JSGB - Aircraft Noise

 Airport Noise Management

Jacques Savard, M.Sc.                               Noise Management Consultant

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Services offered:




Mitigation measures

Impact studies

Sound levels

Management support











The analysis of noise exposure

contours can be used to determine

the amplitude (noise intensity)

and extent (surface area) of

the areas affected by airport

noise, as well as the number of

people living in those areas.










































































     Hypothetical example


















Public awareness to environmental noise is increasing. Noise has become a strategic issue for the sustainable development of airports that must be well integrated into their community.

We offer specialized services to help airports manage noise.


The Integrated Noise Model (INM) has been developped by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop noise exposure charts. It has been used in many countries to assess the noise impact from entirely new airports or modifications to the runways or traffic demand or fleet mix of existing airports and develop compatible land use plans.

INM includes an extensive database of commercial aircraft, military aircraft, and helicopter performance based on their engine types. It also incorporates standard an VNAP vertical profiles to represent the real world as close as possible.

Several metrics can be computed by INM including Leq, Lamax, DNL, CNEL, SEL, Time above, and others.

The model of the airport takes into account all the significant parameters including the airport layout, runway utilization, flight tracks, aircraft types, engine types, trip length, day-night distribution, etc. The modeling requires movements databases and flight tracks which are obtained from government authorities, traffic control agencies, aiports authorities, or from noise monitoring systems.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and CAD systems are used for post-processing and presentation.



In Canada, the calculation and presentation of airport noise have been standardized by Transport Canada using Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) contours. NEF's are used all across Canada for land use planning and public information. TP-1247, published by Transport Canada, provides guidance on compatible land use planning. Long-term noise exposure projections are also part of the airport master plan.

The NEF takes into account aircraft type, runways, flight paths, flight distance, number of day and night flights, activity increase/decrease, and aircraft fleet upgrading. The study area encompassed by the calculation grid varies from several hundred to several thousand square kilometres.

The calculation takes into account a whole year's aircraft movements, compiled from a comprehensive movements database obtained from Statistics Canada, NavCanada or the airport noise monitoring system (GEMS, ANOMS, etc.).

The services we offer cover all aspects of the production of noise exposure contours, from data collection to the preparation of presentation documents. We use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and CAD systems for post-processing and presentation.



In the past few years, a new supplementary metric has been used in many aiports in many countries. The N70, the number of flights louder than 70 dB(A), is gaining popularity for its capacity to provide a commication tool easily understood by the people living around the airport while having the same technical and scientific validity as the traditional metrics.

The Transparent Noise Information Package (TNIP), developed by the Australian Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS), is the computer application enabling the generation of N70 charts. TNIP can generate charts for any chosen noise level, not only 70 dB(A), N55 and N60 charts have been produced for some airports.

TNIP uses as input the detailed grid for Lamax produced by INM. The basic aircraft noise modeling is performed by INM.

While TNIP provides an excellent interactive visual interface, we also use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and CAD systems for post-processing and presentation.


Mitigation measures

The choice of mitigation measures is based on the set goal; it could be to control the noise nuisance of the overall airport operation, deal with specific types of operations (night flights, ground operation, general aviation, heavy aircrafts, engine run-ups, etc.), focus on a specific geographic, highly populated or neighbouring area. Community expectations must also be considered.

Following are examples of mitigation measures :

  • Awareness programs (pilots and air traffic controllers)

  • Restrictions (GPU, hours, run-ups, reverse thrust)

  • Quotas (movements or noise)

  • Runway usage

  • Preferential runways or runway rotation

  • Departure procedures (minimum altitudes, turns, etc.)

  • Noise limits and taxes

  • Land use

  • Run-up pads

  • Noise barriers


Some mitigation measures are subject to national regulations and must follow a strict implementation process.

Services we offer in the area of mitigation measures are:

Choice and design of mitigation measures

On-site or simulated testing

Consultation of stakeholders


Implementation support


Impact studies

Comprehensive impact studies may be required when contemplating operational or infrastructure changes or introducing mitigation measures, either as a decision input or public information tool.

The methodology generally includes the characterization of the existing noise (measured or calculated), sound level predictions, impact evaluation of specific scenarios, and recommendations.

