Yes, although most of the major technological advancements have already occurred.
Aircraft that are being manufactured today such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner are 75% quieter than aircraft manufactured 40 years ago and Australia has one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. However, it is recognised that growth in air traffic has resulted in more noise events than in the past. Aircraft and engine manufacturers with the support of government agencies and industry groups will continue to invest heavily in research and development to produce significantly quieter aircraft.
Advancements in air navigation aids both on the ground and in the cockpit are also allowing aircraft to operate in ways that can reduce noise levels on the ground or reduce aircraft noise exposure.
For example, Continuous Descent Approaches (CDA) allow aircraft to descend from cruising altitude down to the runway in one smooth and uninterrupted motion. This reduces noise because aircraft require less thrust and stay higher for longer.
Required Navigation Performance (RNP) commonly referred to as ‘Smart Tracking’ is a relatively new navigation procedure that relies on satellite-based technology. An RNP procedure uses satellite navigation, coupled with the performance characteristics of an aircraft’s autopilot system, to allow crew to fly aircraft along a precise flight path with a high level of accuracy.
RNP has the potential to increase airspace capacity and offers safety benefits with precision and accuracy. It also provides flexibility that allows for an extremely narrow corridor, including curved approaches, resulting in improved efficiency, capacity and environmental performance. These flexible flight paths allow for aircraft to be directed around obstacles or restricted areas such as noise sensitive locations while keeping the most direct routing possible to minimise fuel burn.
RNP is now a standard procedure at Perth Airport, although only some aircraft equipped with the required technology can fly an RNP approach.
Industry remains committed to using technology where they can to reduce the impacts of aircraft noise.Previous