Operational noise optimization of aircraft approaches



As the pilots slow the aircraft down and extend flaps and landing gear in preparation for landing the characteristics of the aircraft as a noise source changes. In the OPNOP project, the possibility to use this variation in noise generation to minimize noise at a specified location is examined. Such analysis requires an increased understanding about aircraft noise generation as the aircraft changes configuration and speed during the approach, where theoretical models available can be overly simplistic and of little use for this purpose. Using flight data from 113 actual Airbus A321 flights, and corresponding noise measurements on the ground, this study reports on the initial findings forming the foundation on which further analysis will be conducted. Intermediary findings relate to: a comparison between models and actual measurements, the distance variability to the runway for various flap selections and extension of the landing gear as well as a comparison between flight data and on-ground noise measurements. Captured data suggest that it should be possible to use speed and configuration recommendations to reduce noise over selected approach areas. Future research will include scenario generation and incorporate flight data from an earlier study to increase validity.