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Heathrow welcomes quieter aircraft

July 1, 2013 Airport No Comments Email Email

The aviation industry’s commitment to reducing the impact of aircraft noise took another step forward at Heathrow today with the arrival of British Airways’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which touched down this morning.The aircraft boasts a noise footprint 60 per cent quieter than similarly sized aircraft [1] and will be the fourth [2] B787 to operate out of Heathrow. New, quieter aircraft such as the B787 have contributed towards ensuring that fewer people are affected by noise from Heathrow today than at any time since the 1970s, even though the number of flights has almost doubled.

Heathrow continues to encourage the introduction of new, quieter aircraft by charging them lower landing fees and developing infrastructure such as stands and taxiways to accommodate larger displaymediaaircraft like A380s. The airport already hosts twelve A380s – which produce half the noise of their nearest rival when taking off [3] – and expects to have approximately thirty A380s and approximately sixty B787s by 2020. Strict noise limits at the airport also mean that airlines generally use their quietest aircraft around 15 per cent more on Heathrow routes.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Sustainability Director, says: ‘We are delighted to welcome British Airways’ first Boeing 787 to Heathrow. Heathrow is at the forefront of international efforts to reduce the impact of aircraft noise and this new generation of quieter aircraft will make a significant contribution to achieving this.’

Heathrow recently published ‘A quieter Heathrow’, a report setting out Heathrow’s commitments to reducing aircraft noise while safeguarding the UK’s connectivity. The report sets out the core areas of focus for tackling aircraft noise: quieter planes, quieter operating procedures, noise mitigation and land-use planning, operating restrictions and working with local communities.

The report also sets out a range of new commitments on noise which include publicly ranking airlines on ‘noise performance’, trialling new departure routes with NATS and proposing a significant increase in fines for airlines that break noise limits.

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