Heathrow Airport has produced the latest update of its “Fly Quiet” league, a scheme that incentivises airlines to us quieter aircraft at the airport.
The Fly Quiet League is the UK’s only ranking of airlines according to their noise performance, and is now in it’s second year.
Heathrow say Fly Quiet League rankings have shown a clear upward trend in airlines’ use of the quiet flight procedure “Continuous Descent Approach” (CDA), which requires less engine thrust and keeps the aircraft higher for longer, helping to reduce noise. Since the launch of the Fly Quiet League, Polish operator LOT has almost doubled its use of CDA to 98 per cent.
Heathrow plans to become the first large European airport to be free of the oldest and noisiest classification of aircraft – known internationally as ‘Chapter 3’. To encourage this, airlines at Heathrow are required to pay ten times more to fly ‘Chapter 3’ aircraft into the airport than they pay for the quietest, best in class planes.
The quietest three airlines in the latest rankings include two of the biggest operators at Heathrow – British Airways’ short haul operation and Aer Lingus.
Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Director of Environment and Sustainability says, “The Fly Quiet League table is a simple and effective way to demonstrate Heathrow’s best performing airlines in terms of noise performance and to encourage best practice amongst them. The fantastic results over the past two years are proof that airlines are willing to work with us and improve their noise performance.
“As the airport operator we have committed to take the industry lead to reduce the impacts of Heathrow’s operations on our neighbours. If Heathrow were to expand, we have the potential to make further significant improvements, so that fewer people will be impacted by noise than today.”
Heathrow say their expansion plans have been designed so that a bigger airport could affect fewer people by noise than today through a combination of quieter aircraft technology and procedures.