'Sound videos' chart consequences of expanding Lelystad Airport

Few economic analysts doubt that global aviation is set to expand significantly in the coming decades. To accommodate future growth, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol plans to offer extra capacity at alternative locations, as the national airport itself is wedged between the cities of the densely populated Randstad conurbation.

One of the proposed locations is Lelystad Airport, which is not yet equipped to handle regular leisure flights. Expansion is, however, governed by strict rules and regulations. For this reason, an Environmental Impact Report was drawn up to chart factors such as air quality, external safety and noise levels.

In 2014, NLR was commissioned to give local residents a realistic impression of the impact of additional air traffic on their living environment in terms of aircraft noise.

During a series of consultation evenings in the province of Flevoland, the Alders Roundtable – a platform for social and economic aviation stakeholders – presented noise contours for the intended expansion of air traffic. However, the two-dimensional graphic representations provided insufficient insight into the noise affecting local residents. This prompted numerous questions and only partially clarified the plans.

NLR was given a sharp deadline to come up with a clear and comprehensive presentation. To this end, existing sound recordings from around Schiphol were adapted in such a way that they reflected the anticipated situation around Lelystad Airport. The recordings were of descending and ascending movements of an appropriate aircraft type, the Airbus A319. Flight paths were used to match those expected for commercial aircraft in the vicinity of Lelystad Airport in the future.

To make these simulations more realistic, Google Street View was used as an optical decor and locations on the outskirts and in the centre of all eleven nearby towns and villages were taken as reference points. This meant that noise levels were replicated for local residents at familiar locations. In addition, the recordings incorporated typical background noises on the ground at these locations, including passing traffic, the twittering of birds and the hustle and bustle of shopping streets.

The simulations produced a series of 32 'sound videos', each lasting about 90 seconds. The videos were then shown to the parties involved, giving a realistic rendition of the sounds to be expected. In this way, the videos offered a better impression of the future scenario, while addressing most of the questions. Local residents appreciated these sound videos, remarking that they were an essential source of additional information.

Lelystad Aiport images

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