An innovative facility that significantly reduces engine-testing noise for neighbouring communities has opened at Vancouver Airport.
YVR on Wednesday unveiled Canada's first ground run-up enclosure (GRE) - a massive three-sided steel facility that will reduce noise from engine run-ups conducted as part of regular aircraft maintenance.
The $12-million facility, which stands as tall as a five-storey building and is located adjacent to YVR's south terminal, will cut engine run-up noise heard in nearby residential neighbourhoods by up to half.
Engine testing, especially in the evening, was a major complaint from the nearby Burkeville community.
The 67- by 80-metre enclosure will also provide time and fuel efficiencies to air carriers operating out of Airport South by reducing taxiing distances and time. It will also offer environmental benefits with a glycol recovery system for de-icing of propeller aircraft during winter operations.
"We're proud to open Canada's first GRE; it's a project that demonstrates our commitment to serving our community, our business partners and the environment," said Anne Murray, vice president of community and environmental affairs at Vancouver Airport Authority (VAA).
"We're very aware that our 24-hour operations are key to YVR remaining a major employer and economic generator for the region; and we also recognize that we need to be a good neighbour.
"This noise-reduction project is part of that commitment."
The GRE effectively re-directs noise up rather than out, while also absorbing it with specialized panels perforated by several louvered vents for aerodynamic purposes.
It is the first structure of its kind at a Canadian commercial airport, and is an integral component in YVR's Noise Management Plan.
"We are extremely pleased to see this project come to fruition as it will offer significant benefits to people living near the airport," said Margot Spronk of YVR's aeronautical noise management committee. "Given YVR's unique geographic location, it's encouraging to see (VAA) take an innovative and proactive approach to noise management by reducing community impacts."
YVR's Noise Management Program focuses on initiatives that address aircraft noise in the community, including published noise abatement procedures, community noise information seminars, an airport noise monitoring and flight tracking system and a complaint management and response system.
Transport Canada mandates engine run-ups as part of stringent maintenance and safety standards that require operators to test engines and their components before an aircraft is put back into service after maintenance.