Genève Aéroport makes progress in implementing measures against noise pollution


Genève Aéroport has submitted a dossier to FOCA for the implementation of measures, with the aim of stabilising, and then reducing, noise pollution. In addition, the figures for the measurement of noise emitted by aircraft movements in 2018 are now known and show a positive development for local residents.

Genève Aéroport is continuing to work in order to stabilise, and then reduce, noise pollution originating from its activities. Following the adoption of SAIP (Sectoral Aviation Infrastructure Plan) by the Federal Council in November 2018 and the signing in May 2019 of the targets agreed with the Canton of Geneva, the airport submitted a dossier to the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) at the end of June in order to initiate a procedure which will result in the setting of a new authorised noise level ("admissible noise" under the Noise Abatement Ordinance). This important new step allows Genève Aéroport to move forward with the implementation of concrete measures. The dossier submitted, comprising some twenty parts, constitutes Genève Aéroport’s proposals for actions to implement the stabilisation, and then reduction, of noise. These measures were prepared in consultation with the Confederation and the Canton over more than a year of work. FOCA is now proceeding to the validation of this dossier in order to launch the public consultation scheduled for September.
In particular, the airport proposes an innovative system of measures aimed at limiting the number of late take-offs between 22:00 and midnight, in order to reduce the noise impact during these sensitive hours of the night, as requested by local residents and the population. A new fare policy will favour less noisy aircraft. The airport is also seeking approval to build a new quick runway exit and to make changes to the operating regulations, in order to implement operational measures necessary to comply with the SAIP framework.
2018 noise curves  
Furthermore, the figures for the measurements of noise emitted by aircraft movements in 2018 have been published. This data, represented as "noise curves," show a favourable change in noise compared to the previous year. Indeed, population exposure and the surface area of curves decreased in 2018 compared to 2017.
Noise-exposed areas decreased by 2.1 km2. The calculation was carried out by the Swiss Federal Laboratory for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA) on the basis of traffic statistics validated by OFAC.
In relation to the absolute surface area, the year 2018 respected the SAIP’s medium-term noise curve. As a reminder, the SAIP framework for Genève Aéroport defines a two-step objective: a medium-term noise curve, with which the airport must first comply, then a curve representing lower noise, by 2030. More than 5,000 people have now been excluded from the areas exposed to noise, assuming a constant population.
These results are due, in particular, to the decline in aircraft movements in 2018, particularly in delayed take-offs between 22:00 and 23:00. Also noteworthy is the increased use of the runway in the North-East direction due to weather conditions.
Efforts must continue over the night period between 22:00 and midnight, as this has a significant impact on noise curves. The next two or three years will show whether the work at Genève Aéroport will enable the continuation of the stabilisation trend or even a decrease in the extent of noise exposure curves.
For the current year, night-time movements are down (situation as at the end of May 2019) for the two key night-time periods (22:00-23:00 and 23:00-24:00). Between January and May 2019, aircraft movements experienced an overall reduction of 6% during the night and a 23% decrease in take-offs.
Press contact:

Madeleine von Holzen                                               
+41 22 717 70 13