The Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), which manages the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, is conducting a feasibility study to gauge if noise barriers are required around the airport. The barriers would be helpful in controlling noise levels caused by aircraft taking off, landing and taxiing inside the airport.
Mumbai airport, which is the second busiest in the world, sees close to 950 daily flights on an average. In 2015, MIAL installed a noise monitoring system to study the noise levels caused by aircraft movement. The airport studies noise levels through different noise monitoring stations installed at five different locations around the airport, including Juhu and Ghatkopar.
In 2016, the Central Pollution Control Board had released a draft notification to regulate noise levels around the airport. The draft demands airports to include “sound resistance measures” within the design of the building
“A Spain-based company is conducting a feasibility study to understand if barriers are required around the airport. The study is on since January this year. Based on the report, we will understand if barriers will help bring down the noise levels,” said an MIAL official.
The study will try to analyse the height of the barriers to be installed and identify locations where they can come up. “It could be quite a risk to install barriers around the airport. We need to take care that they do not interfere with the flight path,” the official added.
MIAL claims the noise level in the morning (6 am-10 pm) at the airport is 75 decibels (dB) while it is 70 dB in the evening (10 pm-6 am), which is within the norms set by the ministry.
“The amount of noise generated also depends upon one’s closeness to the aircraft when the reading is being taken. For example, we exceed 80-90 dB at night when there is more movement of aircraft,” the official said.
In the past few years, MIAL has increased the number of taxiways and rapid exit taxiways to ensure quick movement of aircraft. “We also supply air-conditioned air inside the aircraft when it is parked so that they don’t need to use the generator that causes noise. We are also trying to develop the airside to ensure aircraft movement becomes quick,” he added.