10/05/2011

Close your bedroom windows!

Last Saturday there were many reactions to an article in this newspaper on noise in Geneva. Two Vernier residents were particularly annoyed by airport noise.


Although the article, entitled "Le bruit de Genève irrite, rend sourd et insomniaque" (Geneva noise irritates, deafens and causes sleeplessness), was about noise in general, two of the people who commented on it had specific complaints that in Vernier the airport noise seems to have significantly worsened. Both claimed that they now absolutely have to sleep with their bedroom windows closed (not ideal in the hot summer months).

The airport authorities constantly say that the noise is actually decreasing. The evidence of their own microphones at two sites in Vernier (Esplanade and Vidollets) does not appear to give any support to this affirmation. Unfortunately, for reasons which I do not yet understand, the results from their microphones have not been available since May 2011.

In their raw form (a table of values for each microphone) it is not easy to understand what they actually mean. To assist in the understanding, ARAG has constantly transformed these values into a graphical form, complete with trend analysis lines, and also installed its own noise measurement station in Vernier. Unlike the airport noise stations, the detailed results of the ARAG station are openly available on the Web.

Without necessarily contributing much to the overall noise, the habit of the Skyguide air controllers to permit the occasional late returning easyJet flight to come in over Vernier when all other incoming flights come in over Versoix, is an extra annoyance. Last Monday night, when the final outgoing flight had left (over Vernier) at around 10pm, a single easyJet Switzerland flight from Lisbon was allowed to come in over Vernier just before 11pm.

20111003_22h Vernier.jpg

Of course, the same sort of thing can happen in the reverse direction, especially for the late Zurich-Geneva Swiss flight (and it did on the following day, affecting Versoix!). It appears that Skyguide do this for reasons of efficiency, but without really considering what the communes think about it.

The actual comments in the Saturday newspaper were as follows (do your own translation if necessary!). Note, however, that I do not consider the final remark as being true.

Vernier n'a jamais été une commune dite calme et reposante... mais j'ai constaté une aggravation sérieuse des pollutions sonores notamment par le décollage des avions ! Ils se suivent à belle cadence de 06h00 à 24h00 ! Cela fait une vingtaine d'années que j'habite ici et j'ai constaté que le bruit s'amplifiait sérieusement. Est-ce que les avions décollent plus bas, ont-ils changé leur axe, les jours de vent sont-ils plus nombreux que les jours de bise ? Habituellement l'été nos fenêtres sont ouvertes, mais pour ne pas devenir "gaga" elles restent bouclées toute l'année !

Absolument d'accord avec vous Gummi, le trafic, l'axe et la cadence ont changé depuis cet été. C'est juste devenu infernal...et il est impossible de dormir fenêtres ouvertes...
Que faire? A qui s'adresser? l'association des riverains de l'aéroport ne concerne que les zones villas à proximité n'est-ce pas?

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