First Results from F-35 Noise Perception Flights In

Netherlands Ministry of Defence // May 27, 2016

In 2015, the Dutch Minister of Defense made a commitment to do everything in her power to bring an F-35 to the Netherlands, as a means by which to remove concerns of residents in the areas of Leeuwarden and Volkel and to allow local residents experience the sound of the F-35 while also affording them the opportunity to voice their opinions.

Since then, the arrival of the F-35 to the Netherlands has indeed happened. Monday, two Dutch F-35s arrived at the airbase in Leeuwarden, making it possible to conduct two test flights. On Thursday, May 26, these flights were successfully performed in the areas close to the airbases at Volkel and Leeuwarden. The F-35 flew in the afternoon and early evening, including an afterburner take-off, which was requested by the residents, the F-35 flew profiles alongside an F-16 - as they would normally do from both bases. The aircraft flew 28 sorties in order to give the local residents suffice opportunity to really experience exact noise levels.

The Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) conducted noise level test during these test flights. Earlier today, the first test results were presented to the members of the Commission for Consultation and Awareness for Environmental Health (COVM) as well as the media. Since then, there has been a lot of enthusiasm for participation in the survey. Survey participants were well distributed across the area.

Generally, the survey states that the local residents note only small differences; this is supported by sound measurements in the nine settlements. The maximum difference was approximately 3dB. At present, the NLR is working on the results of the second flight. When this has been completed, a further analysis of the data will be made. The final report will eventually be presented at the COVM meeting of the airbases of Leeuwarden and Volkel. The results of the tests will also be used by the steering committee for the execution of the Eijsink motion for the completion of the permanent noise monitoring. 

Release courtesy of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence.