EASA introduces measurement method for drone noise levels

The European aviation safety organization, EASA has introduced a method for measuring drone noise levels of unmanned aircraft below 600 kg flown in the Specific category. With this, wants to limit the noise nuisance from drone operations.

National governments can use the measurement method to set requirements for drone flights over nature reserves or urban areas. Stakeholders have until mid-January to comment on the proposal.

Social acceptance of drone noise levels

In the future, drones will be used in more and more places to perform all kinds of tasks, ranging from inspections, media production, and cartography to rescue missions and parcel delivery. Certainly, the Specific category offers all kinds of possibilities for this.

But a lack of social acceptance can still throw a spanner in the works. The degree of nuisance resulting from noise production is an important factor here. Few people are waiting for the sound of all kinds of drones flying overhead, whether they are multirotors or fixed-wing aircraft. Animals can also be disturbed by the noise that drones produce.

Standardized measurement method

For this reason, EASA has published a proposal describing a standardized method for measuring the noise production of drones up to 600 kg that are used in the Specific category.

EASA emphasizes that the method can be used voluntarily by manufacturers, operators, and test organizations. They can use the standard to perform noise measurements in a standardized manner.

“New aircraft types will be used in a wide variety of locations and will introduce unfamiliar sounds that will vary by design,” said Rachel Daeschler, Director of EASA Certification. “EASA recognizes that drone noise levels are a concern for many European citizens. These guidelines are intended to provide a consistent method of measurement and will help set expectations for manufacturers, national aviation authorities, and other relevant authorities.”

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Drone noise levels database

It is conceivable that in the future national governments could use the method to set requirements for operators who, for example, want to conduct drone flights in nature reserves or over urban areas. EASA also plans to develop a database containing measurement data from various drones.

Stakeholders can provide feedback on the concept until January 13, 2023.

This article first appeared on Dronewatch and is written by Wiebe de Jager, who is also a DroneXL contributor.

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Wiebe de Jager
Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager is the founder of Dronewatch and author of several bestselling books about drone photography. Wiebe is a certified drone pilot and has a full ROC license.

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