SE Oro navigacija and Vilnius Airport are taking additional measures for aircraft noise abatement. To prevent the densely populated urban areas from the harmful effect of noise, a prohibition against taking a shorter route for flights, departing from Vilnius at 22:00–07:00, was imposed on 6 December 2018.
“We are pleased to note that due to our joint efforts in cooperation with the Lithuanian Airports and the Civil Aviation Administration we may contribute to noise abatement at night”, says Mindaugas Gustys, CEO of Oro navigacija.
According to the procedure established in the Aeronautical Information Publication, the pilots shall follow the prescribed route for departure from Vilnius Airport or on the climb may make the first turn only after they have reached the altitude of 4000 feet (about 1300 m). The procedure is expected to reduce noise caused by aircraft flying over the residential areas.
According to the procedure that had previously been in effect, pilots of aircraft taking off from Vilnius could request for a shorter route for departure in order to save fuel. In the conditions of high volume of air traffic, the air traffic controllers could even give them an instruction to shorten the departure route for the sake of flight safety. Now, following the prohibition imposed on 6 December, pilots shall strictly follow the prescribed procedure, and cannot fly a shorter route than the established one.
It should be noted that take-off routes are designed so as not to extend over the densely populated urban areas. For example, to avoid the residential suburbs of Vilnius, while flying to the western or northern part of Lithuania, after turn above Santariškės, aircraft overfly Užudvarionys or the edge of Didžioji Riešė; while flying to the eastern part of Lithuania, they overfly Sankeliai and Rokantai.
According to Kristina Greičiūtė, Environmental Project Manager at the Lithuanian Airports, cooperation between all the stakeholders is of great significance to noise prevention. Vilnius Airport assumes responsibility for the noise monitoring function and coordinates the measures for noise abatement with the Civil Aviation Administration, while SE Oro navigacija establishes the procedure for air traffic service provision and the routes with respect to the necessity of reducing the noise generated by take-offs and landings.
“Installation and testing of the new noise monitoring system at Vilnius Airport are coming to an end. We are currently checking the flow of data and connections, the staff is already provided with access to operating the noise monitoring system and using the new software SARA”, says K. Greičiūtė.
Vilnius Airport has also acquired the IMMI software for modelling and predicting noise diffusion and creation of noise impact maps; the company’s employees have been participating lately in special training for developing skills in using this software.
By using these facilities and software, Vilnius Airport will be able to monitor whether airlines comply with the established requirements, and to identify those who have violated the procedure, as well as to assess and predict the extent of noise exposure and to monitor the impact of various noise abatement measures.
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