FRANKFURT , May 28, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- In the coming years, Fraport AG's sustainability policy will focus on the issues of noise monitoring, active noise abatement and noise impact research. Presenting Fraport's latest sustainability report at a press conference today, Fraport executive board chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte declared the reduction of aviation-related noise emissions to be a major challenge in the near future. "We want to promote reduction of noise nuisance in the region. And we want to better our own noise development forecasts, following completion of Frankfurt Airport's expansion. Fraport wants to be measured in terms of tangible results," emphasized Schulte.
Schulte called the noise index introduced by the Forum Flughafen und Region (FFR) an objective gauge for the noise blight situation in the airport vicinity during the day and at night. This scientific parameter will significantly contribute to making the noise nuisance situation in the region transparent and to mapping clearly any changes, in either direction.
"More air traffic will, of course, raise the established index value. However, process optimization and development of quieter aircraft can lower the value. We are working intensively toward the goal of achieving reduction potentials and thus clearly undercutting the noise forecasts used in Frankfurt Airport's zoning procedure," Schulte stated.
Fraport's CEO pointed out that the FFR plans to publish concrete measures for active noise abatement in June 2010 . "The issue is to reduce noise at source, to lower noise pollution on the ground and improve noise impact distribution," explained Schulte. The individual sub-projects are ambitious, because they are extremely creative, complex and elaborate; however, progress is being clearly made.
Fraport has put its heart and soul as well as its know-how into the development of the measures and is now sponsoring two of the projects. One project involves optimizing the use of the runway system, i.e., the selective bundling of departures while simultaneously minimizing noise emissions to the extent of reaching actual noise intermissions. A second project is the use of a noise-optimized glide path angle for approaches to Frankfurt's new Runway Northwest once it goes into operation.
"We have to examine the effects of noise also from a scientific perspective," Schulte underscored. However, this must be done in a methodically correct manner. Schulte advocated a comparative noise impact study for rail, road and air transportation. He urged that the study be conducted over a number of years and extend well beyond the Frankfurt region to yield reliable results independent of isolated cases. Objectivity, transparency and honesty are the most important requirements for successfully conducting such a study.
This also includes taking into account known facts. For example, noise mapping of the state of Hesse clearly shows that noise emissions from road traffic are the major problem - not air traffic. "Another fact is the new and stricter German aircraft noise act, which has recently been passed. Incidentally, regulations for aircraft noise are much more stringent than for rail traffic," explained Fraport's CEO. "Another fact is that the noise footprint is shrinking noticeably from one aircraft generation to the next -- for example, for the A380 it has shrunk by more than 20 percent compared to the B747."
Schulte continued: "If we want to address noise emissions as well as noise nuisance for people, including the effects on health - something which Fraport supports - we have do this on a solid methodological basis. This also means including different transport modes and geographic regions. Only then will we get reliable findings that go beyond specific regional features and that can be evaluated."
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