FAI Environmental Commission Delegates

A layman’s guide to the difficult subject of Noise Measurement


International Standards Organisation (ISO) agrees measuring methods etc. using international working groups. In the case of aircraft and airfield noise, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) may put forward standards based upon the ISO-recommended methods of assessment; the ICAO standards could (but not always will) form the basis of individual countries’ standards.

ICAO has developed two methods for certification of take-off noise for individual aircraft types – “Chapter 6”, and “Chapter 10”. The latter is now most commonly used. The noise impact from an aircraft is measured as the total noise effect established on the ground 2.5 kilometres from the rolling point of the aircraft, on the extended centreline of the runway. The level is expressed in the universal “decibels" (dB). It is derived from the sum of the noise energy received over the most noisy 10 seconds from the start of take-off until well past the microphone, rather than the peak noise level. FAI has agreed to support the use of this as an appropriate measure for aircraft certification.

Airfield noise, as experienced at a place such as a nearby house or a measurement spot, is usually expressed in the form of an average, over a certain period of time, for example a 16-hour Leq. It represents the sum of all the noises made by individual aircraft flying past. If the point of measurement were on the ground 2.5 kilometres from the rolling point of the aircraft and on the extended centreline of the runway, a good approximation could be derived from ICAO “Chapter 10” data. That is the method set out in Dr. P. V. Brüel’s 1998-99 paper, “Noise Evaluation of Small Airfields”.

The calculated average is influenced heavily by the noisiest aircraft used, very little by any events 10 dB quieter than that, only moderately by the number of starts of the noisier aircraft, and hardly at all by the number of starts of the quieter aircraft.

The Layman’s guide to the difficult subject of Noise Measurement has been prepared by Mr. Chris J. Nicholas, President of Honour of the FAI Environmental Commission.

Action List

Actions in one country, which could be copied by others:

  • Form an Aviation Awareness Council in your country, if there is not already a suitable forum to do this sort of work for the benefit of air sports and GA combined. *
  • A leaflet, 'Your Local Aerodrome' - benefits of a general aviation site. *
  • Swiss leaflet about GA aerodromes having benefits. **
  • Example of a welcoming/explanatory leaflet for an individual aerodrome. **
  • Draft of a welcoming/explanatory leaflet, including environmental benefits, for individual aerodromes to copy. **
  • German 'Blue Flag scheme' identifying airfields which meet good environmental criteria. **
  • UK Popular Flying Association's 'Airfield Visitor Enthusiast' scheme (www.pfa.org.uk)
  • Young Eagles scheme (www.pfa.org.uk/education_ya.asp)
  • Coloured brochures 'Support General Aviation in the U.K.', including inserts such as 'General Aviation and the Environment'. *
  • Survey results around 5 UK aerodromes [AOPA Economic, Employment and Social Survey of UK Airfields 1995.] www.aopa.co.uk
  • Submissions to Government Select Committee on need for government support. *
  • Coordination of input to a Select Committee on the Environment. The Committee chose to study "The Environmental Impact of Leisure Activities". *
  • Meetings with officials. *
  • Government has requested research on airfields affected by new developments, contrary to governments planning policy guidelines.
  • Planning guide for aviation applicants. *
  • A guide for aviation applicants who have to appeal against authorities' decisions. *
  • How to conduct a successful letter campaign in support of an application, etc.. *
  • A process to identify aviation supporters in any area. (www.airfields.org.uk)
  • Ongoing advice to aerodrome owners and operators. *
  • Surveys of aerodrome planning permissions and conditions imposed. *
  • A database of planning decisions. *
  • Analysis of planning results, and success/failure rates. *
  • A study of the reactions of local authorities and planning inspectors to noise from general aviation airfields. *
  • 'Bizarre Results' papers, analysing planning decisions and showing how unpredictable it is, particularly in noise measurement and interpretation. *
  • Planning guidance for Local Planning Authorities on general aviation, sent to over 1000 UK councils. *
  • Detailed planning guidance for sale to Local Planning Authorities. *
  • Conference for Planning officers etc., to advise them on aviation issues and the help we can give them to make better decisions. *
  • Ongoing response to enquiries from planning officers and environmental health officers. *
  • A survey of all County and Regional Structure Plans. *
  • Revised entries are being sought for each Structure Plan when the opportunity occurs. *
  • Monitoring local authorities plans. *
  • Promoting 'hush kits' (silencers/multi-blade propellors) for light aircraft. **
  • Requesting government to include positive provision for general aviation in proposed integrated transport policy. *
  • General Aviation Small Airfield Research Project – evidence regarding local or national economic benefit deriving from small airfields. The study, by a mature PhD student at University College, London, was fully accepted by the UK Department for Transport. This is demonstrated by the fact that the Department is supporting the project financially. The principal objectives are to provide, with the aid of a socio-economic model, an estimate of the overall financial benefits of general aviation. See www.gaac.co.uk and click on “News” and “ December 2004 - GAAC Newsletter”.

