The French Government has imposed strict new noise regulations at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Le Bourget airports as part of concessions won by the local community allowing it to build a further two runways.

In the run-up to the European Union's total ban on older, non-Chapter 3 compliant, aircraft at European airports by 2002, the civil aviation authority (DGAC) has developed a timetable which began on 1 July and calls for the progressive reduction of noise caused by such aircraft "by whatever means", including the employment of hushkits.

On the basis of the number and type of aircraft airlines operated at the airport in 1997, the French Government is demanding "noise emissions reductions of 15% in 1998 and of 20% in 1999, 2000 and 2001".

The DGAC explains this was the "-best way to get airlines to reduce their Chapter 2 fleets as soon as possible". According to the DGAC, Chapter 2 aircraft represent 37% of total noise at Charles de Gaulle Airport, and account for only 12% of traffic, yet are responsible for 85% of complaints.

The other airport at Paris, Orly, is not affected by the ban since it is already capacity limited and, according to the DGAC, "most airlines there already operate Chapter 3 aircraft".

Source: Flight International