Birmingham Int'l Airport Leads the Way in Noise Monitoring and Track-Keeping

Two new systems will improve the airport's ability to monitor and investigate activity - and to communicate more effectively with local community and its airlines.


Birmingham International Airport (BIA) has officially launched two new systems to improve noise management and aircraft track-keeping. These will improve the Airport's ability to monitor and investigate activity - and to communicate more effectively with local community and its airlines.

The Airport has upgraded its aircraft track-keeping and noise monitoring system known as ANOMS 8. It is the first airport in Europe, and one of the first in the world to have the system. Designed by market leader in airport noise management installation, Lochard, the new system provides the latest technology to enable the Airport to track aircraft movements and monitor the associated noise levels. ANOMS 8 will also assist in identifying noise violations, off-track departures, as well as providing detailed maps and sound recordings, and offers an advanced database to help the Airport's Environment Team handle complaints.

Meanwhile, the Airport has launched 'Operation Pathfinder' - a scheme to award airlines for good track-keeping. BIA will use ANOMS to work with its airlines to improve track-keeping performance. Using data provided by ANOMS, the Airport will be able to develop a monthly league table of good and bad track-keepers and aims to achieve 95% or more aircraft 'on-track' every month. Already since trialling the new system BIA has been able to see that in January 97.6% of all commercial traffic were on track, and in February 96.8% were compliant. Biannual meetings will be held with the airlines to discuss track-keeping issues and to facilitate the sharing of best practice between airlines.

Richard Heard, the Airport's Managing Director, added, "Since we began monitoring aircraft noise and flight paths at Birmingham back in 1993, using the first ANOMS package, we have been able to offer an essential service to the local community by effectively investigating residents concerns and complaints, and monitoring the policies and procedures in place to limit the impact of aircraft activity on our neighbours. This new updated ANOMS system is a more powerful tool that will enable us to deliver a much better service to local people, helping to improve communication and enhance awareness."

Phil Stollery, Lochard's Vice President in Europe, added, "We are delighted to be part of Birmingham Airport's launch. Birmingham is one of the first airports in the world to take advantage of the capabilities of the new ANOMS 8 system which will enable it to work collaboratively with airlines, the community and other stakeholders to manage the noise impact of its operations. A key objective of the system is to enable the airport to manage its noise abatement program more effectively and we are pleased that the airport has already been able to see the benefits in this respect. We are working closely with BIA to help them take full advantage of the capabilities of ANOMS 8. Other airports in Europe are looking closely at what Birmingham is doing with the system with a view to adopting ANOMS 8".

Seven fixed noise monitors are located in areas surrounding the Airport to continually monitor noise levels. The noise levels are then combined with radar data to accurately locate the flight path of aircraft and their associated noise levels. As part of the upgrade, all of the existing fixed noise monitors have been replaced with new equipment, and a new portable terminal has enabled the Airport to monitor noise at specific locations in the community.

The Airport offers opportunities for local community groups to view the system and increase their understanding of the Airport's noise monitoring programme. Alternatively, the new ANOMS 8 system can operate in demonstration mode on a laptop so that a much wider audience can find out more about noise and track keeping issues at Birmingham International Airport.

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