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Work continuously under way to reduce noise

Aviation noise is produced by, among other things, the take-off and landing of aircraft. This is a fact that is hard to get around. But a great deal is being done to reduce noise as much as possible. Examples of this include green flights, modified flight paths and lower take-off charges for quieter aircraft.

The noise on the ground is loudest on take-off since there is high engine thrust. In contrast, landings do not require strong engine thrust but they still generate high noise levels on the ground during the final part of their approach, since this is done at low altitude. The environmental impact that gives rise to is always monitored, and Stockholm Arlanda is continuously working to reduce this.

Lower costs for aircraft that make less noise

Major international efforts are under way to reduce aviation noise. For instance, the noisiest aircraft are no longer allowed to operate at airports in the EU. This work has encouraged airlines to replace planes that make the most noise or replace older engines.

At Stockholm Arlanda, airlines with modern, quieter aircraft models also pay lower charges than those with older and noisier models. 

Measures to reduce noise

Below are four priority areas that the airport is working actively with, in cooperation with neighbours, the Stockholm County Council and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, to reduce noise from air traffic at Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

Changes in departure patterns and adjustments in departure routes

To improve the situation for people living near the airport, changes in departure patterns and minor adjustments in SIDs, that is departure routes, are being made. These changes mean that flight paths avoid densely populated areas better than before.

Higher approach altitude

By raising the approach altitude from 2,500 feet (750 metres) to 4,000 feet (1,200 metres), the noise level over some densely populated areas can be reduced. 

Green approaches

Are a kind of “eco-driving” with aircraft. Allowing the plane to descend evenly in conjunction with landing – instead of step by step – saves on jet fuel and reduces noise and air emissions. In a green approach, landing time can be determined earlier than in regular cases, which in turn means that the pilot glides in the final phase with the engines at a lower RPM and without unnecessary waiting time in the air. 

Curved approaches

With curved approaches (RNP-AR, Required Navigation Performance – Authorisation Required), aircraft can avoid flying over densely populated areas during their approach. Carrying out curved approaches requires very advanced navigation equipment on board the aircraft.

Open dialogue and increased environmental awareness

Along with steps to limit noise, measurements are taken and test flights are performed, and there is also a programme for air traffic controllers and pilots to further raise environmental awareness. An open dialogue with Stockholm Arlanda’s neighbours is also an important part of the work, and the airport strives to plan departure and approach routes so that the noise disrupts as little as possible and is as low as possible. Homes subjected to the most noise have been sound-insulated.