Thanks to the Francophone summit we saw, and heard, some old aircraft

Some of the representatives of francophone countries in Africa came to Switzerland in rather old, and noisy, aircraft. One even beat the noise record at Vernier!

Several heads of state came to Switzerland in rather old Boeing 727-200 aircraft. In the Swiss noise classification these are rated as Class II (the noisiest class being Class I). During the Summit we also had a late night visit from a Class I aircraft, but this actually made less noise than many of the Class II aircraft.

The noisiest of the Boeing 727-200 was that of the Government of Mali, with registration TZ-MBA. This is a 30-year old aircraft which arrived in Geneva on 22 October at 21h22, leaving on 24 October at 13h49. On the ARAG noise measurement station at Vernier this departure registered 100 dBA, almost certainly a record for non-military aircraft. One wonders what the people of Vernier thought!

The other two similar Boeings were TY-24A,of Benin, and  9Q-CDC, of the Congo. Whilst the Benin aircraft arrived on 20 October (just before midnight) and then waited here before its departure on 24 October, that from the Congo just dropped off its passengers on 22 October and picked them up again on 25 October.

During this period we also had the doubtful pleasure of a Class I Boeing 747-SP of Saudi Arabian Royal Flight, which landed at 22h19 on 21 October and left just one hour later: one can suppose that it dropped off some people for the Summit. Although Boeing 747 aircraft are not normally allowed after 10pm (unless they are delayed), we can suppose that the Swiss Government made various special authorisations for the Summit.

Happily, this latter aircraft was not particularly noisy: quieter in fact than almost all Class II aircraft. This can happen where old aircraft are re-motorised (fitted with new engines) or have a silencing "hush-kit") fitted.

Perhaps the African states do not have the money available for such modifications, or perhaps these things are simply not a priority in Africa!

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