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Airbus A380 new departure procedures

Heathrow airfiled at night

Responsible Heathrow case study

“The Airbus A380 is already the most fuel efficient aircraft in commercial service, burning 17 per cent less fuel per passenger than other large aircraft. By 2020 one in ten flights at Heathrow could use A380s. It is important that we work constantly with our airlines to improve operating processes, and the introduction of this new departure procedure demonstrates our commitment to reducing emissions.”

Jane Dawes, Heathrow Airport Limited's Operational Noise and Air Quality Manager

As Heathrow's owner, we, along with the national air traffic service (Nats), Singapore Airlines and Airbus have launched an improved departure procedure for the Airbus A380, saving fuel, emitting less CO2 and remaining within the airport’s strict noise procedures.

The companies worked together over 10 months in 2008 and 2009 to develop and implement the new airline procedure.

A380s departing Heathrow now use less power when taking off. Once a height of 1,500 feet has been reached, the aircraft uses flexible acceleration up to 4,000 feet, before continuing its journey.

This new procedure saves an additional 300kg of fuel per flight, equating to one metric tonne of CO2 on a flight to Singapore, as well as reducing NOx emissions.

The A380 is significantly quieter than other large aircraft. It produces half the noise energy at takeoff and cuts the area exposed to equivalent noise levels around the airport runway by half.

At landing the A380 produces three to four times less noise energy, contributing significantly to reducing the noise impact whilst enabling the airline to carry more passengers per flight.

Singapore Airlines has now adopted the new procedure as its current departure procedure for A380s.

“Our cooperation with Heathrow, NATS and Airbus goes to show what can be achieved when stakeholders share the same goal of reducing carbon emissions and fuel burn. Singapore Airlines is committed to playing its part in ensuring greener skies and sustainable air travel, and we hope this partnership will serve as a model for airport operators and governments elsewhere in the world.”

Captain Gerard Yeap, Senior Vice President Flight Operations, Singapore Airlines

Input

Output

Outcomes

  • 10 - 12 months of data analysis
  • Time of staff from Heathrow Airport Ltd, NATS, Singapore Airlines CAA and Airbus
  • Savings of 300kg of fuel per flight, one metric tonne of emissions of CO2 on a flight to Singapore
  • Savings in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
  • Noise neutral

Sustainability awards

Sustainability BITC pink planters