The European Union’s research program on noise reduction, Silence(r), officially ended in June with promising results. It explored all noise sources, from engines to landing gear and flaps. However, although it achieved a reduction of five decibels in aircraft noise, several more leads need to be developed to reach the ambitious target of cutting a full 10 dB from average noise levels by 2020.
• The Los Angeles board of airport commissioners has authorized airport staff members to begin advertising for qualified companies to perform Part 161 noise mitigation studies for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Van Nuys Airport (VNY). The separate studies are not expected to be completed for three to five years.
The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) has demanded a “balanced approach” to environmental controls in the European Union transport industry following the publication of its new study on the noise performance of the continent’s regional airline fleet. The “Growing Quieter” report concluded that the noise generated by the average regional aircraft is about half what it was in the early 1970s.
The FAA selected the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to be the lead partner in a Center of Excellence program on aircraft noise and emissions mitigation. MIT will lead a team from other colleges and universities, as well as industry and government, to research and develop solutions for mitigating existing and anticipated noise and emissions-related problems.
Jan. 1, 2006, is the date for the implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Chapter 4 noise limits. The latest noise and emissions standards (European terminology uses “Chapter” to correspond with the U.S.
An online poll in New Jersey Monthly magazine has apparently launched the pilots’ jungle telegraph into action. The question posed on the magazine’s Web site reads, “Despite increased air and noise pollution, should small airports such as Teterboro make efforts to renovate and expand if it will bring more money to the local economy?” At press time, 7,753 people had answered, with “yes” votes carrying a 98-percent majority.
The FAA is reviewing a proposed revision to the approved noise-compatibility program that was submitted for Burbank Bob Hope Airport (BUR), Calif. The agency, which approved the original program in November 2000, plans to rule on the revision by September 7. Public comments must be submitted by May 10 to the FAA airports division’s Western Pacific Region office (telephone  725-3614).
At its triennial meeting in Montreal in early October, the ICAO Assembly–which includes representatives from all 187 ICAO member nations–approved a more flexible approach to the application of aircraft noise regulations.
The FAA last week issued the final environmental impact statement for the New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia airspace redesign, a major project that seeks to reduce delays in and out of the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.
TAG Aviation has introduced a quiet flying program to reduce noise experienced by neighborhoods around London-area Farnborough Airport. It is running the program, which aims to reduce noise by requiring more accurate flight paths, among other things, on a trial basis between early May and the end of this month. The company intends to have the new arrival and departure procedures formally adopted by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.