Lack of developer causes end of life for app Explane

The Explane app enables everyone to document aviation noise in their environment for free and easily. Unfortunately, due to lack of time from the original developer, the app is nearing the end of its life. Unless a new developer arises who wants to take over the development.

(this article is translated from Dutch by Google Translate)

Explane was developed by Roelof Meijer, who now has other things on his mind. Unfortunately, he no longer has time to keep the app up-to-date and to provide new functions.

It is estimated that the latest versions of the iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) operating systems for smartphones will cause Explane to no longer work (properly) on the latest devices within a year.

Owners of the latest Android smartphones can no longer find Explane in the Google Play web store. Those who have the app on their phone can continue to use it, but in the long term no new users will be added.

The website contains all measurements recorded with Explane.
Explane has been around for almost five years now, since 2018. In the Netherlands, about 550,000 measurements of aircraft noise have been recorded. There are 650,000 worldwide. In addition to our country, the app is also used intensively in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Political awareness
The app was intended as an accessible means of recording, documenting and showing aircraft noise. Over the years, partly due to the hundreds of thousands of registrations on , politicians have become aware that the current annual averages of aircraft noise do not give a good indication of the actual noise pollution.

The Ministry of Infrastructure therefore felt compelled to commission researchers to study how air nuisance could be standardized in a better way. We are now looking at the noise peaks that are also recorded by Explane and the number of aircraft that fly over at a certain location per 24 hours.

While the Dutch government still calculates with noise contours in which an annual average of 58 decibels represents the most serious nuisance, the hundreds of thousands of measurements by Explane clearly show that noise levels of up to 90 decibels are common.

Partly thanks to Explane, RIVM and others are now looking into better ways to determine the actual nuisance.

Scientists and journalists
The Explane figures have been requested countless times in recent years by scientists, but also by the regional GGDs and other institutes. Explane was included in RIVM’s ‘Measuring Together’ programme.

Moreover, the figures from the app have led to many articles in national and regional media. This increased the pressure on politicians to look for better ways to characterize the noise of the aircraft. And to do something about it, for example by shrinking air traffic.

Due to the rapid developments in the world of smartphones and the lack of time of the original app developer, Explane will unfortunately come to an end in the foreseeable future. The end can only be prevented by a software developer willing to take over the maintenance of the app on a voluntary basis.

To be clear: the data currently collected will remain available via Scientists, journalists and other interested parties can continue to request the underlying data from us.

For the ‘nerds’ among our readers: the app was developed within Ionic 3, on top of Angular v2 (Typescript). The app uses the same codebase for both operating systems. A Mac is required to roll out and test the iOS version. The backend of Explane runs on Microsoft Azure (JavaScript). The data is stored in Azure Table Storage.

Interested in maintaining the app for newer versions of the iOS and Android phone systems or even developing the app further? Over the years we have collected a wish list of users for new features of the app. Would you like to participate as a volunteer in the fight against flight noise in the living environment of millions of people? Please email us at or call us on +31 20 528 7855.