One of the major tasks that has to be addressed by most airports around the world is aircraft noise management. Vilnius Airport has been cooperating with State Enterprise Oro navigacija for several years now working on individual noise reduction initiatives. This year, this cooperation evolved into a long-term commitment. Vilnius Airport and State Enterprise Oro navigacija signed an agreement on the implementation of complex noise reduction measures. A detailed long-term plan includes measures aimed at helping to control aircraft noise zones.
“Vilnius Airport is located in close proximity to the city centre and is very easy and fast to reach. However, its convenient location also poses a certain challenge in the face of inevitable aircraft noise, which we strive to minimise. Together with State Enterprise Oro navigacija, we have already made important steps towards reducing aircraft noise levels and in the coming two years we will continue with our best efforts to improve the situation,” states Director of Vilnius Airport Dainius Čiuplys.
Noise management plan, which was legitimised by signing the new agreement with State Enterprise Oro Navigacija, is different compared to the previously applied measures thanks to its complex approach. New noise management strategy will be implemented on the basis of combining a range of interconnected complementary actions.
The first part of the plan concentrates on airport operations related noise reduction. We are already implementing measures aimed at noise reduction based on the State Enterprise Oro navigacija produced Information Kit. However, from 2019, plans are in place to analyse the possibilities of applying additional measures such as delayed deceleration operations, ground-based aircraft manoeuvrability with one engine and others. Night time restrictions will also be imposed on training flights.
In 2019, plans are in place for the implementation of not only noise reduction operations, but also route corrections and compliance control actions. State Enterprise Oro navigacija experts are planing on adjusting one of the descent approach routes and reducing the area of aircraft manoeuvrability over Vilnius, thus ensuring that aircraft noise affects the smallest number of inhabitants.
“We are pleased that by providing data to Vilnius Airport on aircraft flight trajectory and reviewing current flight routes, we will contribute to the reduction of noise and help people living near Vilnius Airport,” says Director General of State Enterprise Oro navigacija Mindaugas Gustys.
“In 2019, we will perform a varied noise modelling exercise that will evaluate each route and its impact zone. We will then be able to purposefully change flight routes or frequency of their use and reduce noise levels in the city without causing any negative impact on the functioning of the airport. At the end of 2018, a new requirement for aircraft to take off and land using a special route during night time was implemented. In 2019, we plan to implement stricter regulations on flight routes throughout the day,” explains Dainius Čiuplys.
The third noise reduction instrument in place is continuous noise monitoring and measurement. At the beginning of the year, a new noise monitoring system was launched at Vilnius Airport. The system employs technical equipment provided by State Enterprise Oro Navigacija, which will allow following how aircraft comply with the established requirements. Following the introduction of the new monitoring system, noise management control is now fully in the hands of Vilnius Airport experts. This means that Vilnius Airport will now be able to independently perform noise assessment as well as process complaints and produce noise maps.
A number of noise reduction measures were introduced at Vilnius Airport in 2018. First, limitations were put on stopping the aircraft at night time by increasing air resistance, then prohibition to conduct noisy aircraft engine tests during the night followed. New noise abatement departure procedures also came into force.
In 2017, one fifth of the departing flights had to adhere to continuous climb operations requirements. When they are applied, aircraft constantly ascends, thus allowing the reduction of time and intensity of produced noise impact.
About Vilnius Airport
Vilnius Airport belongs to the Lithuanian airport network that operates three airports in Vilnius, Kaunas, and Palanga. During 2018, they serviced 6.3 million passengers and 61 thousand flights. During the winter season, 15 airlines organize direct flights in 66 regular directions to 57 cities in 27 countries. Based on the data of the Airports Council International (ACI Europe), Lithuanian Airports contribute to the Lithuania’s GDP by 2.5 percent.
About State Enterprise Oro navigacija
State Enterprise Oro navigacija is the only Lithuanian company to provide air navigation services to aircraft flying in the Lithuanian airspace, including commercial, military and general aviation aircraft. In 2018, the company’s experts served more than 266 thousand flights. It also carries out research in the field of aviation innovation development.