RAF building plans to cut engine noise

MILITARY bosses at RAF Brize Norton could build enclosed engine testing buildings to reduce noise from Hercules aircraft.

A report has revealed that some Hercules testing broke Ministry of Defence noise guidelines and were at times louder than elderly VC10s.

Complaints at the Carterton airbase have soared – from 23 to 958 – since the aircraft moved from RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire last year.

RAF Brize Norton has apologised for the noise levels and said it was working with residents to improve the situation.

It has installed noise monitoring stations, reviewed Hercules operating procedures to reduce the need for maintenance and has, where possible, begun towing aircraft to locations where noise has less impact.

The base said it was also investigating building enclosed engine testing facilities within the next two or three years.

Air Commodore Jon Ager said: “RAF Brize Norton has taken a number of immediate actions to address these concerns. This mitigation has had some positive effect.

“Further noise measurement is planned and further mitigation activity is under investigation.”

The report said Hercules aircraft caused an average of 82.2 dB in Black Bourton – the worst affected village – with some readings over 90 dB, compared to a 77.9 dB average for VC10s. RAF sleep disturbance guidelines state 80 dB should be the maximum level.

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