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A new collaborative model reduces aircraft noise and increases green landings at Helsinki Airport

Article published
30.08.2019 kl 09:00
Finavia develops aircraft noise management together with the largest actors in air traffic in Finland: ANS Finland, Finnair, Norra, SAS and Norwegian.

Good environmental work and collaboration are part of Finavia’s corporate responsibility. The Sum of Good Things article series highlights details of Finavia’s responsibility work. This article focuses on the collaboration that enables green landings at Helsinki Airport. 

In Finland, the actors in air traffic have a long tradition of collaboration. Today, this work is guided by the CEM specification (Collaborative Environmental Management) by Eurocontrol, The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, providing an internationally applied framework for activities. 

“This forum helps partners to share information on operations that help reduce aircraft noise, as well as develop instructions on how to support them,” says Samu Tuparinne, Manager of Noise Management at Finavia. 

“The CEM collaboration provides us with data about noise level variation in our fleet and the reasons behind it,” says captain Henri Airava from the airline Norwegian. 

Green landings achieved through collaboration 

The CEM partners at Helsinki Airport have defined a working programme and goals for their collaboration. One of its concrete targets is to increase the use of key methods in green landings. These include Continuous Descent Operations, (CDO) and Low Power – Low Drag (LP/LD). 

Air traffic control by air navigation service provider ANS Finland enables green landings by letting the pilot descend continuously all the way from cruising altitude. In high altitudes, this approach method reduces fuel consumption and therefore CO2 emissions, and in lower altitudes it reduces noise. 

The LP-LD mechanism means using a lower-than-usual approach speed so that drag and motor power can be as low as possible. This reduces aircraft noise towards the end of the approach. 

“Continuous Descent Operations are a part of green landings, but for noise reduction during landings, other methods are also important,” Tuparinne says. 

At Helsinki Airport, the target level of flights performing CDO has been defined in the environmental permit. This should be 70% during the day and 80% at night. Last year, targets were reached both during daytime and night-time.  

Helsinki Airport is one of the best in Europe in green landings 

“Even though Helsinki Airport is already one of the best-performing airports in Europe when it comes to CDO, Finavia wants to actively develop other elements of green landings,” Tuparinne says. 

Finavia has published a new video for pilots and air traffic controllers to raise awareness on how to manage noise caused by approaching aircraft. 

“In practice, the pilot operates the landing, and the airline’s instructions and operating models affect this. Finavia’s goal is to support airlines in raising awareness. There are many matters that have to be taken into account during landing operations: safety always comes first, and after that, all pieces of the puzzle must match to have the best possible landing with less emissions and noise,” says Tuparinne. “We believe that good collaboration with our key partners is the best way to manage aircraft noise.” 

More information on green landings

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