Policy issues

Business aviation and the environment – Noise pollution standards – Chapter 14 & Balanced Approach

Business aviation and the environment – Noise pollution standards – Chapter 14 & Balanced Approach

Balanced approach to aircraft noise management

Aircraft noise is the most significant cause of adverse community reaction related to the operation and expansion of airports. Given this is expected to continue in the future, noise limitation and reduction is one of EBAA and ICAO’s main priorities and key environmental goals.

Since the first ICAO international standards for aircraft noise were adopted in 1971, the standards have periodically been updated and made more stringent. In 2014, ICAO adopted a new standard, ICAO Balanced Approach, that will result in a reduction of 7 Effective Perceived Noise Decibels (EPNdB) (compared to the current Chapter 4 Standard). The new standard applies from 2018.

The goal of the Balanced Approach is to address noise problems on an individual airport basis and to identify the noise-related measures that achieve maximum environmental benefit, most cost-effectively, using objective and measurable criteria.

The ICAO Balanced Approach identifies four elements to address noise around airports: reduction at source, land-use management and planning, noise abatement operational procedures, and operating restrictions. It requires competent authorities to assess the effects of four different noise management measures, prior to adopting operating restrictions, on an airport-by-airport basis.

Noise pollution standards
Noise pollution standards

Reduction of noise at the source

An important pillar of the Balanced Approach is the reduction of noise at source. Aircraft noise (“noise at source”) has been controlled since the 1970s by the setting of noise limits for aircraft.

This new, more stringent standard is applicable to new aeroplane types submitted for certification on or after 31 December 2017, and on or after 31 December 2020 for aircraft less than 55 tonnes in mass.

ICAO has also developed practical guidance for the implementation of the technical procedures, contained in the Environmental Technical Manual on the use of Procedures in the Noise Certification of Aircraft (Doc 9501, Volume I).

Need more information ?

Please contact Bruce Parry at bparry@ebaa.org