It's the Economy, stupid!
The airport admits to the communes that there will be progressively more noise as the traffic and the number of movements rises.
The admission came on the day of the third information session between the Cantonal authorities and the communes which are, or could be, affected by noise. The main information was reported either by the RTS TV teletext (which stated that the information was announced "en toute discretion"), or the freebie newspaper "20 minutes", or in a short radio announcement. According to these sources, between now and 2030 an extra 6000 people in and around Geneva (including France!) will find themselves living in a zone where aircraft noise exceeds acceptable limits. The consequences of this are an inevitable large drop in property value, stress from overflights and a possible increased air pollution. According to 20 Minutes, even regions around Aire-la-Ville, Chancy, Avully et Cartigny will be affected.
What is not specifically stated, but certainly true, is that people currently living in zones exposed to noise will get more noise. Perhaps some could even reach the "Alarm" limit!
In looking for more information, I find that the main newspapers (Tribune de Genève, Le Temps, Le Matin, Le Courrier) and the RTS TV news emissions seem to have completely ignored this. I ask myself why, and I find several possible answers :-
- The media get lots of revenue from aviation, revenue which they need to survive, so they do not want to upset the applecart.
- Geneva needs the money from the airport, so who cares if a few (thousands of) people live in unacceptable conditions?
- Most people (those living in regions unaffected by aircraft noise) don't want to know about increased noise (but are happy to have lots more cheap flights to anywhere!).
Then there are individual reactions such as :-
- I am used to aircraft noise, which does not bother me (It was proved long ago that, internally, people do NOT get used to aircraft noise!).
- Aircraft are becoming less noisy (try saying that when a big aircraft with 300 passengers takes of on a long-distance flight!).
- People around the airport should have realised long ago what would be the expansion (no-one would have forecast, 50 years ago, what would be this expansion!).
- People in noise zones should simply move elsewhere (but when you remember that Geneva is in a permanent crisis for living accommodation, and that any move inevitably seems to involve paying more money, often for less space!).
- I don't think there is any problem (normally because I already live far from the airport!).
What really seems to me to be a problem is that the sizable minority of people living with aircraft noise (and maybe also other sources of serious noise) will be sacrificed by the majority of people who don't suffer such problems. However, in any society where the majority ignores the plight of significant minorities, tensions build up which, in the long-term, can explode.