Pioneering noise reduction at airports

Apr. 3, 2017

Although individual aircraft have become some 75 % less noisy over the last 30 years, the growing amount of air traffic means that many EU citizens are still exposed to high noise levels. SESAR members are researching enhanced arrival procedures enabled by a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) to reduce noise impact of arriving aircraft at airports. Within this framework,  in March 2017, Frankfurt Airport became the first airport in the world to fully implement GBAS precision-landings. The procedures implemented by the airport on all three of its runways involve raising the angle to 3.2° during the final approach as an active measure to counteract noise.  The implementation was pioneered by DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, Fraport and Lufthansa.

 

GBAS is a satellite-based technology which uses digitally-coded broadcasts loaded into the aircraft’s navigation and guidance capabilities to allow for more precision approach and landing. Using GBAS, SESAR members have developed advanced approach procedures and more efficient flight trajectories with a view to reducing noise impact and improving fuel efficiency without impacting runway throughput. Specifically, SESAR members have focused on GBAS-enabled approach procedures with various characteristics, including increased glide slopes, adaptive increased slopes, multiple runway aiming points, double slope approaches and approaches integrating curved transitions from required navigation performance (RNP) segments to GBAS landing system (GLS). More work is foreseen on GBAS-enabled procedures in SESAR 2020 to support a Europe-wide deployment of this solution.

 

“By taking this step we are following the path we first took in 2014 and thus taking account of people living near airports and the steeper landings they want,” said Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, CEO of DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung.

“Today, Frankfurt is the first hub airport worldwide that offers GBAS landings with an increased glide angle in final approach. With the launch of this new approach procedure for the airport’s other landing runways, we have again implemented a further active noise protection measure,” said Anke Giesen, Director of Fraport Operations.

“[…] the Lufthansa Group is again taking delivery of around 40 modern, low-noise aircraft. This is complemented by a variety of active noise prevention measures which we are implementing together with our partners. As such, we are making our contribution to reducing aircraft noise at our largest hub,” said Klaus Froese, CEO of Operations & Hub Frankfurt, Deutsche Lufthansa AG. 

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