This International Standard gives requirements for reliable measurement of aircraft sound. It describes a threshold system of sound event recognition in a complex sound environment with multiple aircraft and other sound sources. ISO 20906:2009 specifies:

  • The typical application for a permanently installed sound-monitoring system around an airport
  • Performance specifications for instruments and requirements for their unattended installation and operation, in order to  determine continuously monitored sound pressure levels of aircraft sound at selected locations
  • Requirements for monitoring the sound of aircraft operations at an airport
  • Requirements for the quantities to be determined in order to describe the sound of aircraft operations
  • Requirements for data to be reported and frequency of publication of reports
  • A procedure for determining the expanded uncertainty of the reported data in accordance with ISO/IEC Guide 98-3, Uncertainty of measurement – Part 3: Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement (GUM: 1995).

Exposure to intense noise or noise over long periods can lead to hearing damage and other physiological impairments. Those impacts are recognized both for those working on the site of an airport and for those who live near the runways.

Mr. Berthold Vogelsang, Project leader and convenor of ISO Working group which prepared the standard, comments: "the environmental concerns of people living near airports is increasingly taken into account by governments, airport authorities and aviation companies. Manufacturers are developing quieter aircraft, governments are committing themselves to reduce noise around airports and plans to fight against noise pollution are being adopted. To achieve the objectives of such initiatives, regulators and aviation professionals need internationally agreed measuring tools and reference documents, ISO 20906 is a practical answer to this need."

ISO 20906:2009, Acoustics – Unattended monitoring of aircraft sound in the vicinity of airports was prepared by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 43, Acoustics, subcommittee SC 1, Noise, WG 52, Noise from aircraft at civil airports, and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 136 Swiss francs, through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department (see right-hand column).