A local partner of the National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands (NLR) recently performed aircraft noise measurements at a school in New Delhi in India. An Indian employee of the team who completed his graduation at NLR gave a presentation to the senior classes (pupils aged 17 and 18) on the noise measurements and the importance of sustainable aviation. He used presentational material of NLR during his talk. The school is one of the ‘noise sensitive locations’ around Indira Gandhi International Airport where air traffic noise is being measured.

The noise study is being carried out by NLR and Indian partner SHAKAT Aviation on behalf of the DGCA, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. The objective is to reduce nuisance caused by aircraft noise around the Delhi airport. Ultimately this will require the development of a fair and robust noise policy and enforcement system. Pending attainment of that situation this study is identifying and analysing the noise burden and putting forward mitigating measures. The study forms part of NLR’s strategy for establishing fruitful long-term cooperation with the Indian airport authorities and supporting them in pursuing the sustainable growth of India’s air transport system.

NLR completed the noise calculations last summer. Noise profiles representing the annual aircraft noise load around the airport were determined. SHAKAT employees recently completed a measurement campaign to chart noise at twenty places around the airport. They gathered data from five permanent measurement stations and measured noise using a mobile noise measurement vehicle at various relevant places, including ‘sensitive’ locations like hospitals and schools. NLR is currently placing the measurements alongside the calculations to see whether the calculations are sufficiently valid for the local situation in Delhi.

Once the noise picture is complete, NLR will formulate recommendations for reducing aircraft noise. Recommendations may vary from operational measures like letting aircraft take off and land differently to measures for improving the air traffic information given to residents and stakeholders around the airport. The presentation given at the school is an example of NLR’s pursuit of socially aware enterprise. It will help the local authorities in India to muster greater support in the community for more sustainable air traffic. At the same time it stands as a good example of effective cooperation between NLR and SHAKAT. NLR was keen to establish cooperation with SHAKAT because this local partner is better positioned to communicate with the client and other stakeholders about efforts to tackle aircraft noise and about the importance of sustainable aviation. The final NLR report is expected to be ready in February 2013.