The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has commissioned a wind tunnel to help aircraft manufacturers measure the noise levels generated by aircraft landing gear. Industry historically has focused on measuring and reducing the noise generated only by engines.
If the FAA reauthorization bill currently under debate in Congress is finally passed in its present form, one provision that it contains could seal the fate of Stage II aircraft operations in the continental U.S., based in part on the efforts of an aviation industry group known as Sound Initiative.
The FAA has awarded contracts valued at $125 million to several manufacturers to develop and demonstrate technologies that will reduce jet aircraft fuel consumption, emissions and noise. The contracts–awarded to Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce North America–are part of the agency’s Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (Cleen) program.
The vice president of Bend, Ore.-based Precise Flight last month expressed disappointment with Peggy Gilligan, the FAA’s Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, for failing to acknowledge the effectiveness of “on-aircraft” devices in deterring birdstrikes.
The European Commission (EC) has issued revised noise proposals that abandon its earlier demands for a blanket ban on hush-kitted aircraft with mtow of more than 75,000 lb using any airports in the 15-state European Union (EU) after this coming April. But the new draft directive, published on November 28, leaves open the possibility of a limited number of individual airports being able to exclude or restrict “marginal Stage 3” aircraft.
Politically, the European Union had to replace the controversial hush-kit regulation to avoid continuation of the U.S./EU dispute as per Article 84 of the ICAO Convention before this April 1. The EU’s recent adoption of the new directive on airport operating restrictions officially ended the so-called hush-kit war.
The subject of aircraft noise in the Grand Canyon area has been of special interest to helicopter operators for years now, but it might be taking on an even broader dimension. The definition of “substantial restoration of natural quiet” might lead to new rules for aircraft flying over the Grand Canyon National Park at and above 18,000 feet, according to a public notice from the National Park Service (NPS).
Those among the 100 or so who came to a September 29 informational meeting in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Grand Canyon overflight issues, hosted by the National Park Service (NPS) and the FAA, expecting to hear of a breakthrough in a 17-year deadlock over aircraft noise left disappointed.
NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) are mulling their next move after a surprise loss in their lawsuit against the Naples (Fla.) Airport Authority over its ban of Stage 2 jets at Naples Municipal Airport (APN).
The European Union’s research program on noise reduction, Silence(r), officially ended in June with promising results. It explored all noise sources, from engines to landing gear and flaps. However, although it achieved a reduction of five decibels in aircraft noise, several more leads need to be developed to reach the ambitious target of cutting a full 10 dB from average noise levels by 2020.