Last updated: 04:16 PM ET, Mon June 22 2015

Amsterdam Airport Finding Success with Noise Reduction Park

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | June 22, 2015

Amsterdam Airport Finding Success with Noise Reduction Park

PHOTO: Buitenschot Land Art Park (via YouTube)

Noise from an airport can be very loud and cause complaints from the surrounding residents, but one airport in Amsterdam has developed a creative way to dull the noise inspired by local farmers.

According to Heather Hansman of, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the fourth-busiest airport in Europe and boasts almost 1,600 flights per day. With so much traffic, the low-frequency ground noise can be bothersome to neighboring homes.

To combat the noise issue, airport officials brought in the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research to conduct a study on the area in 2008. The team discovered that the noise levels went down in the fall when the farmers plowed their fields and left rows of dirt mounds.

With the help of H+N+S Landscape Architects and artist Paul De Kort, officials designed and built an 80-acre maze-like park dubbed the Buitenschot Land Art Park. The area consists of triangular furrows with six-foot high ridges meant to dull the sound from the airport.

Standard sound-blocking solutions like the walls seen along major highways do not work with as well with low-frequency ground noise. The rows of furrows are separated by enough distance, though, to block the sound waves as they make their way along the ground.

In between the furrows and ridges, De Kort also designed mini parks, bike paths and art pieces meant to make give this area a second purpose. Not only will the Buitenschot Land Art Park help keep the low-frequency ground noise down for the surrounding area, but it will also give locals a community park to enjoy.

Testing took place throughout 2014 on the park that officially opened in 2013, according to Hansman, and the findings showed that the sound levels at 35 noise monitoring points were now all at acceptable levels.

Testing in the United States about the impact of sounds from the airport on the local environment have been going on for years, and the hope is that success stories like the Buitenschot Land Art Park will convince more airports to try different and creative techniques of sound reduction.  

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