With a noise study and plans for a Stage 2 aircraft nighttime ban approved by the Palwaukee Municipal Airport commission, Palwaukee (Ill.) Airport (PWK) has taken proactive steps to address noise issues. In late May an FAR Part 150 noise-compatibility study for the airport made 12 recommendations, including a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew on Stage 2 aircraft operations.
Last October and November, a procession of UPS Boeing 767s experimented with a new type of approach to their home base at Louisville International Airport (SDF), Ky. The technique is called the continuous descent approach (CDA). The results of the test flights were released earlier this year and could lead to steeper approach paths nationwide in the name of noise abatement and fuel economy.
Naples (Fla.) Airport Authority (NAA) said it will appeal the FAA’s ruling last month against the airport’s ban on Stage 2 aircraft operations. With the FAA action, Naples is now restricted from receiving federal funding and from collecting airline passenger facility charges.
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.
The story that tells the economic fortunes of smaller metropolitan airfields in Europe is very much a tale of several cities. Many find themselves in a veritable “Catch-22”–they can expand their operations as long as arriving and departing aircraft meet local neighborhood rules. But increased services aggravate negative public perception of the noise they generate.
U.S. and European Union officials are making last-ditch efforts to negotiate a settlement to their long-running dispute over hush kits bringing Stage 2 aircraft into compliance with current Stage 3 noise limits. Both sides want the deeply divisive matter resolved at the September 25 meeting in Montreal of the International Civil Aviation Organization assembly.
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.
• The Los Angeles board of airport commissioners has authorized airport staff members to begin advertising for qualified companies to perform Part 161 noise mitigation studies for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Van Nuys Airport (VNY). The separate studies are not expected to be completed for three to five years.
The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) has demanded a “balanced approach” to environmental controls in the European Union transport industry following the publication of its new study on the noise performance of the continent’s regional airline fleet. The “Growing Quieter” report concluded that the noise generated by the average regional aircraft is about half what it was in the early 1970s.
The FAA selected the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to be the lead partner in a Center of Excellence program on aircraft noise and emissions mitigation. MIT will lead a team from other colleges and universities, as well as industry and government, to research and develop solutions for mitigating existing and anticipated noise and emissions-related problems.