The noise distribution dilemma

FABEC has deployed several highly sophisticated new procedures and technologies, for example, Performance Based Navigation (PBN). This technology allows a very precise flight path in the approach phase of a flight, concentrating noise on a narrow flight path. Compared to other procedures, aircraft noise impacts many fewer people.

From an engineer’s point of view this is an excellent method to reduce the number of affected neighborhoods. However the impact is more intense, and it is impossible to find a flight path with no people underneath. This so-called noise distribution dilemma is just one example of conflicting interest for which no optimal solution can be found. Hence, a political process is always needed to set priorities and to prepare decisions – which are neither right nor wrong.