Testing Aircraft Engines
Engine ground running is a test operation of an engine attached to an aircraft. It is a mandatory procedure for all aircraft returning into service after engine maintenance. A typical test consists of a period of running the engine at idle power, a short full power run of the engine or a combination of both. When possible, for operational reasons, aircraft are oriented into the wind during an engine ground run. The Catchment Areas potentially affected will therefore vary to some extent depending on which direction is downwind. Engine testing rules and procedures are generally established to reflect the individual characteristics of an airport, including whether the airport supports regular engine maintenance works, the location of sensitive receptors and whether noise emissions from testing can be shielded.
At major Australian airports, each engine test needs to be approved by the airport operator in consultation with air traffic control to ensure they are conducted safely and at approved locations. Extensive records are kept of each engine ground running including the date of the run, the type of aircraft, the site of the running, the aircraft heading, the number of engines running, the time of each running and the power settings used. The noise level associated with the EGR may also be recorded.
The diagram below shows noise levels generated by the engine testing of a Fokker 100 aircraft in normal weather conditions.