17 AUGUST 2015
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Not the first UK airport to offer such a scheme, that honour fell to London City Airport (LCY) nearly 30 years ago, Heathrow has announced plans to trial a steeper approach for aircraft landing.
This trial is one of 10 practical steps the airport is taking through its Blueprint for Noise Reduction to explore ways to improve the noise climate in its vicinity. The LCY solution was a success and continues to this day.
The international standard approach for most airports in the world is set at 3 degrees, except for obstacle clearance (e.g. buildings, mountains etc). Heathrow believes a steeper angle is possible and will lead to quieter approaches to the airport. This has been the experience at Frankfurt airport which has introduced steeper approach angles to reduce noise for people living nearby.
To test whether the implementation of steeper approaches of up to 3.5 degrees at the airport is possible, starting on 14 September Heathrow will be trialling a slightly steeper approach angle of 3.2 degrees. The trial has been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority and is planned to run until 16 March 2016. While the trial is optional, a large number of airlines that have the necessary standard of navigational equipment for this approach are expected to take part. www.heathrowairport.com
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Dave Reid, UK
According to NATS, who are administering the trial, it's not due to start until Thursday September 17.