NON-STAGE 3 aircraft will be banned from operating in European Union member states from 1 April, 2002, unless specific waivers are granted for up to an additional three years. Any Stage 2 aircraft, which reaches 25 years of age before the final cut-off date, must be removed from service immediately.

US legislation calls for Stage 2 aircraft to be banned over a year earlier, from 31 December, 1999, although specific waivers may be granted until the end of 2003. US carriers must also reduce the proportion of Stage 2 aircraft in their fleets, either by adding Stage 3 aircraft or phasing out Stage 2 types.

The options are to reduce the number of Stage 2 aircraft by 50% by the end of this year, and 75% by the end of 1998, or to achieve a fleet-mix of 65% Stage 3 aircraft by the end of this year and 75% by the end of 1998. Non-Stage 3-compliant aircraft may no longer be added to European or US civil registers.

US Federal Aviation Regulation Part 36, governing Stage 3 aircraft noise, is broadly similar to the International Civil Aviation Organisation's Annex 16 Chapter 3 standards. One notable difference is that US legislation exempts the Stage 2 Fokker F28 because it has a maximum take-off weight below 34,000kg.

Three noise measurement points are used for certification purposes: sideline from a distance of 650m (2,100ft); 6.5km (3.5nm) from the start of the take-off roll along the extended centreline of the runway; and on the approach 2km from the runway threshold. Allowable noise varies depending on the maximum take-off weight of the aircraft and the number of engines it has.

Source: Flight International