The National Master Plan for Ben Gurion Airport (NMP 2/4), which was signed and approved in 1997, is meant to ensure the ability of the State of Israel to take part in global economic activities, and to contribute to the wellbeing of the residents of the State, while minimizing environmental damage.
NMP 2/4 not only addresses the matter of the airport’s structure, with its aerial facilities (runways, aircraft parking, and air traffic control system) and land facilities (passenger and cargo terminals, various vital services, access routes, etc.), but also regulates the coordination with the physical planning in the entire area affected by the aerial activity. In addition, the plan defines operation patterns for the aerial activity at BGAP in order to minimize as much as possible any negative impact suffered by the general population.
In order to meet accepted flight safety and environmental standards, the operation of the airport limits the use of the land in the entire area affected by the airport’s activity in various ways, which are coordinated with the limitations demanded by the operation of the airport and the flight safety regulations, and requires the regulation of the affect that aviation activities have on the environment by imposing detailed environmental guidelines on the entire area affected by the aerial and land activity at the airport.
The chapter of the NMP dealing with the environmental array defines the preferred operation patterns, acoustic treatment to existing residential structures and guidelines for the monitoring and control over the executions of the environmental regulations.
Below is a summary of the acoustic shielding plan. The binding regulations of the plan are detailed in chapter I (articles 2 and 3) and in appendix A-5 of NMP 2/4 for BGAP.
BGAP is a national resource which contributes greatly to Israel’s economy and functions as
its main entrance and exit port.
The benefits generated by the airport are spread throughout the country, while the hazards
and damages caused by the airport – and especially the noise hazard caused by aircrafts
landing and taking off – influence mostly those residing next to the airport.
The technology for producing quiet jet engines has significantly evolved in the past few
decades. In addition, airports take various steps to reduce the noise – such as routing
aircrafts over sparsely populate areas, developing noise minimizing take off procedures,
installing systems for monitoring the noise caused by aircrafts and preventing aircrafts which
do not meet the strictest international noise emission criteria. Despite all these steps, there
are still areas near the airport that are exposed to loud noise, which causes a nuisance for
the people residing in those areas.
In order to protect the airport’s neighbors from being exposed to noise above a certain level,
which was defined in the airport’s master plan – NMP 2/4 for BGAP – a plan for the acoustic
shielding of residential structures is being implemented. Similar plans are implemented in
most international airports in the western world.
The acoustic shielding substantially improves the building envelope’s acoustic insulation
properties, and reduces the noise level within the structure to a low level which does not
cause a nuisance. The acoustic shielding is an extremely effective method, despite not being
popular due to the need to shut the windows and use the air-conditioning systems – which
are part of the shielding plan.
Eligibility for Acoustic Shielding
The eligibility for acoustic shielding is determined according to the most current noise status
outline, which presents the noise climate in the areas around BGAP for the previous
calendar year. The outline, which is published every year, contains graphs presenting
aircraft noise according to the day-night average sound level (Ldn) in values of 60, 65, 70
and 75 decibels.
The master plan specifies the exact conditions that entitle residential structures with acoustic
treatment. The threshold level for being included in the treatment plan is level A (Ldn=65db).
The plan specifies other conditions which must be met in order to be included in the
The plan does not include any structure built without a building permit, condemned structures
or structures that are supposed to be evacuated from their residents, and structures that
were supposed to be built with acoustic shielding according to their plan or permit.
A Summary of the Guidelines for the Acoustic Treatment of Eligible Structures
Appendix A-5 of the plan includes all the provisions and guidelines for the execution of
acoustic shielding in eligible structures.
The actual execution of the acoustic treatment shall be done in one of the two manners listed
below, according to the choice of the eligible party:
1. The acoustic treatment shall be executed by IAA or its representatives, and the
responsibility for the planning and execution of the acoustic treatment, including the quality
assurance of its execution, shall fall on the IAA.
2. The acoustic treatment shall be executed by the eligible party or its representatives, and
the responsibility for the execution of the acoustic treatment shall not fall on the IAA.
The acoustic treatment shall be financed by the IAA, and payments to those executing the
work shall be made according to procedures set by the IAA.
The acoustic treatment refers to external doors, windows, and roofs, and is limited to
bedrooms and living areas. The acoustic treatment also includes the installation of air
conditions in the treated rooms.
The exact technical specifications for each eligible structure shall be determined by the IAA,
which is entitled to preform noise testing in the structure.
The pace in which the acoustic shielding of structures will be executed shall be such that
ensures the treatment of at least one quarter of all eligible structures during each calendar
year, subject to the owner of the property’s agreement and compliance with all provisions.