09/04/2010

easyJet refuses to appear on Infrarouge

The recurrent problems of easyJet were to be the subject for the televised live debate programme Infrarouge on Tuesday 24 August. It did not happen because easyJet refused to send any representative. Why?

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16:22 Posted in easyJet anecdotes | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: easyjet, geneva, airport, haagensen | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

09/01/2010

easyJet problems are NOT because of the unique runway, nor the airport technical services.

Jean-Pierre Jobin, the previous director of Geneva airport, denies that the problems of easyJet are related to having only one runway. I agree with almost all that he says.

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12:55 Posted in easyJet anecdotes | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: easyjet, geneva, airport, runway, skyguide | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

08/27/2010

All "creatures" great and small

The aircraft of Thursday 26 August showed many levels of "great and small". One intrepid Geneva spotter got up early to photograph a great transport aircraft, but not a small flying bicycle!

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09:50 Posted in Special days and notable incidents | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: geneva, airport, cern, galaxy | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

08/26/2010

At Vernier, small is not always beautiful!

For the last few days Vernier residents have continued to suffer from aircraft noise pollution. The culprits are not always the big jets!

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08:41 Posted in Noisy aircraft | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: airport, geneva, noise, netjets, vernier | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

08/25/2010

easyJet to Barcelona: another tale of woe!

A Sunday return flight from Barcelona cancelled for several consecutive Sundays by easyJet "justified by circumstances beyond their control or for reasons of safety".

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10:32 Posted in easyJet anecdotes | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: easyjet, geneva, airport, barcelona | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

08/24/2010

easyJet still making the news

EasyJet problems still continue to be one of the sagas of this 2010 Summer!

 

 

Yesterday morning, Monday 23 August, I listened to the RSR radio programme "Le Grand 8", in which (for the second time in recent weeks) the discussion was on what they called the big serial story in the media this year (le grand feuilleton médiatique de l'été). I then sat over breakfast reading the article in this newspaper which said that the crisis of easyJet is also that of our airport (La crise d'easyJet est aussi celle de Cointrin). Strangely, I have not seen any reaction of the airport management to this  crisis! To cap it all, when I bought my paper this morning, the lady who runs the shop said that easyJet would be the subject for tonight's "Infrarouge" discussion. As it turns out, this latter statement is no longer true: the debate has been replaced by one on whether the seven Swiss State councillors should be elected by the whole Swiss population, rather than just the members of parliament. Clearly, in terms that would be understood by the Swiss who play the card game Jass, easyJet may be the ace of trumps but the Federal Council is the nine of trumps (the knave of trumps is reserved for the UBS doings!).

I have been told that the Infrarouge program has merely been postponed, not cancelled, so I will try to keep tabs on it and tell you when it will be broadcast.

The radio program included, as one of the four invited guests, the previous director of Geneva airport, Jean-Pierre Jobin. Naturally, having been a prime instigator of the arrival of easyJet in Geneva, he tended to defend them in various ways. Now, I have met him on a number of times (our children were at the same school at the same time, and he also has an interest in table tennis) and I have a lot of respect for him, especially since I have always understood that he was particularly concerned with ensuring that the closure time (0h30) of the airport for commercial movements be strictly adhered to. However, I found some of his defence of easyJet to be not entirely accurate, and hence somewhat misleading.

The article in this paper also tended to shift the blame for some of the easyJet problems onto the airport and the fact that there is only the one runway. However, in neither of these affirmations was there any documented evidence to back up any such a blame shift. In actual fact, although June and July haves been very busy this year, each month has seen less traffic than in the corresponding months of 2007 and 2008. At the same time, the aeronautic services of the airport, in particular of SkyGuide, appear to have improved since then.

I will deal with both the radio programme and the TdG article in a future blog, once I have established a number of facts: I do not believe in the old saying that "my mind is made up: do not confuse me with the facts!". Until then I might remind you of what one seasoned easyJet traveller commented on the newspaper article :-

Juste que je m'abstiendrai pour le moment de prendre des vols retour après 18h00,suite à une mauvaise expérience d'un retour de Majorque en juillet !!

Anyone who has sampled the delights of a 2am bus journey from Lyon airport to Geneva airport will no doubt agree with that statement.

 

10:31 Posted in easyJet anecdotes | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: geneva, airport, easyjet | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

08/20/2010

Rare and noisy visitors from Eastern Europe

Local aircraft spotters will be happy to have seen some old Yakovlev aircraft this year, throwbacks to the days of old Soviet Union. One particular one, from Kazakhstan, raises questions.

 

 

There have been six different Yakovlev YAK-42D which have come to Geneva this year. According to Wikipedia, these aircraft were the first aircraft to be produced in the Soviet Union which were powered by modern high-bypass turbofan engines. They date from the start of the 1990 decade, which makes them oldish (though there are many aircraft of that generation still flying with regular airlines). However, they are rather noisy aircraft, being put by the Swiss authorities in noise class II (the noisiest are in class I).

None of the six aircraft appear to have come to Geneva more than once this year. All except one of these are registered in Russia, operated by what I presume to be Russian companies.

The only non-Russian aircraft was from Kazakhstan. This aircraft, with registration UP-Y4201, arrived on 17 July, and was duly registered by the ARAG aircraft movements enquiry system.

