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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Prediction of noise levels and annoyance from aircraft run-ups at the Vancouver International Airport Scherebnyj, Katrina Anna


The Vancouver International Airport Authority (YVRAA), responsible for managing the airport, has been receiving an ever-increasing number of noise complaints resulting from engine run-ups. Engine run-ups - the testing of stationary aircraft’s engines following maintenance - often take place at night in order to promptly return aircraft into service the following morning, thus causing noise disturbance in nearby communities. There are certain run-up parameters - such as the location and heading of the aircraft - which the airport can control. A model to predict noise levels, from which annoyance can be inferred and which YVRAA can use to manage run-ups, has been developed. A basic 2D, single-frequency version of the Green’s Function Parabolic Equation (GFPE) model for predicting outdoor noise levels was modified to include spatially-varying types of ground, turbulence, and air absorption. Sound-speed profiles resulting from wind and temperature gradients were also added, and the model was extended to predict 1/3-octave-band levels. The sound pressure levels and directivities of a small jet aircraft, the CRJ200, were measured in order to characterize its noise radiation. These and other data were used as the model input source data. The model modifications were evaluated by comparison with literature; predictions agreed well, typically within a couple of dB. The GFPE model was then used to calculate the transmission loss from run-up pads to community receiver locations, and corresponding annoyance levels, for various atmospheric conditions. A sensitivity analysis found the GFPE model to be most sensitive to wind, the state of the atmosphere, and the aircraft power setting and heading. Predictions for 17 run-ups were made; results were within 10 dBA in cases for which all input information was available, and within 20 dBA when some input data was unavailable. The percentage of people annoyed, as indicated by the percentage of people awoken from sleep, was predicted from the noise level predictions to be between 1.8 and 9.5 %.

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