06/05/2011

Aircraft noise in the news

Part of the TSR news program at 7h30 pm last night, 4 June, highlighted the problem of noise around airports and showed one possible Swiss solution. However, even if it works, it will be many years yet before it has an effect.


The news item included part of a report already shown on the TSR2 emission , NOUVO.ch. The introduction to this was with remarks on the complaints of people living near airports and forthcoming European directives on noise. An approximate translation of these remarks is

One of the challenges of the 21st century for the aeronautical industry, faced with the discontent of people living near airports and the new European standards on noise, is to reduce the volume of sound emitted by jet engines.

After an introduction clearly illustrating the problems of living near the Geneva runway flight path, there was a very technical presentation by a representative of SNECMA, followed by a description of an interesting possibility of sound damping being worked on in EPFL Lausanne.

It is actually encouraging to have the problem of noise around airports, in particular Geneva, being seen as sufficiently important to merit a mention in the main news program of the TSR. However, as was said at the end of the report, this solution (even if it works) is many years off.

It is also discouraging to note that the Swiss standards for acceptable noise at night are currently exceeded by a factor of about 10 around Geneva airport, and there are no real signs of this nighttime noise decreasing! You and I are expected to be reasonable after 10pm - turn the TV noise down, no loud parties, don't run a bath, ... - , but the jets keep coming and going just above us.

It's the economy, stupid!

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