Aircraft flight procedures: successful implementation to minimize noise exposure
Flight procedures are a key
element to predicting and minimizing noise impacts. Deviations from these
procedures are causing unnecessary community noise exposure. Identifying
deviation-related increases in noise and ways to minimize the deviations will
help to reduce noise in communities in the vicinity of airports.
Aircraft flight procedures,
including waypoint locations, altitudes, and ascent/descent rates, affect noise
in the vicinity of airports. Noise analyses incorporate these flight parameters
to evaluate/minimize noise exposure to communities. Deviations from the
prescribed paths/procedures can lead to adverse noise exposure. Recent
implementation of the NextGen navigation system, which allows more precise
navigation, has concentrated flight paths, thus magnifying potential noise
issues related to particular types of deviations. Although some horizontal
deviation of flight paths can help to equitably disperse noise exposure,
vertical deviations (aircraft too low) and path deviations (aircraft flying
over communities by skipping waypoints), for example, can lead to unnecessary
Many airports are contending
with numerous noise complaints and lawsuits from surrounding cities. There is
currently not a fair or clear picture on the impact that NextGen has on
communities in terms of noise, because noise procedures are not always being
followed. In some cases, deviations causing adverse noise effects are occurring
for a majority of flights. Understanding the increase in noise due to adverse
deviations will help to define their contribution to noise in communities
surrounding airports. Finding a solution to maintain implementation of
prescribed noise procedures (e.g., altitudes, waypoints, etc.) is a key element
to minimizing unnecessary noise due to adverse deviations.
The objectives are to identify
deviations from prescribed flight paths/waypoints, determine related changes in
noise, identify avenues for minimizing deviations, and develop stakeholder
training or other material to minimize unnecessary deviations.
There are four main tasks for
- Identify types and
causes of flight path/procedure deviations that can increase noise
- Calculate the potential
related noise exposure increases.
- Identify avenues for
minimizing deviations not related to safety.
- Recommend and develop
related material (for stakeholders) for the most promising avenue (choice
requiring ACRP panel input). (E.g., for training air traffic controllers,
this may include training material, a schedule for required training, and
a method of accountability).
The research should include a
minimum of three U.S. airport examples where such deviations occur or have the
potential to occur.
We do not have a fair or clear
picture on the impact that NextGen has on communities in terms of noise,
because we don’t know the effect that deviations (e.g., too low elevation or
missed waypoints) has on the overall noise problem (a clearly known problem due
to the number of complaints and lawsuits). There was a related ACRP project
that was cancelled: https://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=4622. The new proposed project has a focus that is different
enough to warrant consideration. Rather than focusing on changing NextGen, the
new proposed project focusses on successful implementation of noise procedures
already in place as part of NextGen. Although the attached project would not
solve all the noise problems, it could certainly lead to reducing complaints
and community exposure to noise.
|Sponsoring Committee:||AEP80, Transportation-Related Noise and Vibration
|RNS Developer:||Judy Rochat|
|Index Terms:||Noise, Noise control, Aircraft noise, Flight procedures, Procedures, Flight, |
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