Aircraft Noise

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. This is expected to remain the case in most regions of the world for the foreseeable future. Limiting or reducing the number of people affected by significant aircraft noise is therefore one of ICAO's main priorities and one of the Organization's key environmental goals.

The main overarching ICAO policy on aircraft noise, which contains details on all the elements that can be employed to achieve noise reductions, is the Balanced Approach to Aircraft Noise Management. This can be found in the ICAO Doc 9829, Guidance on the Balanced Approach to Aircraft Noise Management.

The Balanced Approach consists of identifying the noise problem at a specific airport and analyzing various measures available to reduce noise through the exploration of various measures which can be classified into four principal elements, described in Figure 1. The goal 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.

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The four principal elements of the Balanced Approach to Aircraft Noise Management

          1. ​Reduction of Noise at Source​
          2. Land-use Planning and Management ​
          3. Noise Abatement Operational Procedures​
          4. Operating Restrictions 

ICAO Current initiatives on Aircraft Noise

Over the past three years (2013-2016), work has been conducted by ICAO to ensure the currency of the technical basis underpinning the ICAO Standards, guidance and policies associated with reducing aircraft noise. This work has included, among several topics, investigations into emerging subsonic aeroplane noise reduction technologies, studies into the status of aeroplane and helicopter noise reduction technology and the continuing development of SARPs for future supersonic aeroplanes. ICAO has also worked on the environmental aspects of airport land-use planning, and airport community engagement good practices. 

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