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Israel has introduced stricter noise limits on aircraft taking off from Ben-Gurion Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority says.

A few weeks ago, the authority advised airlines flying to and from Israel that it will reduce the maximum permitted noise for aircraft by two decibels as of January 1, 2010. The new noise limits permitted at takeoff are 85 to 91 decibels for planes of up to 300 tons and 88 to 93 decibels for heavier planes, with the exact figure depending on the flight path.

This means the airlines will have to use newer airplanes equipped with quieter engines. In addition, pilots will have to take off and land more accurately to make sure they do not exceed the noise limit.

The CAA said it will not allow airlines to use passenger and cargo planes with old engines and will take measures against airlines that exceed the noise limit - up to and including fines and even warnings that their flights will be halted.

It also said it has opened a noise and course monitoring station in the Bat Yam area for airplanes departing from Ben-Gurion Airport. The airport's own noise monitoring system, which was inactive for 11 months, resumed operation last month.

A report from December 2009 shows that aircraft taking off exceeded the noise limit on three occasions. One of the violators was an o ld Boeing 707 on an experimental flight.

The CAA and the Airports Authority are also examining ways of reducing the additional noise generated when planes lower their wheels during their final approach to the runway. This noise is especially disturbing to Tel Aviv residents, as aircraft prepare to land over that city.