened carefully (several times!) to this emission, and picked out some details: I may have also missed some, so you can listen to the programme on the Web. My understanding is that part of the plan is to replace the current (old!) noise measurement system by a new one, on the basis that the methodology of this old system is too complicated and impenetrable. Another part of the plan involves two new runways, possibly only for landings, which would allow quieter landings by permitting a more regular descent mode, to be combined with new types of tyres which make less noise on landings.

It appears that the whole process is overseen by a consultative body called the Alders platform (chairman Hans Alders), formed in December 2006). In turn, this body works with various parties, one of which is the Schiphol Regional Consultative Committee (CROS), whose aim is come up with solutions for preventing avoidable nuisance within the existing legal requirements for noise, safety and emissions. This latter committee is probably the equivalent of the Geneva Consultative Commission pour la Lutte contre les Nuisances dues au Trafic Aérien (CCLNTA). In turn, CROS hosts administrators and residents of 35 municipalities and four provinces.

I am trying to get more information on all of the above topics, though my inability to read documents in Dutch is somewhat of a handicap! Agreed, there are many tools for translation: mine (supposedly one of the better ones, for which I paid real money) gives the following translation

the aviation parties and the governments have made agreements concerning measures to limit the embarrassment and the quality of the environment to improve

As part of my discovery efforts, I found that it is possible to see all of the noise measurement stations around the airport and, by passing the mouse icon over any of them, to see what is their noise measurement. A far cry from the attitude of the Geneva airport management, which stopped putting any indication of noise measurement on its web site some years ago!

I will try to get more information. In the meantime, as a point of interest, this radio programme will be replaced by a new one, called Intercités, as from next Monday morning.

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