Heathrow launches Fly Quiet league table


By Heathrow

Published 24th February 2014

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Heathrow today launched its ‘Fly Quiet programme’ league table, becoming the first UK airport to list airlines according to their noise performance.

Every three months a Fly Quiet table will take the top 50 Heathrow airlines (by number of flights per quarter) and rank them against each other according to six noise related criteria.

“In the first ever Fly Quiet league table covering July to September2013, 94 per cent of the airlines have met the minimum benchmark requirements for at least five of the six metrics. British Airways short haul took top position as the quietest airline operating out of Heathrow. Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red took second place.”

Airlines already use their quietest aircraft around 15 per cent more on Heathrow routes as a result of the existing tough rules and regulations, and this programme is to ensure the trend continues.

How does it work?

The airlines receive a red/amber/green rating for each criterion, as well as an overall score which allows airlines to understand how they are performing in relation to other airlines. If they are not meeting the minimum performance targets, Heathrow will work closely with them to improve their rating.

What are the criterion?

The six criterion are:

  • 1.  Noise quota count/seat/movement;
  • 2.  Noise Certification;
  • 3.  Arrival Operations: Continuous Descent Approach(CDA violations);
  • 4.  Departure Operations: Track deviations on departure(TK violations);
  • 6.  Night time Operations 2: unscheduled arrivals prior to 0600.

Criteria 5 and 6 are weighted lower compared to the remaining four as they affect only a limited number of airlines, but are still important issues for community stakeholders. All six criteria are outlined in the Fly Quiet Programme overview.

What else is being done to reduce noise impact?

The league table comes as an addition to a number of initiatives already in place to help reduce noise impacts upon local communities including:

  • Airlines are charged less at Heathrow for using quieter aircraft.This has helped double the number of movements by new, quieter A380 and Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft both in terms ofpercentage and number of airlines Heathrow provides noise insulation for homes (40,000 in total) and schools around the airport and offers financial assistance for the relocation to quieter areas;

  • Runway alternation while aircraft are on westerly operations to provide relief to local residents. This means one runway is used by landing aircraft between certain timeframes and  halfway through the day arrivals then switch to the other runway until the last departure;

  • The Continuous Descent Approach enforced at Heathrow, whereby aircraft make a continuous steady angle approach rather than the traditional steeped approach, also helps reduce engine noise.

  • Despite double the  number of aircraft since 1974, the noise level has actually reduced for residents living under Heathrow’s flight paths.

‘A quieter Heathrow’

The launch of the Fly Quiet programme follows the publication of ‘A quieter Heathrow’, a report which sets out the steps Heathrow takes to reduce aircraft noise. It brings together the range of measures designed to meet the Government’s aspiration ‘to strike a fair balance between the negative impacts of noise and the positive economic impacts of flights’.

It sets out actions across five key areas that Heathrow can take now to reduce aircraft noise, while safeguarding the connectivity and growth that Heathrow currently provides: encouraging quieter planes; implementing quieter operating procedures; noise mitigation schemes and influencing land-use planning; applying operating restrictions and working with local communities. To read the full report, visit www.heathrow.com/noise/ .

The new T2 is due to open in June 4 (2014), but before that happens over 100 ‘passenger’ trials will take place, involving 15,000 members of the public. On January 16th, we held the largest of these trials to date as we tested the departures passenger journey from check-in through to boarding.

UPDATE, Feb 4 (2014): We are looking for more volunteers to register and take part in the trials. To sign up, click here.

Jan 21 (2014): From Berlin, to Paris, Istanbul, Crete, Cairo and Zurich, over 500 volunteers helped us test our new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Building last week by pretending to jet off to exotic destinations. Join us as we take a look behind the scenes at the testing that makes a new terminal possible!

The new T2 is due to open in June 4, but before that happens over 100 ‘passenger’ trials will take place, involving 15,000 members of the public. On January 16th, we held the largest of these trials to date as we tested the departures passenger journey from check-in through to boarding.

A number of exotic destinations were chosen for the trial, teasing the volunteers with the thoughts of baguettes, beaches and beer.

Through the trial volunteer passengers tested compliance, ticket presentation at the check-in desk, central security search and finally, the ability to find their gate.

Technology for both automatic ticket presentation and manual presentation were also tested and 48 security officers were involved in the trial to test variations of queues and new equipment.

Significantly, alongside the trials a programme of familiarisation for more than 20,000 airline and airport community colleagues ,that will ultimately work in Terminal 2, has also been running at the site since November.

A selection of the Star Alliance airlines including Air New Zealand, Turkish Airlines, Aegean, Swiss, Lufthansa and Egypt Air assisted with the trial to board passengers onto their flights within their expected timescales using remote and fixed boarding gates, as well as testing the systems and gate equipment are functional and integrated.

The trials run until May 2014 to check that everything works exactly as expected and involve airlines, baggage handlers, Border Force, our own staff and most importantly, thousands of volunteers who act as passengers. Sign up to trial the new Terminal 2 here.

