Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Commission takes action to combat aircraft noise

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive to ensure that hush-kitted aircraft cannot be added to the registers of EU Member States, as from 1 April 1999. Equivalent rules will apply to aircraft on third country registers. A hush-kit is a type of muffler wh...
The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive to ensure that hush-kitted aircraft cannot be added to the registers of EU Member States, as from 1 April 1999. Equivalent rules will apply to aircraft on third country registers. A hush-kit is a type of muffler which can be fitted to the noisier engines of older aircraft to bring them into line with recent noise emission standards.

Although older aircraft equipped with hush-kits respect European legislation (Directive 92/14/EEC) and most international standards, such older aircraft cause more nuisance around airports than modern aircraft with state-of-the-art engines. The main objective of the Commission initiative is to prevent companies expanding their operations within the EU while using such aircraft. The measure would have the added advantage of helping to reduce other environmental impacts such as fuel burn and CO2 emissions.

The measure is supported by both the Environment Commissioner, Ritt Bjerregaard, and the Commissioner for Transport, Neil Kinnock. Although hush-kitted aircraft are not a European problem yet, given that in the EU there are currently less than fifty such aircraft, they could become a problem in the future. The proposed measure therefore freezes the existing situation for hush-kitted aircraft on Member States' registers, as well as for movements to and from the EU by such aircraft on third country registers.

The proposal suggests a twofold approach which would affect hush-kitted aircraft registered both in the EU and Third Countries. Firstly, the legislative initiative provides for a non-addition rule, which implies that as from 1 April 1999, it would no longer be possible to add hush-kitted aircraft to Member States' registers. This measure will not affect aircraft that are already registered in any Member State before that date. For aircraft registered in Third Countries, the proposal establishes equivalent requirements. Hush-kitted aircraft that have been operating at EU airports before 1 April 1999 will have the right to continue to fly into the EU after 1 April 2002, as long as they remain on the original state's register.
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