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Why San Francisco International Airport is turning off the loudspeaker

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought plenty of changes to airports, from sanitizing stations to mandatory mask wearing.

(CNN) — The Covid-19 pandemic has brought plenty of changes to airports, from sanitizing stations to mandatory mask wearing.

But San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has decided that instead of adding something it'll take something away -- specifically, noise.

The new "quiet airport" plan aims to reduce noise throughout SFO by 40%.

Step one is making announcements about specific flights boarding or being delayed only at the relevant gate instead of the entire terminal.

"We've invested a great deal in making the airport experience at SFO more relaxing and enjoyable," Airport Director Ivar C.

Overall, reps for the airport say that "more than 90 minutes of unnecessary announcements have been eliminated each day. "

Next on the list is reducing the noise made by automated features in the airport, like escalators and moving walkways.

In addition to reducing noise pollution, the airport has made moves to reduce the more common forms of pollution.

Airport officials announced their intention to make SFO the world's first zero-waste airport by 2021 and banned the sale of single-use plastic water bottles anywhere in the building.

Qatar's Hamad International Airport in Doha (HIA) maintains a policy of silence -- except for the five Muslim calls to prayer per day.

And in Finland, Helsinki International Airport (HEL) has been designated a quiet airport.

More airlines and airports are providing travel updates via app or text, thus reducing the need to make individual announcements or page passengers.

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