11/01/2010

Air Mauritius this winter: much better departure time

The winter airline timetables show the changed time of the twice-weekly winter flight to Mauritius: 9 pm instead of last year's 10h30 pm. Finally, sanity has prevailed, despite the weak excuses that were given a year ago.


During the winter of 2009/2010 the flights to Mauritius with the very noisy Airbus A340-300 were scheduled once or twice a week at 10h30 pm. This was the only scheduled flight after 10 pm, and was very rarely departing on time, so people living around the airport were too often hearing a very loud take-off between 11pm and midnight, sometimes even after midnight.

At the regular meetings of the airport commission in which the ARAG representative raised the subject of this unacceptable late departure, he was informed that to have planned this departure earlier in the evening was not possible: the only alternative would be to have refused this flight. That could, of course, be interpreted as a loss of face, so presumably was not ever realistic.

The aircraft was also late because it came via Frankfurt, sometimes being delayed there. When I wrote to the Geneva airport director, inviting him to contact his equivalent there and explain the importance of this flight, I was quickly told that it was none of my business. In actual fact, this contact was later done, and there is some evidence that delays at Frankfurt have diminished.

Somehow, in the meantime, advancing the departure time by 90 munutes has become possible (maybe Harry Potter recited the advansus spell on a visit here!) Therefore, if we are fortunate (no snowstorms, strikes, technical problems or whatever), this departure should normally take place before 10 pm. Time will tell.

The aircraft will, however, continue to be extremely noisy and to climb extremely slowly. Its different trajectories that the pilots have followed in order to get high enough to cross the alps have already been summarised on the ARAG Web site.

20101022_MAU59_dec.jpg However, on the 22 October, the pilot managed to add a new one, in which he flew over no less than four of the ARAG noise measurement stations: Vernier(twice), Meyrin, Ferney Voltaire and Versoix Mairie. Next time, he might then raise the number to 5 by continuing over Nernier!

Sleep well!

13:33 Posted in Noisy aircraft | Permalink | Comments (2) | Tags: mauritius, geneva, airport | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

Comments

I don't know since when you live in the region, but I've lived for 25 years at a distance of 1 km from the airport. Thus I've experienced late night departures, especially when the now defunct Swissair used to operate flights out of Geneva to Johannesburg and on the Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo-Buenos Aires route three times a week with B747s/DC-10-30s for the first and DC-10-30ERs for the South American route. Both later upgraded to MD-11s. These flights had a 23:40 and 23:25 gate departure hour respectively. They were noisy, much more than the A340 that I've also experienced back then.

I do remember too when Air Mauritius used to send B747SPs to Geneva. They were much more noisy than their current aircraft both on take off and while gaining altitude over the city. Back in the second half of the '90s, Swissair used to have cargo flights out of Geneva with departure times around 10pm. These flights were operated by DC-10s. No need to say they could easily be considered as very noisy especially in a direct comparison with a fully-laden A340.

Now I live down-town since more than a decade, from where I can still see and hear (especially when the atmospheric pressure is low) flights departing and arriving at GVA, including the Air Mauritius one. All I can say is despite all the noise late night flights did and still do, they never were such a pain in the ass, while living 1 km from the airport, as are car drivers using their horns for the fun of it or out of sheer stupidity, in the city and even after midnight.

Posted by: Patrick | 11/01/2010

I've lived since 1972 less than 1km from the airport (in Meyrin). I remember those flights to Jo'burg: even sent my kids on one once.
The Air Mauritius flight IS very noisy and DID often fly over Vernier or Versoix VERY late. Things should be better this year (apart from the noise!).
I did once spend an evening with a friend who had a flat in the rue de la Servette, so I appreciate the deleterious effects of road transport. However, I do not subscribe to the view that one should not try to put a stop to bad things because there are even worse things somewhere else!
I suspect that a driver honking after midnight would, if he was identified by the police, get a contravention. Not so the aircraft!

Posted by: Mike Gerard | 11/03/2010

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