New aircraft noise limits on the way

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 15, 2013
Neighbour-friendly - the A380 has been applauded for its quiet operations around airports. (Kane Foord)

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is expected to adopt recommendation from its aviation environmental protection committee to lower noise levels for commercial aircraft.

Effective on December 31 2017, the revised standard will apply to new aircraft types requiring certification after 2017 and reduces effective perceived noise levels by seven decibels.

Chapter-based noise standards for aircraft have were implemented by ICAO in 1972 in response to community concerns about jet aircraft noise around airports. Successive chapters have reduced noise levels and given commercial aircraft and engine manufacturers ongoing targets for noise reductions.  The current Chapter 4 regulations came into effect in 2006.

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“Air transport is already 75% quieter than it was four decades ago and the industry will continuously pursue cost-effective noise management options to reduce the number of people subject to aircraft noise, in line with our broader global commitments on sustainability and environmental performance,” said Tony Tyler, the International Air Transport Association’s director general and CEO.

“This is another good example of ICAO successfully tackling a difficult environmental issue,” he added. “This collaborative work ensures that the development and implementation of global standards reflect the specific needs of society at large and capabilities of states while bringing certainty to long-term airline fleet investment.”

Airbus has welcomed the new standards, having already achieved significant noise reductions with its new designs including the A380, which won an award in London last year as being the most neighbour-friendly aircraft operating at Heathrow Airport.

Airbus said: “A380 carries 42 per cent more passengers than its nearest competitor but produces half the noise energy when taking off, and three to four times less noise energy when landing. The A350 XWB, the aircraft with the leading environmental performance in the long-range market is up to 16 decibels below the current standard requirement.”

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ICAO is expected to ratify the new noise standards later this year.

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