Aircraft Noise Reduction

Airbus is committed to reducing aircraft noise emissions

A330 neo

Towards quieter aviation

Airbus’ latest generation aircraft are compliant with the most stringent international noise standards, which are set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Acoustic certification is based on an aircraft’s overall acoustic performance in conditions defined by the ICAO Annex 16 Regulation. The Company supports the ICAO Balanced Approach to aircraft noise management, which seeks to address noise levels at individual airports in ways that are both economically and environmentally responsible.

While the engines are the dominant source of noise during take-off, the airframe plays an equal or greater role during approach and landing. Fleet renewal will significantly help reduce aircraft noise over the next decade as older aircraft are replaced by modern ones boasting the newest technology. For example, the A321neo’s noise footprint at take-off has been reduced by 50% compared to its predecessor, the A321ceo. 

How we are reducing perceived noise levels

Commercial aircraft noise levels have been reduced by 75% since the first passenger airliners took to the skies in the 1950s. Airbus seeks to continuously improve the noise performance of aircraft through extensive research programmes, millions of euros in investment and a world-class acoustic team. Efforts are focused within four main areas of improvement:

Airframes: wing and landing gear

The Airbus acoustics department regularly improves the airframe design of aircraft to reduce noise levels, incorporating new design concepts and technologies.


Airbus works closely with engine manufacturers to develop and integrate new engine technologies that reduce fuel consumption, emissions and noise levels.

Air Traffic Management (ATM)

Innovative ATM procedures help reduce loud noise around airports by optimising aircraft routing and thus minimising the number of people exposed to aircraft noise. 

Partnerships and collaboration

Airbus works with airlines, operators, airports, manufacturers, and national air traffic services to evaluate and implement optimised flight procedures, reducing noise levels.

A330neo in flight

The Airbus Noise Technology Centre

An example of outstanding research collaboration, The Airbus Noise Technology Centre (ANTC) is a longstanding partnership between Airbus and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, where the Centre is located. The ANTC aims to reduce noise levels, with a specific focus on landing gear,  by:

  • Providing insight into the mechanisms of noise generation.
  • Developing noise reduction technology by using both calculations and wind-tunnel simulations.

Improving operational procedures

Airbus is involved in a number of European research initiatives dedicated to reducing aircraft noise levels. Airbus collaborates with a large ecosystem of research centres and universities to incorporate state-of-the-art technologies into aircraft, and develop accurate methods of predicting noise and new solutions. 


The SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking


The SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking is co-funded by the European Union. It consists of multiple programmes, led by partnerships between the private and public sectors, who are contributing to the roadmap for the Digital European Sky by collaborating on research and innovation. SESAR aims to modernise Europe’s aviation infrastructure by leveraging the latest digital technologies to safely and efficiently handle future air traffic growth while mitigating environmental impact. 

Airbus is leading or participating in the following SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking programmes:



HERON is a digital sky demonstrator granted in 2022 and led by Airbus. It is testing measures to reduce noise levels, flight delays, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions during all flight phases. These include the introduction of four-dimension trajectory-based operations, approach optimisation, fuel-efficient surface operation management and a centralised data exchange server for datalink services. 

The project counts 26 partners from 11 European countries, supported by eight air navigation service providers, six airlines and five airports.



Airbus is one of nine partners working on GALAAD, a three-year programme developing an innovative solution for dynamically allocating required navigation performance routes. GALAAD targets predictability and capacity improvement – while coping with local environmental challenges – by identifying the most suitable and fuel-efficient paths and minimising noise whenever possible.


Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking


Touted as the largest research programme for aviation ever launched in Europe, the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking was established by the European Union in 2014. It aims to develop technologies that will reduce CO2 and NOx emissions as well as noise levels from aircraft. For noise emissions in particular, the goal is to achieve a reduction of 20%-30% between 2014 and 2024. Airbus is using its engineering expertise to contribute to innovative engine and airframe technologies.


And what about cabin noise levels?

Airbus is committed to delivering aircraft that provide high levels of passenger comfort. One element of flying that can have a large impact on comfort is noise levels. The Centre for Applied Aeronautics Research (ZAL) in Hamburg was founded by Airbus and eight industrial partners. It houses the Acoustic Flight Lab, whose objective is to understand how noise enters the cabin and to develop corresponding technologies to reduce noise levels.