We’ve teamed up again with Asia House to create snap shot guides to doing business in 8 more of the booming economies in Asia. From the exotic and rich customs and culture, to developing industries and individual case studies – we take a look at what you need to know to do business with these emerging economic powerhouses.

While a lot has been said about the importance to the UK’s economic future of big Asian nations such as China and India – they’re not the only nations set to rise in the area. Turkey is one such nation that as Asia House Chairman Sir John Boyd puts it, “Britain has to engage better with…and now” to thrive in “the Asian Century”.

As Sir John puts it Asia is “diverse” and each component has many different cultural aspects, with some poorly understood by the West. In part one of our new Business class to Asia series we look at these aspects in Turkey. Enjoy!

Turkey at a glance…

The Republic of Turkey is located mainly on the Asian continent though it does control a small area in South East Europe called East Thrace. With a varied history featuring influences from Western Asia, Europe and the Middle East, Turkey’s population of over 73 million people is a melting pot for cultures in these regions giving it a unique position in transcontinental relations.

Turkey’s capital of Ankara is located in the eastern region of the country, but its most populous and well known city is Istanbul (historically known as Byzantium or Constantinople) which spans the Bosphorus Strait from Europe to Asia. Istanbul is expected to be one of the fastest growing cities in the world by 2025 and already accounts for 20 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

A constitutional republic, the Turkish Government is led by a President – a mostly ceremonial role though officially the Head of State – and a Prime Minister; the military establishment is very powerful as well. Although a Muslim nation, Turkey features a diverse mix of religions due to its varied history. Turkish is the official language.

Turkey is very closely connected with Europe as a member of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD and OSCE. Significantly, it also plays a major role in Asian organisations such as the Economic Cooperation Organisation, The Turkic Council and is an observer state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Why do business in Turkey?

Featuring the globe’s 15th largest GDP by Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), set to be the second fastest growing market by 2018, and home to liberalised EU tariff rates since 1996 – it’s difficult to find reasons not to trade in Turkey. The country has a rapidly growing private sector which looks set to provide a number of opportunities to businesses in areas such as communications and transport. As one of the top 10 tourism destinations in the world, entering into the Turkish market can provide a business with exposure to people from around the globe. Turkey’s links to Asia should also not be underestimated when it comes to considering the longer term benefits of entering into business in the country.

Getting there from Heathrow…

Both Turkish Airlines and British Airways fly daily from Heathrow Airport to Istanbul. Once there, as an emerging economy, Turkey’s infrastructure is highly developed and modern. A high-speed rail system is being developed to connect Istanbul and Ankara. Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST), one of two airports serving Istanbul, is the country’s largest airport and the sixth busiest airport in Europe.

Top tips for doing business in Turkey:

• Turkish people are intensely proud of their heritage, so showing a respectful interest in their history and politics is well appreciated;
• Master a few basic introductions in Turkish, as while many business people speak English, many do not;
• Have double-sided business cards made with English on one side, and Turkish on the other;
• A visitor should use “Mr” or “Mrs/Ms” to address someone, or, even better, the Turkish contact’s first name followed by the title “Bey” (with males) or “Hanim” (with females), especially with older or more senior contacts, until invited to use a first name on its own;
• Refreshments are always offered at meetings and its seen as discourteous to refuse them.
• Regular return visits are crucial and emails certainly are not an acceptable substitute.

On Monday we’ll take a look at the “Mongolian Wolf”. Once home to the mighty Genghis Khan, Mongolia is now one of the world’s fastest growing economies with a copper industry that’s about to boom.

Information and graphics for this article were sourced from a document published by Asia House, “Navigating Asian Markets: A quick guide to 8 Exciting Economies, Volume 2”.

Was this guide helpful?

Have you done business in Turkey and have another tip? Leave a comment or tweet us @yourHeathrow, and Asia House@asiahouseuk, using the hashtag #Navig8Asia.

It’s not just humans and cargo that use Heathrow Airport – it’s animals as well! Here at yourHeathrow we’ve gone behind the scenes with Heathrow Animal Reception’s Will Hall to find out more.

Will has been an Animal Health Officer for nearly three years and is a keen animal lover with three dogs of his own – Louie (an English Springer Spaniel), Buzz and Alfie (both Whippets). In his spare time, he can be found walking the dogs, watching his favourite TV shows Nurse Jackie and True Blood, and listening to Snow Patrol (he’s already seen them three times).

At work – he’s responsible for collecting and looking after animals big and small when they jet into Heathrow!

How does the Animal Reception Centre (HARC) work?

Our ‘bread and butter’ is receiving dogs and cats using the Pet Travel Scheme which allows dogs, cats and ferrets to enter or re-enter the United Kingdom without serving statutory quarantine. We collect pets from most airlines and release them into individual kennels. Whilst they are in a kennel we can check their paperwork for compliance with the scheme and wait for Custom’s clearance. My favourite part of the job has to be reuniting owners with their beloved pets, sometimes they haven’t seen them for months.

