Czech Airlines’ Noise Policy
We realise that noise in the vicinity of airports is perceived as a serious problem. A solution leading to the reduction in noise levels must also meet security criteria and be economically realistic.
Generally Applied Principles for the Reduction of the Noise Caused by Aircraft Operatio
- While in flight, an aircraft produces two types of noise. The most significant component is the noise generated by its engines. The aircraft’s aerodynamics are the second most significant source of noise, which is generated as the natural effect of the movement of an aircraft through air. Modern technologies used in new generation aircraft have brought a significant reduction of both noise components. Between 1993 and 2000, Czech Airlines underwent a major reconfiguration of its fleet, having gradually replaced old types of aircraft with new ones that are certified under international standards for lower noise categories. In this respect, the upgrading of our fleet is ongoing.
- Planning and zoning procedures are the responsibility of the airport manager or operator. Even if all restrictions are observed, the operation of aircraft generates noise, which requires that the vicinity of airports be subject to a specific regime. Prague Airport provides information about this on its website: Prague Airport
- Operating restrictions/bans are applied as restrictive measures preventing excessive noise caused by aircraft operation above places sensitive to noise (hospitals) or during a certain time (at night). Details about these restrictions are published in the Flight Information Handbook. These restrictions may only be breached in cases when the safety of the flight would otherwise be compromised. Information about activities in air navigation is provided by the Czech Air Navigation Services on its website: Czech Air Navigation Services
- Take-off (SID tracks) and landing (STAR tracks) procedures are of the greatest significance in influencing the noise level in the vicinity of the airport. They are created by the airport operator in association with the major aircraft operator and the provider of air navigation services. The procedures are approved by the Civil Aviation Authority. Czech Airlines participates in creating these procedures at the Prague-Ruzyně Airport. The resulting take-off and landing procedures are then published in the Flight Information Manual and are binding for pilots.
The adequacy of procedures for reducing noise pollution depends on the actual physical form of the airport and its surroundings. In all cases, the procedures are selected with the intention to protect those locales in the airport’s vicinity that may be sensitive to noise, while complying with the conditions to ensure flight safety.
Regardless of the specific features of a particular airport, the procedures for take-off and landing are based on the following general principles:
- For take-offs, the procedures differ depending on the portion of the take-off during which noise is to be reduced. This governs the application of take-off (maximum) engine output and the take-off wing configuration. When locales that are more remote from the airport are to be protected from noise, maximum output is used to quickly attain sufficient flight altitude. If the immediate vicinity is to be protected, the aircraft is accelerated faster, to allow take-off to continue with reduced output earlier.
- In order to reduce noise pollution during landing, a smooth descent is used, without changes in speed and engine output, with the aim of achieving a smooth descent with lower output and resistance, so that the landing gear could be opened up as late as possible.
The observance of noise-reduction procedures during landing and take-off operations is being monitored. Aircraft crews always make decisions with the safety of operations in mind. There are cases when they need to diverge from a prescribed procedure, in order not to compromise the safety of the flight (e.g., conflicting traffic, storm, etc.).
Czech Airlines pilots undergo continuous training, which pays due attention to noise-level reduction procedures.
The noise level caused by aircraft operation at Prague Ruzyně Airport is regulated by the Prague Airport Corporation. Czech Airlines, as other carriers, pay noise fees for each landing at Ruzyně. Their amount is derived from the maximum flight weight of the given aircraft and its classification in a noise category, according to the noise certificate of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The Prague Airport Corporation is responsible for noise-prevention measures in the noise-protection zone around Prague Ruzyně Airport. It uses the noise fees collected in a fund to finance those measures. Czech Airlines is the largest contributor to this fund, as it accounts for nearly one-half of the airport’s traffic. Czech Airlines pays tens of millions of crowns every year in noise fees.
Our aircraft fleet comprises primarily aircraft with the lowest noise-levels (64% in the 1st category, 36% in the 2nd category). Prague Ruzyně Airport distinguishes 5 noise categories, with the 1st one being the quietest and the 5th being the noisiest.