Noise exposure contours must sometimes be used, but other metrics (equivalent sound level, maximum sound level, N70, etc.) could also highlight specific effects of the impact source.

The choice of the methodology and metrics are part of the services we offer in relation to impact studies.


Sound Levels

Many airports are already equipped with noise monitoring systems (GEMS, ANOMS, etc.). Such systems involve a significant investment, both at the financial and human resources levels. Initial choices are key factors to determine the size of the investment and staff workload.

To airports in the process of acquiring a noise monitoring system, we offer our expertise for the analysis of requirements, microphone location, call for tender documents, tender analysis, acceptance tests, etc.

To airports already using a noise monitoring system, we offer solutions aimed at reducing the workload of their staff: system configuration (base detection, routes, reports, etc.), addition of mobile units, calibration, data transfer to a geographic information system (GIS) allowing the integration of flight track data, noise contours, routes, geographic data, and demographic data.

We also offer noise measurement services for short-term requirements.


Management support

Airport noise management is a multi-faceted problem involving intricate physical configuration, demographic environment, and political issues.

Support in the preparation of a noise management program, noise level measurement programs, surveys and technical documents for the noise management committees are among the services we offer.



Following are examples of projects we carried out:

  • DNL noise charts for the new Blaise Diage International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, using INM.

  • DNL noise charts for the Mafraq Airport, Jordania, using INM.

  • Noise impact assessment for the new night time single runway operation at Montreal-Trudeau airport.

  • N70 noise charts for Montreal-Trudeau Airport using TNIP developed by DOTARS.

  • NEF noise charts for Montreal-Trudeau Airport, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.

  • NEF noise charts for Hamilton International Airport 2015 and 2025.

  • Noise impact assessment for the relocation of cargo hangars at Montreal-Trudeau Airport.

  • Night time Leq noise charts for Montreal-Trudeau Airport, 1995-2005, using INM.

  • Noise impact assessment for new night time noise quotas at Montreal-Trudeau Airport, using INM.

  • Noise impact assessment for new night time preferential runway system at Montreal-Trudeau Airport, using INM.

  • Noise impact assessment for new Instrument Landing System (ILS) at Waterloo International Airport, using INM.

  • NEF/NEP noise charts for the master plan of Mirabel Airport.

  • NEF/NEP noise charts for the master plan of Dorval Airport 2019.

  • NEF/NEP noise charts for the master plan of Jean-Lesage International Airport.

  • Design of new noise abatement procedures for departures and arrivals at Montreal-Trudeau Airport.

  • Abatement measures for Dorval Airport: increase of the glide angle, turn on departure over the lake, departure procedures above industrial areas, flight simulator testing, engine run-up test procedure, and integration in GIS systems

  • Noise impact study for departure sound limits at Dorval Airport

While noise management is our primary area of expertise, we are supported by a network of specialists in air traffic regulation, safety, GIS systems, and noise measurements.



Transport Canada, NEF computer program: Environment - NEF

Transport Canada, Land Use in the Vicinity of Airports:TP 1247E

Transport Canada, Implementation of New or Amended Noise Abatement Procedures: AC 302-002

Transport Canada, Air Traffic Designators: TP143

Transport Canada: Canadian Aviation Regulations: CARs


FAA, Noise Levels for U.S. Certified and Foreign Aircraft: AC 36-1H

FAA, Estimated Airplane Noise Levels in A-Weighted Decibels: AC 36-3H

FAA, Integrated Noise Model: INM

ICAO, Annex 16: ICAO

Aéroports de Montréal, Soundscape Management: ADM

San Francisco Airport, flight tracks: SFO

Boeing, Airport Noise Regulation Information: Boeing

Brüel & Kjaer, noise seminars: B&K

Standards: ISO Standards Catalogue

Acoustical Society of America: ASA

Canadian Acoustical Association: ACA

Institute of Noise Control Engineering: INCE

Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise: FICAN

NRC, house insulation: IBANA

Airport Locator: Air Routing International Inc.

Airport Locator: Landings Aviation's Databases

FAA aircraft registration: FAA Aircraft Registration Inquiry

Transport Canada registration: Canadian Civil Aircraft Register

Looking for something ? Contact me.




Jacques Savard, M.Sc.

254 Chemin Smith

Canton de Cleveland (Quebec)


J0B 2H0

Tel.: 819 826-1489