Noise Moinitoring at Toronto Airport

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Running a Caring Business

Toronto Pearson International Airport is Canada's busiest airport. The number of passengers passing through its halls is expected to increase from 28 million in 2001 to around 50 million by the year 2020. The area surrounding the Airport has a population of over 4 million. This presents the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) with a major challenge to minimise the noise impact of airport operations on the local communities.

By carefully developing a noise management program for aircraft operations, the GTAA works to ensure that the noise exposure in the surrounding residential areas is minimal. In fact, GTAA has a very active noise management program supported by a complete Brüel & Kjær Noise Monitoring and Fight Tracking System that also handles reporting and complaints. One of the key tasks of GTAA's noise monitoring system is the complaints handling system, which generates reports and statistics based on the stored complaints received from local citizens. Furthermore, it provides details of the offending aircraft and the exact dB level reached. This enables the airport to provide fast and correct answers to the complainants based on noise and flight information.

The noise monitoring and complaints handling system is also of great help to the GTAA as they analyse the complaint pattern around the airport and make statistics and reports in order to improve the relations with the local communities. According to George Thackray, Senior Noise Analyst with the GTAA, 'The Brüel & Kjær Noise and Flight Track monitoring system has significantly improved our monitoring of noise abatement procedures and complaint handling. '

Noise-reducing Measures by GTAA

Apart from handling complaints in a fast and efficient manner, the GTAA has started a number of activities to minimise the noise impact for citizens living close to the airport. These include:

Supporting the Canadian government phase-out of Chapter II aircraft over 34000 kg (completed in April 2002) and promoting the use of quieter aircraft such as Boeing 767 and Airbus 340. A Boeing 767 weighs twice as much as the older Boeing 727 but carries twice as many passengers and is only half as loud.

Making time-of-day restrictions. Allowing all Chapter III aircraft to operate between 06.30a.m. and 12.30p.m. and a limited number of the quietest Chapter III arrivals to be scheduled between 12.30p.m. and 06.30a.m. Enforcing strict flight paths for arriving and departing planes and using preferential runway flight paths at night so that residential areas are avoided as much as possible.

Implementing a noise abatement program (climbs, speed, reverse thrust) so that, for example, departing aircraft are required to throttle back to less noisy climb power at 1000 or 1500 feet. Organising Noise Management Committee meetings thus creating a forum where members of the community and the GTAA can openly discuss noise-related issues.

Using prediction models to produce noise contour maps. A contour map divides the surrounding area into sub-areas that are either compatible or incompatible with airport operations. GTAA works closely with the local municipalities to ensure that these areas are included in the plans for future development close to the airport.

Good Results

Many good results can be achieved by using the Brüel & Kjær Noise Monitoring and Flight Tracking System with its Complaints Handling module. One of the obvious benefits of the Complaints Handling module is the improved quality and speed of feedback to worried citizens. But, based on the information in the complaints database, a systematic complaints pattern can be found and used on a longer-term basis. Active planning of airport activities can help reduce overall noise from aircraft, and by specifying preferential runways, the noise from aircraft experienced by the general public can be minimised. Finally, enforcing noise violation penalties on airline companies encourages pilots to follow assigned flight paths.

Furthermore, Toronto Pearson International Airport was the first North American airport to achieve the prestigious ISO 14001 certificate for their Environmental Management System and efforts to improve environmental performance.

For more information on airport noise monitoring please contact your local sales representative.

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