Although many anglophiles will probably choose to watch THE WEDDING on 29 April on a UK TV emission, not TSR2, they and others might care to watch Nouvo, on TSR2 in the evening, for a report on reducing aircraft noise.

The title of the short report is

Les avions mettent la sourdine

In addition to presenting the situation on the noise produced by the jet engines currently in use, the programme will include an interview with a representative of SNECMA and a researcher at the Lausanne Federal Polytechnic EPFL.

The SNECMA Director for Environmental Affairs, Francis Couillard, in presenting some feasible improvements to a reactor of the Airbus A320 family, reminds us that the overall European objective is to reduce the noise generated by jet engines in 2020 to 50% of that in the 2000 decade.

A promising development is then presented by Hervé Lissek, of EPFL. This consists of introducing miniaturised loudspeakers into the reactors in order to damp down the noise. The demonstration is impressive!

Will this work? Can industry reach, or better, the 2020 target. We may really have to wait until 2020 for the answer, since it is widely recognised that the current generation of short to medium haul jets, such as the Airbus family, will not be replaced before then.

Is there any prospect of the really old and noisy jets being replaced before then? I have doubts, since the number of these jets has hardly varied over the last few years. Things could possibly change if the Swiss Federal Civil Aviation office (OFAC) could decide to redefine the noise categories (last defined in the year 2000), thus significantly increasing the charge levied on these noisy aircraft, but at the rate that things seem to be going, such an update might only be on the same 2020 timescale.

The ARAG suggestion is to shorten the daily operational window for these noisy aircraft. Even if it did not change the daytime noise, at least that would make the nights and early mornings quieter.

The end of the programme, however, reminds us of the present situation!

Back from the Future!

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