* See GAAC at www.gaac.co.uk and follow various references to publications etc.

** Contact FAI Environmental Commission for more details of hard copy etc. that we are aware of.

Interaction of air sports with wildlife

A key issue on the agenda of the FAI Environmental Commission (EnvC) is to provide objective information about the interaction of air sports with wildlife. Air sports enthusiasts of all disciplines throughout the world need to know more about the various effects our activities have on nature, so as to be able to fly considerately.

EnvC has initiated a series of translations into English of articles which describe the effects of air sport activities on wildlife and how to find solutions to manage the issues. The articles were first published in a German book entitled “Air Sports & Nature Protection”, published jointly by the German Aero Club and the German Federal Agency for Nature Protection.

Although the case studies are mainly from Germany, they provide advice and practical help on how to manage environmental and nature conservation issues anywhere in the world. The first translations are now available on this page as PDF files.

Further translations will be published on the EnvC website in the future.

How to set a Record

EnvC Meeting Registration

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Saturday 8 February 2014 at:  

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Via Cesare Beccaria 35/A
00196 ROME


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Literature Reference List

The Commission has compiled a considerable database of information on the real environmental impact of aviation to nature.

Other information on noise measurement, planning issues, etc. is also being documented.

This Literature Reference List serves as an instrument for those interested in these matters to find sound information. For the ease of use, website links and addresses are provided where either the referenced article can be found and downloaded or where the relevant organization is available which has a direct relationship to the article.


All air sports interact with parts of the environment, considering air, land, sea, water, scenic views, wildlife, vegetation. Each air sport discipline has specific interactions with these parts of the environment.

The development of facilities and the carrying out of air sport activities are to be conducted in a manner that harmonises the interaction between the air sport activities and the environment.

The Environmental Commission has been created with the objectives set out in FAI Statutes:

  • to evaluate the influence of air sports on the environment;
  • to develop an FAI policy aimed at maintaining and improving conditions for the development of air sports while respecting realistically demonstrated environmental interests;
  • to advise Executive Board and Air Sport Commissions on environmental matters affecting air sports.

Current program of the Environmental Commission

  • Publish detailed environmental codes of conduct for air sports disciplines (covering e.g. considerate flying, flying site layout, and operational procedures, landscaping and habitat, nature conservation)
  • Establish a database (link: Air Sports and the Environment) available on the FAI web site providing information on the real environmental impact of aviation on nature
  • Develop a widely acceptable method to determine and define noise levels for small airfields and work to have this method endorsed by ISO and ICAO

Invitation for cooperation and communication

FAI members, FAI commission delegates and all readers of this web site are invited to contribute to the work of the FAI Environmental Commission. Contributions presenting particular valuable examples of environmental impact on nature, should they be positive or negative, are welcome and may be submitted either via our email mailing list or discussion forum.


FAI Environmental Commission Bureau

Dr Michael Goth President of Honour Germany
Mr Chris J. Nicholas President of Honour United Kingdom
China (People's Republic of) Delegate Yang Jiuhai
  Alternate Delegate Yang Zhuoyue
Croatia Delegate Tomislav Vajda
  Alternate Delegate Milorad Ceko
Denmark Delegate Peter Andersen
  Alternate Delegate Tonny Henriksen
Egypt Delegate El Sayed Faisal El Shenawy
France Alternate Delegate Gérard Früh
Germany Delegate Denise Kluge
Hong Kong, China Delegate Andy Chau
Italy Delegate Andrea Tomasi
Korea (People's Dem. Rep.) Delegate Hyo Nam Kang
  Alternate Delegate Chong II Kim
Mexico Delegate Mauricio Bonilla Padilla
  Alternate Delegate Luis Felipe Espinosa Del Valle
New Zealand Delegate Elizabeth King
Portugal Delegate João Davide Sabino
Russia Delegate Sergey Ananov
  Alternate Delegate Alexander Bessonov
Serbia Delegate Milica Kljajic
  Alternate Delegate Svetlana Dragicevic
Sweden Delegate Rolf Björkman
  Alternate Delegate Annika Burström
Switzerland Delegate Bruno Scherrer
Thailand Delegate Nattha Vinijnaiyapak
United Arab Emirates Delegate Yousif Hassan Ali Al Hammadi
  Alternate Delegate Mohammed Yousif
United Kingdom Delegate Diana King
  Alternate Delegate Jane Randle
USA Delegate Bernald S. Smith
Aircraft Effects on Birds  (35.71 kB)19 August 2011
Cooperation – a promising way to balance different interests  (23.78 kB)19 August 2011
Compromises for the protection of rare species of bird  (339.92 kB)19 August 2011
The management of a nature reserve facilitates cooperation  (6.94 kB)19 August 2011
Resting geese and hot-air balloons  (267.86 kB)19 August 2011


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