Because it was quite an unusual aircraft and country it has been photographed by many aviation enthusiasts, including two at Geneva airport. These photos can be seen HERE and HERE. One of the photographers referred to it as being one of several VIP visitors during that beautiful day!

This aircraft is believed to be owned by the Kazakhstan government, and the aircraft callsign that it used suggests that it was operated by the company called Fly Jet KZ.

What is a little curious is that this company appears to be on the latest version of the European Community banned list, dated 5 July 2010.

No doubt there is a perfectly reasonable explanation!

11:23 Posted in Noisy aircraft | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: aircraft, noise, geneva, airport, yakovlev, yak-42 | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

08/19/2010

easyJet is tops!

For all regular flights leaving Geneva airport the pilot should set a callsign starting with the airline's ICAO code. Sometimes they make mistakes: errare humanum est!

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15:55 Posted in Potpourri | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: aircraft, callsign, geneva, airport, transponder | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

08/16/2010

easyJet (Suisse) annulations, delays and diverted flights : ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

This last week has been absolutely awful for many passengers of easyJet Switzerland: flights cancelled, diverted late at night or operating hours behind schedule. It is high time that the Swiss Civil Aviation Office OFAC read the riot act.

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08:17 Posted in easyJet anecdotes | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: easyjet, geneva, airport, cancellations, delays, edinburgh, bristol | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

08/15/2010

Friday 13th : aircraft noise and a mystery

Friday 13th was unusually bad for aircraft noise: the Boeing 747 cargo plane was even noisier than the Air Mauritius Airbus A340. It also included a mystery noise event: can you help solve it?

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10:46 Posted in Noisy aircraft | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: jade, mauritius, airport, geneva | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

08/13/2010

Another aircraft transponder emergency signal

It seems as iff emergency transmissions from aircraft transponders are like London buses. You wait for ages and then three come along at once!

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08/12/2010

A beautiful Boeing 747 going back to Saudi Arabia

With the start of the Islamic holy Ramadan month, from 11 August to 9 September, many Geneva visitors from the Islamic countries have been returning home, in particular to Saudi Arabia.

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07:39 Posted in Noisy aircraft | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: geneva, airport, boeing 747, saudi, arabia, ramadan | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

08/11/2010

easyJet to Lisbon via Lausanne and Geneva

On Tuesday morning, the easyJet flight to Barcelona turned around shortly after takeoff and came back to Geneva via Lausanne. Can we know the reason?

 

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10:43 Posted in easyJet anecdotes | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: easyjet, lisbon, geneva, airport | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

08/10/2010

The last Sunday night takeoff could have annoyed many people

The last takeoff last Sunday night, of a business jet at 23h28, could have annoyed many people for many reasons

 

On Sunday night, 8 August, the last takeoff of the evening, at 23h28, could have annoyed many people living around the airport, including ones in the Ferney-Voltaire region of France, for several reasons.

As the list of movements after 10pm shows, the last takeoff of the  night was a small Citation 525A business jet, with registration YR-TOY. Not being a regular scheduled flight, this was not shown on the Geneva airport web site list of departures. As such.the general public could not have known about it in advance.

The identification of the aircraft indicates that it is registered in Roumania as belonging to a company called Toyo Motor Group. Such an aircraft can carry up to 10 passengers.

The aircraft had flown into Geneva in the middle of that Sunday. It thus stayed in Geneva for several hours (perhaps just enough time to sample the pleasures of the Geneva August festival).

The official Swiss rules for takeoffs after 10pm state that the flights must be commercial ones. The definition of a commercial flight is one which is not restrictred o a small group of people and for which there is a monetary charge which exceeds the basic costs of the flight. In other words, it should be open to any group of people, who must pay enough money to make a profit for the flight operator. It is nice to know that there are members of the Roumanian population able to afford to come to Geneva for an afternoon in a small private jet!

The final reason that this flight would not have pleased people, particularly residents in the regions of St Genis and Ferney-Voltaire regions, would have been its flight path. Clearly, it needs to go to the east, but the takeoff direction that evening was to the south west (over Vernier). In order to turn towards its destination, the pilot did a U-turn to the right shortly after takeoff, thus going over Satigny, St Genis and Ferney-Voltaire. This trajectory is known by the name KONIL.

Why is this bad? Well, the communes in France which are under this KONIL trajectory have been complaining about the noise from its use for many years (and when I play golf in Bretigny I often understand why!). As a result, the KONIL trajectory has been banned for all particularly noisy aircraft and the Geneva Airport management has agreed that this trajectory will cease to be used after 10pm. It is dfficult to see how 22h28 can be classed as before 10pm!

In summary, a small Roumanian jet comes to Geneva for half a day and then leaves very late at night following a trajectory which should not normally be used after 10pm!

Enough reasons to ask for an explanation? I certainly think so, though I doubt that one would be forthcoming!

08/09/2010

The sound of silence measured in decibels

Scientifically, noise is measured in decibels and can be averaged out over a period. Human perception is different: we are sensitive to short but loud noises, in particular when there is a large difference between the noise and the level of background sound.

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11:57 Posted in Noise around Geneva airport | Permalink | Comments (2) | Tags: silence, noise, geneva, airport | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook