City of Rotterdam embraces Explane app

Rotterdam is the first municipality in the world to support the Explane app for measuring aircraft noise.

Alderman Arno Bonte (GroenLinks) of Rotterdam will actively bring the Explane app to the attention of the Rotterdam population and wants to compare the results with those of the official reporting point of the DCMR environment service (photo: Municipality of Rotterdam).

This confirmed alderman Arno Bonte (GroenLinks) last Wednesday in a committee meeting of the Rotterdam city council.

Mayor Aboutaleb and the aldermen think the Explane app is a welcome addition to the DCMR environmental reporting system.

The alderman finds the app user-friendly and works well. “We will actively offer the app to residents of our city.”

Putting results together
Bonte believes that the app can work well in addition to the usual way of reporting from the environment service via the website or by telephone for years. “Afterwards we simply compare the results.” Read more >

No airplane captured (3)

Sometimes our app Explane says ‘No airplane captured’ after you have tried to measure the sound level of a passing aircraft.

We have asked our developer Roelof Meijer what the reasons can be for this annoying warning. He came up with several checks the app does before registering your measurement.

  • If there is no data available from the transponder of the plane (latitude, longitude, altitude) or if a plane is not equipped with a transponder (mostly older aircraft).
  • If the data available from the transponder is older than 15 seconds, the location data of the airplane is too old to be useful.
  • If the download of the transponder data takes more than 4 seconds. For example if you have a bad internet connection.
  • Read more >

    Online complaints center Schiphol hacked

    The online complaints center of Schiphol Airport has been hacked yesterday. Personal data of thousands of complainants have been stolen.

    Airports using the same software as the hacked Schiphol system (source: casper.aero)

    The hack has been confirmed by the airport and will be reported to the Dutch privacy protection agency. Data leaks can be fined with a maximum penalty of 10 million euros by Dutch authorities.

    The online complaints center was widely criticized by residents because it did not use secure connections to their website. This left personal data that has to be entered to complain vulnerable.

    Furiously
    Among the compromised data are street addresses and e-mail addresses from residents in the area of Schiphol Airport. On Twitter a lot of them react furiously. Read more >

    Over 100,000 registrations with Explane

    Today, at the 100th birthday of KLM, one of Europe’s most polluting airliners per capita, we have passed the 100,000th registration with our app Explane.

    Today’s screenshot of reports.explane.org

    Reaching this milestone the app is a huge success for enabling residents to register and document aviation noise. With the data, people can research the noise nuisance in their neighborhoods.

    Use in democratic process
    We have already seen the first documents from the Explane-website sent into the democratic process. Some residents have researched their situation and published their results in local and regional media and pointed politicians at the situation. Read more >

    Send your registrations also to BAS? #no #update

    This article is intended for our Dutch users, so the text is in Dutch. You can read the English translation at the bottom of this post.

    So in Dutch:
    Met de makers van de site ‘Over mijn dak’ onderzoeken we de mogelijkheid om deze app uit te breiden zodat iedere meting ook direct als klacht kan worden doorgestuurd aan het Bewoners Aanspreekpunt Schiphol (BAS).

    Hiervoor zou dan een tweede versie van Explane worden gebouwd, die via ‘Over mijn dak’ uw BAS-account kan koppelen aan de app. De koppeling gaat wél geld kosten omdat het systeem moet worden gebouwd en onderhouden. We denken aan een jaarlijks abonnementsprijs van 40 euro. Read more >

    ‘No airplane captured’ (2)

    Sometimes our app doesn’t catch the airplane you are trying to measure. This can have various reasons.

    The identification of the specific aircraft is retrieved in real time from the database of the Open Sky Network at the start of every measurement. This means that your phone needs to have a good and stable internet connection to be able to receive this information.

    If your internet connection is not stable enough, it will not be able to determine the ID. Also sometimes there can be a lag in the availability of the data. Or the database can be unavailable for technical reasons.

    Dependent
    We are dependent on that data to determine the ID. Since we do not registrate measurement without flight data for obvious reasons, you will not be able to send in that measurement. Read more >

    Average deviation Explane app only 2 decibels

    Just before the summer holidays we organized a calibration day with a large number of volunteers to find out to what extent the measurements with the free Explane app correspond to the real noise level. On average, Explane appears to deviate only 2 dB from a calibrated dB meter.

    Photo by Aaron Barnaby via Unsplash

    Explane.org and SchipholWatch are very happy with these results, especially since the measurements with Explane now appear to be more reliable than the calculations by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management and those of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

    ‘6 dB is within expected margins’
    As a reminder: the measurements of a test flight mid-last year (‘experience flight’) were sometimes as much as 6 dB higher than the previously calculated values. The minister, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, called this deviation “well within the expected margins”. Read more >

    Problem with Google Maps

    Since a few weeks our app shows an error warning from Google Maps. We will soon repair this. The warning does NOT affect the functionality of the app, so you can keep sending us your noise registrations.

    The warning is actually very positive news. It tells us that our period of free use of Google Maps is over. We now have to pay for the use. This is a direct result of the wide and intensive use of the app. When we started it, we did not expect so many users and so many registrations in such a short period.

    We now already have 70,000 registrations of aviation noise in our database. A technical university in The Netherlands will research the data, and we are invited to insert the Explane-data in a ‘civic science’ project of the Dutch health research institute. Read more >

    Please sign our petition

    Yesterday evening we have started a petition to stop growth at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Do you also want a cap on further growth? Please sign our petition!

    You can find the petition (in Dutch) at https://petities.nl/petitions/nee-tegen-groei-van-schiphol.

    Within 24 hours it has been signed by (almost) a thousand people, most of them residents of communities that are terrorised by aviation noise and pollution.

    Please sign the petition and share this message by visiting https://cms.explane.org.

    Visit our site with registrations!

    As a user of this app Explane, you might ask yourself: what do they do with all those registrations? We publish them! At https://reports.explane.org.

    Please take a look at that brand new site. Together we already made over 40.000 of aviation noise measurements (as of June 28th, 2019).

    At the site you can zoom in to the data that is important for your community. You can easily make screen shots and you are free to publish them on your own site, your social media account or via e-mail to send to your local politicians or press.

    Please make use of this wealthy source of information. For now, it’s our only alternative to the crooky calculations from the aviation industry. Read more >