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The Delhi High Court has granted more time to the central government to find out what more can be done to reduce the noise level near the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) here.

After hearing a plea of the residents near the airport, Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Manmohan said Oct 20 that the central government had failed to take any steps to curb the noise pollution.

The central government had informed the court that no aircraft with noisy engines would be allowed to take off or land at the airport at night from Nov 1.

‘With this new rule coming into effect to reduce noise pollution from aircraft for the first time anywhere in the country, we are confident that the residents living in the vicinity of the airport will not have to face much problem,’ said Additional Solicitor General A.S. Chandiok.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also issued a circular to this effect, following directions from the Delhi High Court.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), also informed the bench that directions were issued to the airline operators to curb the noise pollution.

‘We have fixed the limits in airport zones at 105 decibels during day and 95 decibels during night,’ Chandiok said.

The new DGCA rule also says that no aircraft operator should indulge in any activity related to aircraft operation that exceeds or intends to exceed the maximum permissible noise limits at the airport during the day.

The limits have been fixed at levels lower than most major international airports including New York’s JFK (99 decibels as limit), Rio de Janeiro (118.4 db), Paris (104.5 db) and Osaka (107 db).

Three airports in London have 94 db as the limit.

The DGCA has already been monitoring noise levels at the IGIA for months, besides taking several measures to check noise pollution, after the court directed it to fix the noise pollution levels.

‘We have also been implementing continuous descent approach procedure, for which pilots have been asked to follow fresh guidelines for the new landing techniques,’ Singhvi said.

The court after hearing the submissions asked the government to file its response by Jan 12.

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