As a result of technological improvements, the noise footprint of new aircraft is at least 15% smaller than that of the aircraft they replace.
Since the first ICAO international standards for aircraft noise were adopted in 1971, certification standards have periodically been made more stringent. In 2014, ICAO adopted a new standard that will result in a reduction of 7 Effective Perceived Noise Decibels (EPNdB) compared to the current Chapter 4 Standard. The new standard will apply from 2018.
Noise problems need tailor-made solutions
In 2001, the ICAO Assembly unanimously endorsed the ICAO Balanced Approach to Aircraft Noise Management by adopting Resolution A33-7. The core principle of the Balanced Approach is that the noise situation at each airport is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The ICAO Balanced Approach therefore requires that all available options be evaluated in order to identify the most suitable measure or combination of measures to mitigate a specific noise problem.
Operating restrictions: a last resort
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.
Operating restrictions are measures that limit or reduce access to an airport. In view of the impact they may have on airlines, passengers and local economies, operating restrictions should not be introduced as a first resort but only after a full assessment of all available measures to address a demonstrated noise problem at an airport.