In The Netherlands, the procedures regarding the zoning, reduction and enforcement of air traffic noise around airports are regulated in laws. By ‘Besluit Zonering Buitenlandse Luchtvaartterreinen Noord- en Midden-Limburg’ (Decree on noise impact zoning of foreign airports in Northern and Central Limburg), those laws have also been made applicable to German airports that are situated just across the border and therefore also have an acoustic impact on Dutch soil. One example of such a German airport is the former RAF military base Laarbruch. This location has been in use for civil aviation since 2003, operating under the name Airport Weeze (IATA: NRN, for Niederrhein).
Contribution of Peutz
Airport Weeze consists of one airstrip on the east-west axis. The Dutch town Nieuw-Bergen is located closely to the western end of the airstrip. Because of the predominantly western winds, the take-offs are most of the time directed towards the Dutch town, when head wind is preferred.
Noise impact zones around airports are determined through calculations. The valid noise impact zone, attachment A of forementioned decree, is based on an expected long-term scenario of air transport movements from 1998. Important acoustic items in that scenario are the annual number of air movements, the types of aircraft that are to be used, the times at which the take-offs and landings take place (as nocturnal flights are perceived as a larger annoyance than daytime flights that produce the same amount of dB), and flight routes. This scenario is developed by the airport on the basis of expected market developments, etc. Recalculations have been made in 2008, but these results never got a legal status.
In this particular situation the zone consists of 35 Ke noise contour. Ke stands for ‘Kosteneenheden’, a unit developed by the Dutch professor Kosten. There is no public or commercial software available to calculate the noise impact around airports in Ke. Therefore Peutz has developed a calculation tool, which has been verified by comparing it to other software tools (like NLR).
In the course of the research it turned out that it was possible to keep the amount of homes within the zone to a minimum, by choosing western take-off routes that would turn away to the north as soon as possible. This way the centre of the village ‘Nieuw-Bergen’ would be spared. In collaboration with aviation authorities, safe routes have been developed, which are now the obligatory routes.
Within the 40 Ke noise contour, there are only a few houses, which were already insulated because of the former military use of the airfield.