07/18/2011

Your early morning call

Sunday: a bad weather forecast, so a late breakfast and a lazy day? My early morning call was an overflight by a departing jet, my late night call an incoming jet at 5 minutes to midnight.


It was actually at two minutes past six yesterday morning, 17 July, that I heard the first outgoing jet aircraft fly over Versoix. I did actually wonder why, since the bad weather forecast had made me think that flights would be taking off in the other direction, over Vernier. I was even more curious when the next, even louder noise came just 25 minutes later, so I checked up on what had happened.

As it turns out, the morning departure, the Swiss flight to Zurich, was the only one of the day to depart over Versoix: the reasons are quite clear, and ought to allow people in the Vernier region to sleep a little later. Not much, however, as between 6h15 am and 7 am they had the doubtful pleasure of 5 overflights of easyJet Switzerland (people going on holiday!).

Late the same evening, both Versoix and Vernier residents suffered. For Versoix, it was predictable, with 11 landings between 11pm and midnight, including one of an aircraft NOT in the least noisy class (a small private jet belonging to NetJets). However, the most noisy one was the very last one (another example of Murphy's law!): an Airbus A320 of Swiss, coming from Barcelona.

Vernier in principle should not have suffered, since no outgoing flights were scheduled after 10pm. Unfortunately, their hopes were shattered by two departures of easyJet UK: a regular flight to London Gatwick (very delayed) and a ferry flight (without passengers) of an Airbus A320, both crossing Vernier at about 11h45 pm. The latter aircraft had been flown in to help out easyJet Switzerland because its own Airbus A320 was over 6 hours late returning from Tel Aviv. As a ferry flight, it is only allowed to depart so late because the airport management now classes it as a commercial (with passengers!) flight! Yet another demonstration of the perils of having very few A320s in the easyJet Switzerland fleet and of the lack of consideration of the airport management for those of us living around the airport.

In the CRINEN judgement to which I recently referred, there is a possibility of a different curfew on weekends and holidays, as well as a more general one for the period between 6am and 7am. Although the latter one is probably not realiseable, the idea of a later start to aircraft movements on a weekend ought to be seriously studied.

A decision in the next few years?

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