Noise is one of the main themes of Air France-KLM’s environmental policy. We strive to reduce our impact by taking the necessary measures in dialogue with our local communities. While accommodating the increasing customer demand for mobility, one challenge for the aviation industry is to maintain noise hindrance at an acceptable level for those living near airports. The Group has formalized its commitment to noise mitigation by making it a requirement enshrined in The Air France – KLM Principles.

L’investissement dans d’autres projets sur la connaissance et la conservation de la biodiversité contribue également à comprendre le dilemme associé aux services écosystémiques comme à la production des biocarburants durables. Si certains types de biocarburants destinés au transport routier peuvent avoir un impact négatif sur la biodiversité, le groupe Air France - KLM veut garantir l’utilisation de carburants aéronautiques durables qui ont l’impact le plus faible sur l’approvisionnement en nourriture, la biodiversité et un impact positif sur le développement local.

 

Air France-KLM Group reduced its noise footprint by 39% between 2000 and 2020, whereas the number of aircraft movements increased by 18% over the period 2000 to 2019 (2020 excluded due to operational impacts of the global pandemic. The ratio of global noise energy per movement is constantly decreasing and, in 2020, represented a reduction of 51% compared to 2000.

REDUCING NOISE AT SOURCE

Fleet modernization and flight operation improvements are the two pillars of our noise abatement strategy.

Fleet renewal

We pursue a pro-active policy of fleet renewal and modernization, thereby contributing to the improvement in our energy efficiency and a reduction in our noise footprint.

All of the aircraft in the Air France-KLM fleet meet the criteria established by the ICAO Chapter 4 Noise Standard, the most exacting standard covering the acoustic quality of civil aircraft.

We significantly reduced our noise footprint by withdrawing the noisiest aircraft, Boeing 747s and A340, from operational service, and introducing the 787-9 and A350. The introduction of the Boeing 787-9 and A350 reduced the operational noise footprint by approximately 40% compared to similarly sized aircraft. For these type of aircraft, this type of aircraft the noise footprint has been reduced to the point that, at each takeoff, the exposure to noise in the surrounding airport area is lower than 85 dB(A) (comparable to the noise of a truck passing).

See Carbon Footprint for specific fleet composition changes.

Noise abatement procedures

Specific solutions are sought to reduce the noise emissions from aircraft. We are working to improve departure and approach procedures, along with the French and Dutch Civil Aviation Authorities who are assessing the environmental benefits of the improved procedures.

When possible, we implement continuous descent or NADP (Noise Abatement Departure Procedure) procedures which significantly reduce noise pollution. The SESAR program also aims to improve the management of noise and its impact through precision landing procedures using satellite navigation and optimized flight paths, including optimized climb and descent operations.

DIALOGUE WITH RESIDENTS, AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THE FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Air France and KLM meet with the representatives of local communities, airport and aviation authorities to identify measures and solutions to reduce noise hindrance that could affect people living near airports.

In 2020, KLM took part in the Minder Hinder (less disruption) program with Schiphol and Air Traffic Control NL to reduce noise hindrance and improve the quality of the local environment. KLM is committed to contributing to a 2% annual reduction in serious disruption around Schiphol airport and has undertaken to contribute to the government’s and Schiphol’s local emission reduction plans covering ultrafine particles and nitrogen. KLM will make a proportional reduction in its night flights from 32,000 to 25,000 at Schiphol in return for, amongst other conditions, an increase in the number of aircraft movements at Schiphol to 540,000, the opening of Lelystad airport and the development of rail replacement for destinations like Brussels and Düsseldorf, the latter within the framework of the Air Rail program in which KLM participates.

In the Netherlands, KLM participates in Het Regioforum which addresses issues surrounding noise with the local community. In France, this dialogue is mainly conducted within the context of the CCEs (Environmental Consultative Commissions) and CCARs (Advisory Residents’ Assistance Commissions) in which Air France participates at all the French airports where it has operations.

In France, Air France fosters a dialogue with residents and partakes in the advisory committees on environment and residents’ issues, such as CCE (Commission Consultative de l’Environnement) and CCAR (Commission Consultative d’Aide aux Riverains) at all the French airports where it operates.

Air France has been actively involved in a Night Flights working Group, overseen by the Prefect of the Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport region. This working Group notably proposed new “dead of night” continuous descent procedures and welcomed the voluntary retirement of noisy aircraft including Air France’s Boeing 747s. Air France reaffirmed this commitment with the announcement of the phase-out from the fleet of the Airbus A340s. In 2019, during the French National Air Transportation Debate (Assises du Transport Aérien), the government committed to the widespread application of continuous descent procedures in the medium-term (2023). Lastly, the punctuality of flights scheduled for late at night or early in the morning is the subject of a specific expert monitoring group.

French and Dutch government policies include the exposure to aircraft noise in their urban planning considerations and provide financial help for soundproofing homes.

  • In 2020, the Air France Group’s contribution (Air France, Transavia and HOP! Air France) to the French Tax on Air Transport Noise Pollution (TATN) paid to the French government amounted to €10 million. Its proceeds are allocated to the financing of sound-proofing for homes located around the main airports. Since the TATN was put in place, around €770 million has been allocated to the sound-proofing of housing, to which Air France has made a substantial contribution.
  • Extensive noise control measures have been implemented Around Schiphol Airport. Over the past two decades, KLM has contributed a major portion to the total of €754 million noise taxes, and has been devoted to soundproofing and compensating for loss of property value around Schiphol airport.

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