Low-noise Parking at Madrid Airport

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With over 34 million passengers, and handling over 360 000 flights annually, Madrid Barajas Airport, Spain is the fifth largest airport in Europe. It is owned by AENA (Aeropuertos Espaoles y Navegacin Area), who manage over 60 airports throughout Spain and Latin America and handle over 160 million passengers each year.

On experiencing a growing number of complaints from the neighbouring community due to ground noise caused by aircraft in the parking area, Madrid Barajas Airport introduced night restrictions and forbade the use of Auxiliary Power Units (additional engines fitted to an aircraft to operate when the main engines are not in use) between 11.00p.m. and 07.00a.m. In addition, Madrid Barajas Airport asked Brüel & Kjær to install a Ground Noise Monitoring System consisting of three Noise Monitoring Terminals (NMTs) near the aircraft parking area.

These NMTs monitor the noise of aircraft leaving the parking area, and with the additional help of three video cameras can follow any movements in the area. Each noise monitor has a direct link to the noise server, providing real-time access to video and noise data.

When an unusual noise occurs in the parking area, the server, via Microsoft Windows Network Messaging, alerts the operator. An unusual noise could, for example, be an aircraft switching on its engines before getting permission to fly.

When a noise event occurs, it is correlated with the noise data and the data can be viewed later on. The sound recording option also makes it possible to listen to specific noise events occurring at specific dates and times. Madrid Airport can then produce reports containing all the data of the noise events in question. A photo of the offending aircraft (taken by the video camera) can also be used for documentation purposes.

Mr. Roberto Dominguez, Acoustic Area Manager from Madrid Barajas Airport says, We are very satisfied with our Ground Noise Monitoring System from Brüel & Kjær. By installing the system we are now able to control the noise in the parking area, reduce the noise levels and minimise the damage to the community and surrounding environment.

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