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New noise protection hangar inaugurated at Zurich Airport

On 18 June, the new noise protection hangar for conducting engine tests at Zurich Airport was inaugurated. The new noise protection hangar is a major step towards improving the noise situation in the long term, especially during the night.

The inauguration of the new noise protection hangar concludes a year-long process aimed at improving the noise situation during engine testing at Zurich Airport. After maintenance work or an engine change, the engines have to undergo a function test. They are operated at different levels while the aircraft is standing.

In order to minimise noise for the surrounding municipalities and in accordance with the approval of the operating regulations in force since 2011, Flughafen Zürich AG was obliged to construct a new, state-of-the-art run-up facility to replace the previously used and obsolete noise baffles.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the enclosed noise protection hangar took place on 4 October 2012, and the new facility was inaugurated today in the presence of Ernst Stocker, Member of the Cantonal Government of the Canton of Zurich, Harry Hohmeister, CEO of Swiss International Air Lines and Thomas E. Kern, CEO of Flughafen Zürich AG as well as around 100 guests from political and business circles. A series of tests will take place in the next few weeks. As soon as the noise protection hangar has commenced operation, the old noise baffles will be dismantled.

A unique construction
The noise protection hangar has been equipped with the latest technology. The building will allow through ventilation and has been completely clad in noise-absorbing perforated plate cassettes which provide highly effective noise reduction. The roof is supported by an elaborate steel construction so no internal supports are required. At 126 metres long and 82 metres wide it is designed to accommodate all aircraft types up to a Boeing B747-800.

Optimised noise measurements
Six microphones have been installed in the hangar to measure and record the noise volume during the tests. A noise quota has been set by the authorities, municipalities and Flughafen Zürich AG for the engine tests. This means that only a certain level of noise can be produced in weekly and daily intervals. Once this level has been reached, no further tests may be carried out at Zurich Airport in the respective period.

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