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LCQ14: Aircraft noise
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     Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan Wai-yip and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, at the Legislative Council meeting today (March 16):

Question:

     In reply to my question at the Legislative Council meeting on April 29, 2009, the Government indicated that the Civil Aviation Department had, since October 1998, implemented a series of aircraft noise mitigating measures to minimise the impact of aircraft noise on the communities near the flight paths (e.g. to avoid aircraft overflying densely populated areas in the early hours, arrangements were made for flights departing Hong Kong between 11pm and 7am to use the southbound route via the West Lamma Channel as far as possible, while flights arriving in Hong Kong between midnight and 7am were directed to land from the waters southwest of the airport, and aircraft approaching from the northeast had adopted the Continuous Descent Approach when landing in order to reduce aircraft noise impact).  However, I have learnt that up till now aircraft noise during the aforesaid hours still often causes nuisance to residents of quite a number of housing estates, making it difficult for them to fall asleep.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the annual data recorded in 2009 and 2010 by various aircraft noise monitoring terminals on aircraft noise levels which reached 70 to 74, 75 to 79, and 80 decibels (dB) or above during the aforesaid hours;

(b) of the types of aircraft the noise levels of which reached 80 dB or above last year and the names of their operating airline companies; and

(c) whether the existing aircraft noise mitigating measures will be further enhanced to reduce the nuisance caused to residents in the districts concerned; if so, of the details?
 
Reply:

President,

(a) The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) has 16 noise monitoring terminals.  The aircraft noise events recorded by these terminals in 2009 and 2010 are set out in Annex 1.

(b) The types of aircraft with noise events exceeding 80 decibels in 2010 and the operating airlines concerned are set out in Annex 2.

(c) Without affecting flight safety and air traffic operation, CAD has since October 1998 implemented a series of noise mitigating measures to minimise the impact of aircraft noise on the areas near the flight paths. Such measures, apart from those mentioned in the question, include íV

(i) to reduce the aircraft noise impact on Tsing Lung Tau, Sham Tseng and Ma Wan, all aircraft taking off towards the northeast of the airport are required to follow the noise abatement departure procedures prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation so as to reach a higher altitude within a shorter distance; and

(ii) with effect from July 2002, CAD has banned all aircraft which have a higher noise level, as defined in Chapter 2 of Volume I, Part II of Annex 16 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, from landing and taking off in Hong Kong.

     In addition, CAD commissioned a consultancy firm in early 2009 to examine revisions to the current procedures for aircraft taking off at the Hong Kong International Airport to the northeast and turning south to the West Lamma Channel, with a view to mitigating the noise impact on Ma Wan.  The consultancy firm completed such work in 2010 and recommended requiring all aircraft which can use satellite navigation technology to follow a set of "Radius-to-Fix" turn procedures when making south turns so that the aircraft follow the designated flight paths closely during the turn, thereby reducing the noise impact on Ma Wan residents. CAD is developing the departure procedures as recommended by the consultancy firm, and plans to promulgate the procedures by end 2011 for use by airlines.

Ends/Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Issued at HKT 12:03

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