As noise is what has the greatest impact on local residents' quality of life, this is naturally the airport’s main concern. Whether it involves noise abatement at its source, operational restrictions, least-noise navigation procedures or careful town-planning control, the means required to limit noise pollution from air traffic as effectively as possible are decided on jointly by carriers, airport management and the State authorities.
Least-noise navigation procedures
Special navigation procedures have been introduced to keep noise pollution to a minimum. On take-off, planes must climb as quickly as possible to reduce the number of residents being affected by low-altitude flight paths.
As recommended by the CCE's report, authorisation for night flights between 11 pm and 6:30 am may be granted only on special request and only if this is considered to be justified after tripartite consultation between the Airport’s Management, south-west France’s Navigation Services and south-west France’s Civil Aviation Authority.
Applications are subject to validation by the “Comité Permanent”, a board made up of members of the Airport’s “Syndicat Mixte”, local residents’ association representatives, the local Bayonne-Anglet-Biarritz Municipal Council and chaired by an expert appointed by the DAC (French Civil Aviation Authority).
Careful town-planning control
The Noise Exposure Plan (NEP) was approved and formed the subject of a Prefectoral Decree dated 2nd June 2009.
The new NEP was drawn up on the basis of the following annual traffic hypotheses:
- 10,783 movements in the short-term
- 14,800 movements in the medium-term
- 15,800 movements in the long-term.
The NEP concerns the municipalities of Bayonne, Anglet and Biarritz, and establishes 3 zones (A, B and C), which are defined in compliance with the regulations (cf. articles R.147-1 and R.147-2 of the French town-planning regulations) according to the noise pollution to which these sectors are or could be exposed.
The Decree approving the revision of the NEP and the NEP itself are available for public consultation at the usual opening times in the town halls of the municipalities of Bayonne, Anglet and Biarritz.
For more information: www.acnusa.fr
Abating noise generated on the ground
This covers protection of both the neighbouring vicinity and the aircraft ground staff who are directly affected by noise pollution. Biarritz Airport has equipped its boarding tunnels with 400 Hz GPUs (Ground Power Units) and also offers a mobile power generator to remote-parking planes (non-contact) so that the energy required can be supplied during its stop-off. This equipment allows the aircraft to switch off its APU (Auxiliary Power Unit), thus greatly reducing noise.
Our objectives for the coming years
Operating restrictions for “APUs”(1) are currently being studied by the Airport operator and south-west France’s Air Navigation Services. The Airport is moving towards limiting the use of APUs by crews on the arrival and departure of flights to a duration of 30 minutes.
- to equip airport apron parking with mobile power generators and to increase crew awareness about limiting the use of APUs
- to increase crew awareness about limiting the use of thrust reversal during landing.
(1) Auxiliary Power Unit