11/10/2010

Vernier is hiring night-time mediators

The article in this newspaper today, 10 November was actually "Vernier va engager des médiateurs de nuit". Although hired for other purposes, they could perhaps protest to the airport about Vernier being a dumping ground for late night flight noise.


Two days ago I demonstrated how, last weekend, Vernier was made to suffer unnecessary night-time noise from aircraft movements over it. This has continued each night this week. Thus, when I saw the above-mentioned headline, I immediately thought that although it is not their specified task, the mediators could well protest at these irritating noise events.

Monday night was, as last Winter, subject to the take-off over Vernier of the very noisy Airbus A340-300 flight to Mauritius. Perhaps thanks in part to a sustained protest campaign by ARAG, this is now scheduled for 9pm, rather than the ridiculous 10.30 pm of last winter. However, it still seems to have difficulty meeting its schedule. The aircraft last Monday was already over an hour late arriving from Frankfurt, and lost another 10 minutes in Geneva. It thus only actually took off at 10.32 pm, generating a noise of about 94 dBA at Vernier: as usual, the noisiest of the day.

It was, however, not the last take-off over Vernier. That honour was reserved for a small Falcon 7X business jet belonging to the Geneva-based company Dasnair SA, which took off at 11.50 pm (and generated a significant noise, perhaps by reason of starting the departure in the middle of the runway). Strangely, on the same Monday one year ago, 9 November 2009, another Dasnair business jet took off just a few minutes earlier. At that time, in response to an enquiry, Dasnair blamed this on the late arrival of the passengers, suggesing that we might care to refer to the registered and approved flight plan. However, the experience of asking the Geneva airport management for such information makes me think that hell will freeze over before any positive reply comes!

Even last night, Tuesday 9 November, the last movement of the day (over Vernier, again) was a take-off at 11.19 pm of a business jet: in this case a small belonging to the charter company JetNetherlands. As usual, this flight did not appear on the departures board: we will see if a query to that company produces any explanation.

In general, queries to non-Swiss operators of these late departure business jets, in a letter in which it is explained that the Swiss Federal Aviation rules request companies not to schedule flights after 10pm, elicits some sort of apology. Swiss companies, however, tend simply to say that such late movements are not forbidden, and so the clients can get them without difficulty.

I wonder if the same Dasnair passengers have booked their flight for Monday 7 November 2011: if so, then will they be late again?

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