The Fly Quiet programme is one of the steps Heathrow is taking to reduce aircraft noise, set out in 'A Quieter Heathrow', a report published earlier this year.
Heathrow has some of the world’s toughest rules and regulations on noise which has played a major role in driving developments in quieter aircraft technology. Limits and restrictions in force at Heathrow, and in particular those that apply to flights at night, promote the use of ‘best in class’ aircraft. Heathrow also provides financial incentives for airlines to use the quietest aircraft through variable landing charges. Together these have contributed to more of the quietest planes being used at Heathrow - on average the aircraft that airlines use are 15 per cent quieter than the total global fleets of those airlines.
Since the 1970s these improvements in technology means there has been a tenfold decrease in the number of people within Heathrow’s noise footprint, despite the doubling of aircraft numbers over the same period. This fall in population has continued in recent years even while flight numbers have remained steady thanks to the newest generation of aircraft like the A380 entering service.
Managing the impact of aircraft noise for local communities is not just about improving technology. How and where aircraft are flown are other important factors for reducing the impact of noise. Airlines, airports and air traffic controllers employ a number of procedures to limit noise in this way and Heathrow has been at the forefront of promoting the use of these.
The Fly Quiet programme is intended to further encourage airlines to use quieter aircraft and to fly them in the quietest possible way. The programme includes the UK's first ever league table which ranks airlines according to their noise performance.
The league table
The Fly Quiet league table is published every quarter comparing each of the top 50 airlines (according to the number of flights to and from Heathrow per year) across six different noise metrics.
We will use the league table to provide airlines with regular feedback, to recognise good performance and to identify specific areas to be targeted for improvement. Each quarter we will provide a short overview of performance and the areas we are planning to focus on to improve performance.
Where the table shows amber dots, the airlines have met Heathrow’s minimum performance targets and green dots show they have exceeded them. If the airline has a red dot in a particular area, we work closely with them to improve performance.
See the latest reports here:
Fly Quiet - Q1 2014 (318 KB)
Fly Quiet - Q4 2013 (374 KB)
Fly Quiet - Q3 2013 (645 KB)