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Heathrow to trial steeper approaches in noise reduction effort

Heathrow Airport in London begins trialling steeper approaches this week, which could help reduce noise for people living under flight paths. Steeper approaches introduced at airports such as Frankfurt have shown this can reduce noise for people living under flight paths.

The trial at Heathrow will run for six months and means that aircraft will fly higher for longer before landing at the airport.

The move coincides with the publication of an independent report that shows a significant reduction in the area and number of homes affected by noise from Heathrow’s operations.

Analysis from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), commissioned by Heathrow as part of its on-going Noise Action Plan commitments, shows that average noise contours annually are smaller than they have been since 2006. 

Over the past 9 years, the area around the airport affected by higher levels of night noise (measured by 60dB Lnight), has decreased by 25%. This has resulted in 25% fewer households affected by these noise levels at night. 

The use of new planes and quieter procedures between 2006 and 2014 are part of the measures driving the reductions in the noise footprint. 

Matt Gorman, Heathrow director for sustainability and environment commented: “Heathrow is at the forefront of international efforts to tackle aircraft noise and these latest contours are testament to the efforts of Heathrow and our airline and manufacturing partners to reduce the impact of the operations. But we won’t stop here. We know there’s more we can do through initiatives like our steeper approaches trial, and we will continue to push all those operating at Heathrow to be industry leaders in reducing noise.”

London Heathrow Airport | UK & NI Ireland | Pollution


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