Call for ideas website explane.org

Since we have released the iOS- and Android-versions of our app to document aviation noise, we have started to build our website to publish the results online. And you can help us with your ideas!

Obviously we will publish lists of the highest sound level measurements. You will be able to select the area, the dates, the type of airplane or the aviation company. Also we will produce a realtime map displaying the measured noise levels.

Do you have other ideas about how we could present our data to our visitors? Please share them with us. Use our feedback form or send your ideas to [email protected]. Read more >

Explane releases iOS-version

After months of hard work in spare time, app builder Roelof Meijer has released the iOS-version of this app today.

The iOS-version is intended for users of Apple’s iPhone. The app is called ExplaneNow in the Appstore and can be downloaded via https://itunes.apple.com/nl/app/explanenow/id1448049191 or via https://explane.org.

The Explane-app is intended to document aviation noise. As a resident, you can register the noise of an airplane with one push on a button. The app records the peak sound level, your location, the date and time, and finds the ID of the flight that is causing the noise.

All these data you can send to our central database which will be soon be published via our site https://explane.org. The data will be accessible for anyone who has an interest in the widespread nuisance of aviation noise. The data can be used to oppose calculations made by airports and (local) governments that often predict noise levels too low. Read more >

Tips & tricks: really use it outdoors!

Our first episode of Tips & tricks stated that you best use our app outside your home. We’ve received replies from people who want to have a button in the app so they can indicate they measured noise inside their homes.

We will not provide such a button. Instead we kindly ask you again to use the app outdoors only.

The reason for this is quite simple: measuring aviation noise inside your home will not give us usable values of the noise level. There are homes that are very well insulated, while others aren’t. Measuring inside introduces a new uncertainty in the data.

The Explane-app is meant to collect as good as possible information about aviation noise and its nuisance. Read more >

EIA Schiphol full of miscalculations

Earlier this week Amsterdam Airport Schiphol released its third (!) review of its Environmental Impact Assessment. The report is (again) incorrect on a number of important points.

This conclusion follows from reports written by the Dutch Environmental Federation, consulting firms PWC and MovingDot.

According to its own EIA, Schiphol can grow to handle 540.000 flights a year, 40.000 more than currently permitted.

Not the environment, but the capacity at air traffic control is the limiting factor, according to the airport’s report.

“The calculations on a number of points are not carried out according to standards, wrong assumptions are used en the method provides a too low estimate of noise pollution”, say the critics. Read more >

Sneak preview: the site

Users of our app document aviation noise levels. Our aim is to publish the results on our site. Here’s a preview of what you can expect:

Actual measurements with beta version of Explane app

Our site will offer visitors the possibility to view the collected data in various ways. Above an example of measurements with their geolocation and their noise level. The darker the dots, the more noise.

From such a map you can zoom in and out to view details for your neighboorhood. The example shows The Netherlands since we’ve started here, but the app works worldwide!

Zoomed in on measurements around Amsterdam Schiphol Airport


Tips & tricks: use Explane outdoors

If you use our app, please use it outdoors. This gives you the best quality measurement of aviation noise.

If you use it inside your home, the real noise of the plane is lowered with at least 10 to 15 dB.

Please remember that the app cannot detect if you measure inside or outside your home. Every measurement that you send us will be part of the open access database we are building.

For best results it is important to measure the real noise of airplanes, not the muted level inside your home.

UN environment boss resigns after too much flying

Erik Solheim, chief of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP, resigns after British newspaper The Guardian revealed he spent almost $500,000 on air travel and hotels in just 22 months.

photo: unenvironment.org

Contributing countries were so unhappy with his conduct that they are holding tens of millions of dollars. A financial crisis looms at the body.

An internal audit of UNEP says Solheims conduct is a “reputation risk” for an organisation dedicated to improve the environment.

The UN accepted Solheim’s resignation yesterday, says The Guardian.

The Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are countries that have publicly stated to be halting funding for the organization until the issues around Solheim are solved. In total around $50 million could be at stake.
Read more >

Research to move Schiphol into North Sea

The Dutch government researches possibilities to move Amsterdam Schiphol Airport at least partially into the North Sea.

This follows upon a proposal composed by entrepreneurs and residents living around the airport. Noise will not cause any inconvenience there. A runway at sea will bring relief to the entire Amsterdam region.

“Air traffic continues to grow, reducing flights is not an option”, says researcher Eef Haverkort to daily newspaper De Telegraaf. “Runways can be located in the sea.”

The other alternative to reduce the pressure on Schiphol is Lelystad Airport. Due to mistakes made in decision making the opening of this airport is yet again postponed for another year. Building an airport in the sea is the only viable option left if Schiphol continues to grow. Read more >

Explane 1.1 released

Version 1.1 of the Explane-app to register aviation noise is now available at Google Play. Update your apps or visit https://explane.org to download the newest version.

V1.1 is based on the feedback we have received since the introduction of the initial app.

Enhancements are:

  • First registration with the initial app did not record the noise level. V1.1 does it correctly – from the very first measurement on.
  • Registration of the location is now cut with two decimals to ensure your privacy. Your location will be recorded on a district level now.
  • You are now able to see your own registrations of noise nuissance within the app. Please use the new button ‘Submitted’ in the app to view.
  • The corridor in which airplanes are detected has been broadened. We found that in the earlier version the app was not always able to find the plane that corresponded with the noise.
  • Read more >

    Dutch vote yes to kerosene tax

    Yesterday Dutch parliament voted yes to have taxes on aviation fuel. Government is now obligated to research if it can get support from other countries united under the ICAO lobby club.

    Aviation industry doesn’t pay any taxes on fuel following an international agreement stemming from 1944. The agreement was made to reconstruct aviation industry after WW2.

    Earlier this year the Dutch confirmed to introduce a passenger airfare tax. Preferably in cooperation with other European countries, but if this support can not be found, they will introduce it nationally.

    Aviation industry not paying taxes on fuel gives it an unfair advantage over other forms of transportation. Dutch parliament wants to end this preferential position. Read more >