in Aerospace

Heathrow ranks airlines' emissions and night noise performance

Posted 16 June 2017 · Add Comment

For the first time, the 50 busiest airlines at Heathrow will now be publicly ranked on their work to reduce emissions and noise in their operations.

Every three months, Heathrow will publish its new Fly Quiet and Clean League Table showing a red/amber/green rating for seven noise and emissions criteria.

The new league table is an expanded version of the Heathrow Fly Quiet programme, which has tracked airlines’ noise performance since 2013 and incentivised airlines to use their quieter aircraft types and operating procedures at the airport. It adds two emissions-based criteria which scores the type of engines used by aircraft (the ‘CAEP’ score) and the efficiencies of aircraft when it comes to NOx emissions per seat (the ‘NOx/seat’ score). 

As part of the airport’s efforts to reduce the number of aircraft operating at night, and to provide more predictable periods of noise respite for local residents, the new table also includes a new metric tracking unscheduled airline operations between 11:30 at night and 4:30 in the morning.

The first Fly Quiet and Clean League Table, based on data from January to March, reveals British Airways’ short haul, Aer Lingus and Etihad Airways as the cleanest and quietest fleets at the airport.

The Fly Quiet and Clean Table is part of Heathrow 2.0, the airport’s new sustainability strategy, which aims to make Heathrow the world leader in delivering the cleanest aircraft and operations possible, targeting emissions in several ways:
On arrivals: by linking our landing fees to an aircraft’s NOx emissions. In 2017 we increased this fee by nearly 100%.  
On the airfield: by encouraging airlines to use reduced-engine taxiing
At gates: through £20-million-pound investment in technology like pre-conditioned air so aircraft can turn their engines off. This year, we are aiming to increase the use of this technology by 20% compared to 2016.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Sustainability said: “While the main contributor to local pollution remains road traffic, Heathrow is playing its part to improve air quality by reducing emissions from its vehicles, buildings and aircraft. We are excited to add a whole new dimension to the league table and have another tool to help airlines to reduce their impact on air quality.  Together, we can play our part to improve our local environment and help the UK and London governments meet their air quality targets.”

By publishing the table each quarter, Heathrow aims to recognise good performance, provide airlines with regular feedback and identify specific areas to be targeted for improvement. Heathrow will engage with airlines showing red results in the latest league table to improve their rating.

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