Environmental Policy and Considerations

Each year, RAF Brize Norton carries approximately 132,000 passengers and 25134 metric tonnes of freight, during aircraft movements carried out 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As the main Airport of Embarkation, the subsequent size and scale of operations has the potential to disturb people and as a result the Station continues to work very hard to ensure that the impact of our operations is minimised, particularly at night.

Our Policy

Our environmental policy commits us to:

  • Develop a noise management procedure to influence the operation of aircraft, with the aim of minimising, where possible, noise generation and the over-flying of populated areas.
  • Seek to minimise the impact of noise from all aspects of the operation of aircraft and the airbase.

Our Work

In response to the concerns raised by the Station’s neighbours and other interested parties the Station undertook a number of noise surveys and environmental appraisals. The results of which can be found below.

RAF Brize Norton Noise Exposure Study - 2015 (Published June 2016)

This noise study looks at receptors both on and off the Station. Following on from the Stage 1 and Stage 2 appraisals where a number of community locations were sampled, this report included the addition of 2 community receptors following consultation with the Local Community Working Group (LCWG). The purpose of the report was to measure the noise exposure levels at on and off base locations, assess the noise impact of RAF Brize Norton’s operations and identify whether the management procedures introduced in 2014 were having a positive effect.

RAF Brize Norton Noise Exposure Study - 2015 (PDF, Published June 2016)

Stage 2 Environmental Appraisals – April 2015

These reports follow on from the Stage 1 appraisals, which can be found below, and are the outcomes of the recommendations for additional work which were identified in the Stage 1 reports. Those reports were:

A400M Atlas - Comparative Assessment of Aircraft Noise Emissions – October 2014

As part of the RAF Brize Norton Environmental Appraisal programme, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) commissioned a study to compare the currently available noise data for the A400 M Atlas aircraft with the other aircraft types based at RAF Brize Norton. Version 1 of the Comparative Assessment of Aircraft Noise Emissions, dated 3 October 2014, has now been published and can be found at the following link: Comparative Assessment of Aircraft Noise Emissions (PDF). This study will be updated with observed noise data once the operational usage of the A400M has been established.

Stage 1 Environmental Appraisals - May 2014

Stage 1 appraisals were conducted to provide a baseline for existing data regarding key environmental areas. They identified relevant indicators for monitoring, identified gaps in data and requirements for information for further assessment.

Following consultation with the LCWG the following areas of concern were highlighted:

To better understand the issues and potential impact from the Station, the above Stage 1 appraisals were undertaken to provide a scope of works for further investigation.

Updated RAF Brize Norton Noise Contour – February 2014

This is the updated RAF Brize Norton noise contour produced by RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine, it was re-modelled to reflect changes resulting from the retirement of the VC10 and C-130K aircraft.

The report can be seen at this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/noise-amelioration-scheme-military-southwest-england

C-130 EGR Noise Exposure – October 2013

An open letter from Air Commodore David Lee outlining the steps being taken to reduce the noise footprint of RAF Brize Norton can be found at the following link:

Open Letter on RAF Brize Norton Noise dated 18 November 2013 (PDF)

The 2013 study to examine noise generated by aircraft ground operations was completed to evaluate changes in noise exposure from the Station against the levels of exposure measured in October 2011 prior to the implementation of management measures. Additionally, it sought to investigate and develop further management procedures which could help to manage noise exposure from C-130 EGR in light of prevailing weather conditions. The report can be found at the following links:

C-130 EGR Noise Assessment - October 2012

Please find below, a link to an update on the action being taken to reduce the noise problems surrounding the engine running on Hercules aircraft:

Open letter on RAF Brize Norton Noise dated 31 Oct 12 (PDF)

C-130 EGR Noise Assessment Technical Report – August 2012

Open Letter on RAF Brize Norton Noise (PDF) from Air Commodore Ager (AOAM) Oct 2012

The open letter explains the findings of the study, and the report and annexes are available as PDF files. An airfield map of the aircraft parking bays is also available with the report to help give clarity to the mitigation measures considered.

The purpose of this study was to provide an understanding of the noise exposure from C-130 EGR activities upon local communities. It was further developed to gather evidence on the effectiveness of potential operational and physical mitigation measures, and sought to understand how developments at the base such as new infrastructure and changes in stationed aircraft would affect the community’s exposure to EGR noise in the future. The report can be found at the following links:

C130 EGR Noise Assessment Technical Report (PDF, Report Main Document)

Appendix A to C (PDF), containing:

  • Meteorological Conditions during Surveys
  • Community Monitoring
  • Aircraft EGR Noise Emissions

Appendix D, containing maps:

Appendix E & F (PDF), containing:

  • Monitoring within RAF Brize Norton
  • Technical Data Tables

Airfield Map (PDF)

Local Authority Involvement – May 2011

We have been working with West Oxfordshire District Council Environmental Department and the Minutes of the last meeting can be found at the following link: Local Authority meeting with RAF Brize Norton (PDF).

The Emergency Instruction Leaflet

In common with many Ministry of Defence establishments and to support national defence activities, RAF Brize Norton continues to store some substances that are classified as hazardous (such as fuel and explosives).  We have teams of trained professionals who are experienced in handling these substances and who operate under very stringent laws and regulations relevant to our operations. Under these Regulations, our traditionally stringent standards were extended to ensure that the internal plans at RAF Brize Norton for dealing with possible emergencies included procedures for notifying members of the public nearest to the station. The link goes to a leaflet that outlines the warnings that will be given and the actions you should take in the event of such an emergency occurring.

View the Emergency Instruction Leaflet

The 25m Range

RAF Brize Norton is home to 5800 active Service Personnel, approximately a fifth of the regular Royal Air Force.

All serving personnel are part of the structure who provide the capability needed to ensure; the security and defence of the United Kingdom and its territories and to support the Government’s foreign policy objectives, particularly in promoting international peace and security.

In order to maintain a fit, qualified and capable workforce, there are mandated training packages that all personnel have to complete annually, including qualifying to fire small arms. To meet this commitment, the 25 metre range at RAF Brize Norton can have up to 25 people per day (week days) firing on it to qualify.

RAF Brize Norton has been working very hard to reduce the amount of times the range is utilised in order to ensure the impact of our training is minimised, particularly at night and over the weekends.

The 25 Metre Range will be in use as follows:

Please note that dates and times are subject to change, should we be required to use the range at short notice.

Week Commencing 19th July:

Mon: 0900-1630
Tue: Nil
Wed: 0900-1630
Thu: 0900-1630
Fri: 0900-1630
Sat: Nil
Sun: Nil

Week Commencing 26th July:

Mon: Nil
Tue: Nil
Wed: 0900-1630
Thu: Nil
Fri: Nil
Sat: Nil
Sun: Nil