11/08/2010

Vernier residents under the flight path suffer again!

At this time of year the airlines are usually able to keep to their schedules. This should mean quiet evenings after 10pm for people living under the takeoff direction. However, not always, particularly in Vernier!


The time from the introduction of the winter airline timetables, operating from the Sunday on which we put the clocks back, until the start of the ski season is usually a period when airlines can keep to their published schedules. Even easyJet Switzerland does not always try to keep all of its Geneva-based fleet (currently 10 Airbus A319 and an Airbus 320) operating at all possible hours of the day and night.

Now that the timetables no longer include any regular scheduled departures after 10pm, this means that over the last few days, on which landings normally came in over the lake, whilst takeoffs were over Vernier, the population of Vernier should have had peaceful nights once the last aircraft took off before or  just after 10 pm. However, a check of the ARAG noise measurement station at Vernier shows that this has not quite been the case.

On Friday night, 5 November, the last departure was actually only at 10.30 pm: a delayed departure of the FlyBaboo flight F7227 to Toulouse. Not actually very noisy. However, this was followed at 11.35 pm by a FlyBaboo unscheduled flight, probably returning from Bordeaux, which was allowed to land in the opposite direction, i.e. over Vernier. The airport has stated that such counterflow movements may be authorised, in part to favour the local population: I find it hard to understand the logic!

On Saturday night, 6 November, after four departures between 9 pm and 9.15 pm there only remained the regular Saturday night departure of flight 8J543 (Jet4You) to Casablanca. This had a significant delay, only taking off at 11.18 pm. It is sometimes the case that flights to North Africa are less punctual than one would like, although this particular flight has normally been very punctual. However, the noise made by this Boeing 737-400 (built in 1997 and placed in the category of the least noisy aircraft) was much higher than we would normally expect from this category of aircraft.

On Sunday night, 7 November, the last scheduled departures were very much on time, with the last recorded takeoff noise over Vernier being just a couple of minutes after 10 pm. Regrettably, however, an incoming flight of one of the business jets belonging to the UK-based arm of TAG Aviation wqas actually the last movement of that night, and was another aircraft allowed to land in the opposite direction (over Vernier) at 11.45 pm. It is, of course, possible that it was an important medical flight, but we cannot know this, since neither TAG Aviation nor the Geneva airport management will give any information on late movements of small business jets.

As a result, it can be claimed that, once again, the residents of Vernier are getting a rough deal!

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