Airport noise


Noise is one of the main environmental impacts related to airport facilities. In the same way as the managers of the largest European airports, ADR has attempted to deal with issues related to the disturbance noise causes for the local community near Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino airports - implementing measures to limit the inconvenience.

Therefore, new procedures to regulate and monitor flight operations have been adopted, together with guidelines for the proper management of the airport and instruments for forecasting capable of evaluating the effects of interventions before their implementation.

The main source of noise comes from the movement of the aircraft, both when taxiing on the ground, and when taking-off and landing, as well as when testing the engines.
The noise generated by the aircraft’s engines can be traced to a point source that moves along a predetermined trajectory. Once you have identified the acoustic characteristics of the source and the trajectory, it is possible to determine the acoustic field related to a single event or a single operation and to the sum of the event and the operation.
Each aircraft is characterized by its own acoustic physiognomy, depending on the type of aircraft and its engine, and the flight operating parameters. Once the effect of each air movement has been identified, it is possible to determine the overall acoustic situation, summing the contributions of the individual aircraft movements in terms of energy and thus configuring the traffic model, which characterizes each airport.
According to the regulations in force in Italy, the index used to measure the acoustic conditions over a given period of time is the LVA index, as defined in Ministerial Decree 31/10/97.

In order to mitigate the noise levels produced, ADR has realized, over a period of time, a series of ground-based interventions:

  • artificial dunes 4-6 metres heigh, alongside runway 1 limit noise during taxiing.
  • a barrier of plants, consisting of Mediterranean vegetation, trees and shrubs, along the Rome-Fiumicino motorway, to contain noise within the airport site.
  • “fast exits” on runway 1 to allow landing aircraft to clear the runway without using the “reverse” command;
  • resurfacing of the engine test apron, and the construction of sound absorbing barriers and sound insulation;

The Monitoring System

“Leonardo da Vinci”
The Rome Fiumicino Airport was the first in Italy to adopt a continuous sensing system integrated with radar data and equipped with sensors installed on the airport site and in the immediate vicinity.

The noise monitoring system is capable of integrating the noise data detected by the sensors with the radar data provided, by  ENAV - Ente Nazionale Assistenza al Volo.

Today, the monitoring system outside the airport area consists of 15 fixed stations; in addition, ADR technicians use another three “mobile” stations for measuring noise in the medium- to long-term, in addition to three portable phonometres for operator-assisted measurements in specific situations.

“Giovan Battista Pastine”
At Rome Ciampino Airport a monitoring system similar to that at Leonardo da Vinci Airport is operating, equipped with six operational sensors.


Main characteristics of monitoring:

  • Three-dimensional representation of the routes and traffic density with respect to the territory;
  • Control observation of the predisposed corridors for arrival and departure routes (the so-called “GATES”);
  • Replay function, capable of representing the aircraft in motion in a given time frame, at normal speed and accelerated.
  • Creation of an archive that allows for questions of a relational nature on all the typical parameters of the system including the noise level values of a given time, airline, type of aircraft, type of route.
  • Possibility of obtaining and printing out the routes followed by the aircraft for the purposes of representing and documenting noise indices, calculated on the basis of the regulations in force.


Main norms regulating aircraft noise

International norms

  • ICAO - appendix 16: includes the Standards and Recommendations related to Environmental Protection. In particular, Volume I covers aircraft noise levels.

European norms

  • Directive 80/51/CEE (20/12/1979): Limitation of noise levels emitted by subsonic civil aviation jet aircraft;
  • Directive 83/206/CEE (21/04/1983): Amendments to Directive 80/51;
  • Directive 89/629/CEE, 04/12/1989): Limitation of noise levels emitted by subsonic civil aviation jet aircraft;
  • Directive 92/14/CEE (02/03/1992): Limitations on the use of the aircraft covered by ICAO appendix 16;
  • EC Regulation n.925/1999 (29/04/1999): Registration and operation of some models of aircraft recertified in accordance with chapter 3, appendix 16 of the ICAO (subsequently abrogated by Directive 30/2002);
  • Directive 2002/30/CE (26/03/2002): Norms and procedures for the introduction of operating restrictions designed to reduce noise levels in European community airports;
  • Directive 2002/43/CE (25/06/2002): Measurement and management of environmental noise;
  • EC Recommendation 2003/613/CE (06/08/2003): Criteria for updating methods of calculating noise produced by industrial activities, aircraft, road traffic and railways and noise level data.

National norms

  • Law 26/10/1995, n. 447: Framework law on noise pollution;
  • MIN. DECREE 31/10/1997: Methodology for measuring airport noise levels;
  • D.P.C.M. 14/11/1997: Determination of ceiling values for sources of noise;
  • D.P.R. 11/12/1997, n. 496: Regulation containing norms for the reduction of noise pollution produced by civil aviation aircraft;
  • D.P.C.M. 5/12/1997: Determination of passive acoustic requisites for buildings;
  • MIN. DECREE 20/5/1999: Criteria for the design of systems to monitor noise pollution levels near airports and criteria for the classification of airports in relation to the levels of noise pollution produced;
  • MIN. DECREE 3/12/1999: Procedures and zones to be respected in airports;
  • MIN. DECREE 29/11/2000: Criteria for the compilation of plans to contain and reduce noise levels by the companies or agencies managing public transport services or the relative infrastructures;
  • Leg. Decree 17-1-2005 n. 13: Application of Directive 2002/30/CE relative to the introduction of operating restrictions designed to reduce noise levels in European airports.
  • Leg. Decree 19-8-2005 n. 194: Application of Directive 2002/49/CE relative to the determination and management of environmental noise.
  • Decree of the Ministry of the Environment no. 345 of 18th December 2018 which approved the Noise Abatement Plan of the "G.B. Pastine " Ciampino airport. ADR Actions