28 SEPTEMBER 2015
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Heathrow this week introduced steeper approach procedures for aircraft for a six-month trial as part of its programme to control noise. The move coincided with a Civil Aviation Authority report showing the airport’s noise footprint is now smaller than at any time since the 1970s.
The approaches procedure involves aircraft flying higher for longer before landing. Similar trials at other airports including Frankfurt are said to have shown a reduction in noise for people living under flight paths.
The CAA report said use of new aircraft and quieter procedures between 2006 and 2014 had resulted in the area around the airport affected by higher levels of night noise decreasing by 25%.
This had meant 25% fewer households were now being affected by these noise levels at night. Had the population and households remained static during this period, the number of homes involved would be 42% fewer.
Heathrow officials said although the airport’s noise footprint had lessened, work was continuing with airlines, regulators and local communities to make the skies quieter through its Noise Blueprint plan which outlines practical steps to tackle the situation so fewer people are affected, even with an expanded airport. www.heathrow.com
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