Managing ground noise
There are several main causes of noise on the ground at airports:
- Engines testing after maintenance.
- Using reverse thrust to increase braking during landing.
- Planes travelling between the runway and stands (their ‘parking space’).
- Planes sitting on their stands with their power units running.
So what are we doing to reduce the noise?
- We’re discouraging pilots from using ‘reverse thrust’ when they land.
Reverse thrust is one way of slowing down the plane once it has landed. There are some situations, though – a wet runway for instance – when it still needs to be used to add braking power. Because of the noise, the Government asks pilots not to use reverse thrust between 23:00 and 06:00 except in the interests of safety.
- We’re working with ATC to cut down the amount of time that planes wait to take off, or are taxiing, so that the engines aren’t running for so long.
- We’re plugging planes into the mains electrical supply while they are on stand.
This is a system known as Fixed Electrical Ground Power (FEGP) to replace the noisy auxiliary power units (APU) on the plane itself. It allows things like interior lighting and the air conditioning systems to operate.
- We’re using landscaping (such as earth barriers and walls), to provide noise barriers between the planes and the local community.
- We restrict the duration and location of engine testing.
- We also restrict the use of APUs and FEGPs while on stand.