Airlines rated on noise performance – Heathrow Airport

Published on : Wednesday, November 6, 2013

displaymedia Every three months a Fly Quiet table will take the top 50 Heathrow airlines (by number of flights per quarter) and list them according to six noise related criteria. The airlines receive a red/amber/green rating for each criterion, as well as an overall score which allows airlines to understand how they are performing in relation to other airlines. If they are not meeting the minimum performance targets, Heathrow will work closely with them to improve their rating.
Heathrow has some of the world’s toughest rules and regulations on noise. As a result, airlines use their quietest aircraft around 15% more on Heathrow routes. The aim of the programme is to ensure this trend continues by encouraging airlines to use the quietest aircraft available and to fly them in the quietest possible way.
Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Sustainability Director, said: ‘We are at the forefront of international efforts to tackle aircraft noise and are committed to continuing to reduce the number of people affected by noise. The launch of the Fly Quiet programme signals our firm commitment to being transparent about aircraft noise and our progress in reducing its impact on local communities whilst still safeguarding the vital connectivity and economic growth that Heathrow provides.’
By publishing the table each quarter, Heathrow aims to recognise good performance, provide airlines with regular feedback, identify more specific areas to be targeted for improvement, establish minimum performance targets and provide further insight into airline performance.
John Stewart, chair of noise campaign group HACAN said; “We welcome this initiative from Heathrow. It is a constructive move to improve the noise climate.”
In the first ever Fly Quiet league table1 covering July to September 2013, 80% of the listed airlines have met Heathrow’s minimum requirements on noise, with 94% meeting at least 5 of the 6 metrics. British Airways short haul took top position as the quietest airline operating out of Heathrow. Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red took second place.

Jonathon Counsell, Head of Environment at British Airways, said:
“We are very pleased that our short-haul fleet has proved itself the quietest at Heathrow, and we know we can do more. Overall, we have a noise reduction target to reduce the average noise per flight by 15% by 2018. With the introduction of more new aircraft and continuing operational innovation, we are confident of achieving this for the benefit of communities living around Heathrow and all the airports we serve. This autumn we have introduced nine new long-haul aircraft, all of which are significantly quieter than their predecessors, and we will take delivery of more than 30 further aircraft in the next three years.”


In the last year, the number of movements by new, quieter A380 and 787 aircraft has doubled, both in terms of the percentage of movements and the number of airlines operating them (from one to two per cent and from six to 12 airlines). Five of the top ten airlines in the Fly Quiet table are long-haul operators, highlighting the improved performance of new long-haul aircraft like the A380 and B787.

Over 2013 the number of airlines rated red for ‘Continuous Descent Approach’ has also decreased from 16 to three. 49 out of 50 airlines achieved a high standard of track keeping (keeping within designated routes) demonstrating the high standards of performance at Heathrow. The table also shows that 46 of the 50 airlines are using a fleet which is Chapter 4 compliant – currently the quietest international target for aircraft noise certification. All airlines achieved 100% adherence to the pre-04:30 arrivals measurement. Heathrow recognises that early morning flights cause particular disruption to local residents and will continue to work with airlines to focus on this important category.

The launch of the Fly Quiet programme follows the publication of ‘A quieter Heathrow’, a report which sets out the steps Heathrow takes to reduce aircraft noise. It brings together the range of measures designed to meet the Government’s aspiration ‘to strike a fair balance between the negative impacts of noise and the positive economic impacts of flights’1. It sets out actions across five key areas that Heathrow can take now to reduce aircraft noise, while safeguarding the connectivity and growth that Heathrow currently provides: encouraging quieter planes; implementing quieter operating procedures; noise mitigation schemes and influencing land-use planning; applying operating restrictions and working with local communities. To read the full report, visit
‘A quieter Heathrow’ in turn follows a report published earlier this year by Sustainable Aviation which set out the industry’s plans for reducing aircraft noise in the UK. The ‘Sustainable Aviation Noise Road-Map’ demonstrates that quieter aircraft, the implementation of better operating procedures and improved land-use planning mean that noise from UK aviation will not increase despite more flights over the next 40 years.


Source:- Heathrow Airport

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