Quieter arrivals trend continues at Heathrow, according to new ‘Fly Quiet League’ results

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The FINANCIAL — Airlines are putting more effort into noise reduction at Heathrow according to the results of the latest ‘Fly Quiet League’ which tracked the noise performance of aircraft from April to June 2015. The Fly Quiet League table compares each of the top 50 airlines (according to the number of annual flights through Heathrow) across six different noise metrics.

Highlights include:

Air India moves up 20 places  (from 35th to 15th place),  Lufthansa is up nine  and South African up 18 –  all due to their huge improvement on keeping within Heathrow’s noise preferential routes

No early morning, pre-4:30 am flying restriction violations – compared to two last quarter

SAS is up five places to ninth place putting the airline in the top ten quietest airlines and LOT is up two places because of their use of Continuous Descent Approach, a quieter flight procedure where pilots descend at a steadier rate and avoid a traditional approach which flies at low altitudes for longer

Heathrow is a pioneer in the use of the Continuous Descent Approach, with over 85% of arriving aircraft adhering to this quieter flight procedure as they arrive into the airport.

Since the inception of the Fly Quiet League, Heathrow’s technical teams have been working with airlines to improve their use of Continuous Descent Approach.  Heathrow’s CEO, John Holland-Kaye took this a step further when he wrote to airlines’ executives last year asking for them to improve on their scores.  This has led to marked improvements – with LOT moving up from 60% to 99% adherence and Austrian moving up from 63% to 90%.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Sustainability and Environment Director said:

“The Civil Aviation Authority recently released a report showing Heathrow’s noise footprint is smaller than ever. But we know we have to do more to provide greater respites for our neighbours. 

“We will continue to engage directly with our airline partners to build on the trends we see today.

“We are pleased to see the great leaps forward made by some airlines in their use of continuous descent approaches into the airport, while innovative noise-reduction tools like steeper approaches are being explored and employed by all our airlines.” 


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