Our glossary contains frequently used terms and acronyms together with their explanations.

Conflicting objectives

Reducing aircraft noise and avoiding CO2 – a conflict of objectives
The rules are strict: The air navigation service providers of all member states in the Single European Sky (SES) programme are subject to strict regulations. For example, by 2014 flight paths in the SES region have to be shortened by 0.75 percentage points and punctuality per flight improved - while maintaining at least the same level of safety and handling more traffic.

The European Commission regulations cannot be implemented in the terminal airspace around airports, or can only be implemented to a certain degree. Apart from ensuring safety and meeting capacity goals, the prevention of unreasonable aircraft noise has priority over the shortest route, and thus CO2 emissions. It is often necessary to put up with long re-routings, particularly for departures, to avoid flying directly over densely populated cities and communities.

However, in densely populated areas such as the Rhine-Main region it is impossible to fly around all cities. As these cities are so close to the airport, the only way to reduce noise is to shift the noise impact to smaller communities where fewer people are affected.

Reducing aircraft noise using special approach and departure procedures
The noise disturbance associated with airport operations mainly depends on the number of approved aircraft movements and the type of aircraft used. Thus, a significant reduction in noise immissions can only be achieved if both of these factors are considered. Applying special procedures to approaches and departures may help to reduce noise slightly, but the results of this will be comparatively low.