LOT Polish Airlines has proved to be the success story of Heathrow’s Fly Quiet and Green Airline Programme, having completely transformed its noise and emissions performance – from last place in the first league rankings to second place in the latest results. Scandinavian Airlines System, on the other hand, continues to prove itself an environmentally conscious carrier at Heathrow, coming up first in the rankings.
The latest league table ranks the performance of the top 50 busiest airlines at Heathrow on seven noise and emission metrics from January to March 2018. Scandinavian Airlines flies to Copenhagen, Oslo (Gardermoen), Stavanger and Stockholm (Arlanda) from Heathrow, whilst LOT Polish Airlines operates 15 services a week to Warsaw.
LOT Polish Airlines have now begun operating new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on its Heathrow services this year, which have made the largest positive differences to its rankings. The engines on the Boeing 737 MAX are quieter and more efficient than its predecessors, and have distinctive v-shaped winglets which allow the wings to encounter less drag, use less fuel, and produce lower carbon emissions.
Scandinavian Airlines has worked with Heathrow to improve its use of ‘Continuous Descent Approaches’ into Heathrow. This flight procedure reduces noise as it requires less engine thrust and keeps the aircraft higher for longer. The airline also worked to improve its ability to keep flights within the departure corridors of “noise preferential routes” designated by the Government – referred to in the league table as “track keeping.”
As part of Heathrow’s commitment to be a global leader in reducing the impact of aircraft noise on local communities, the airport produces a Noise Action Plan every five years setting tough new objectives to further reduce aircraft noise. The Fly Quiet & Clean league table itself was created in 2013 as one of the actions from Heathrow’s last Noise Action Plan. Heathrow is currently developing its next five-year Noise Action Plan and will hold a series of public consultation events on the 2nd, 6th and 23rd of June, giving the public a chance to shape how the airport manages aircraft noise in the future.
Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Director of Sustainability said:
“As the first initiative of its kind in Europe, it was hard to estimate the impact the ‘Fly Quiet and Green’ league table would have when it was first launched. LOT Polish Airline’s story, however, shows the results that can be achieved by working productively with our airline partners to encourage them to use quieter technology and operating procedures for the benefit of our local neighbours.
We know there is always more we can do to reduce our noise impacts, and we have set some ambitious targets in our new Noise Action Plan. We encourage all of our local neighbours to give us their feedback on this plan, and help us shape the way we manage noise in the future.”