A380 too quiet for Emirates’ pilots to sleep

While we passengers spend tons of money on noise reduction headphones, and drive cabin crews silly with our umpteen requests for earplugs, weary Emirates Airbus A380 pilots are complaining that they cannot sleep in their crew-rest area in the aft main cabin because the aircraft is too quiet!!!

The pilots claim that the lack of engine noise in the A380’s cabin means they are constantly disturbed by cabin sounds, such as crying babies, toilets flushing and cabin crew call bells.

Emirates pilots say, on other aircraft, the noise of the engines drown out the cabin noises. On the A380, even with the pilots sleeping with earplugs the cabin noise goes right through them. I wonder who their earplug vendor is. Earplugs are used by flight line personnel to drown out the engine noise from the outside, which is LOUD!!!

The Dubai-based carrier has asked Airbus for a solution that does not involve substantially adding weight. This eliminates the possibility of adding insulation to the walls of the rest area.

It appers Airbus has “exceeded” on its noise performance on the airline’s Engine Alliance GP7200-powered A380s. One option could be installing lightweight noise generators.

Emirates has not opted for the standard Airbus option of locating the pilots’ rest compartment behind the cockpit, as it would have compromised the design of the airline’s upper deck first-class cabin. This adds to the pilots’ problem as passengers mistake the rest area for a lavatory, and repeatedly pull the door handle. Emirates is the only A380 airline till date to have situated the crew-rest areas at the rear of the main deck. The alternate standard Airbus option of locating the pilots compartment in the cargo hold was rejected as “claustrophobic”.

What do you think ? As usual comments are requested and welcomed.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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