What does a normal day entail?

The beauty of this job is every day is different! You can spend the morning in the van collecting pets from the aircraft or caring for the long-term resident reptiles we hold here. It’s not all hands on with animals though; on busy days we’ll have a lot of pets paperwork to check. We can spend a lot of time liaising with vets from all over the world should there be minor issues. Also, it wouldn’t be animal work without getting down and dirty with a bucket and broom!

What are the most exotic animals you’ve seen and what’s your favourite?

As well as dogs and cats we also see many exotic and rare species. We do species identification for customs on reptile imports and check their containers meet IATA (International Air Transport Association) requirements. My favourite exotic animal I’ve seen has to be the White Lion cubs.

How did you get into the job and what is your favourite thing about it?

I studied Animal Management at Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) after secondary school, after which I worked for The Metropolitan Police for 3 years to gain experience with working with the public. I found out about HARC as my college tutor from BCA became a manager, and the job seemed perfect for me. I was employed nearly 3 years ago and have never looked back! As part of my career progression at HARC I’m currently studying ‘Daily Management of Zoo Animal and Aquaria’ which I’m due to finish in May.

Things you wouldn’t know about the Animal Reception Centre:

  • We’re very busy! Last year we had 8,907 dogs, 5,026 cats, 3 ferrets and 26,145,553 fish!
  • We’re open 365 days a year, 24 hours!
  • We have our own television show (Animal Airport on Animal Planet) it plays on loop in our reception!
  • Heathrow Animal Reception Centre is run by the City of London Corporation who are the local authority for the square mile.
  • Animals which have to serve quarantine do so at a DEFRA licenced quarantine kennel, we only hold them temporarily for up to 48 hours.

Has one of your animals travelled through Heathrow? Let us know on Twitter via @yourHeathrow. Follow the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre on Twitter (@HARC_COL) or Facebook.

Last week the annual Heathrow Jobs and Careers Fair attracted over 5,800 aspiring young people making it the largest number of attendees since the launch seven years ago.

Held at the Marriot Hotel near Heathrow, the event saw students and job seekers travel from all over London in search of a career in the aviation industry. Parents and teachers also came to the fair and were helped to gain an understanding of what prospective employers expected in candidates.

Heathrow Human Resources Director Paula Stannett said, ‘It was fantastic seeing so many young people at Heathrow’s Jobs & Careers Fair this year. Heathrow is not just a job opportunity but a career path, with hundreds of companies operating at the airport.”

“We are committed to employing people from the local boroughs and the careers fair is a great demonstration of this. Generations of families work and build their lives around Heathrow, a legacy we intend to continue.”

British Airways, Dixons Travel, Gordon Ramsay Group, Paul Smith and Transport for London were among the 47 exhibitors that showcased their opportunities to the thousands of job seekers that came through the doors during the day.

CV advice, interview tips and educational prerequisites were all topics of conversations between the employees and job seekers.

The Heathrow Social Media Team was also on hand at the event, running a competition for youngsters where they had to collect job interview tips.

As one of the largest single-site employers in the country, with 76,500 people directly employed on the Heathrow site, a wide range of jobs, training and career opportunities are continuously on offer.

Heathrow has a unique role to play in boosting jobs, skills and supporting economic growth in its local communities and across the UK. The business community surrounding the airport includes firms involved in construction, engineering, retail, logistics, communication, planning, security and technology.

To attend the Jobs and Careers Fair in 2015, stay tuned here for more information in the coming months: http://www.heathrowjobsandcareersfair.co.uk/ 

It’s been five years in the making, but as of July this year UK passengers will be able to fly direct to Colombia. Avianca Airlines will fly passengers to the Colombian capital, Bogota, four times a week, joining the Star Alliance at our new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal.

Avianca is to provide the UK with its first direct connection to Colombia for nine years. In addition to being a tourist hotspot, Colombia  is one of the world’s most promising economies. It has the third largest economy in South America driven by the mining, oil and agriculture industries. Colombia is also part of a new class of growing economies called CIVETS – Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa – which have high prospects for growth over the coming years..

The deal has taken five years to come to fruition, with Heathrow first talking to Avianca in 2009. With Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport, full, Avianca was forced to wait for suitable take-off and landing slots to become available from other airlines before it was able to secure the slots it needed. Their experience echoes that of China Southern, which had to wait seven years for their slots at Heathrow in order to put on flights to Guangzhou, and Aeromexico, which waited four years for slots to Mexico City.

“We are delighted that Avianca is coming to Heathrow this summer. The world’s economic centre of gravity is shifting and Britain needs to capitalise on links to fast growing economies like Colombia. We would like to welcome more flights bringing trade and jobs to the UK but a lack of hub airport capacity means we are less well connected that we could be.”- Colin Matthews, Heathrow CEO

Other airlines from major emerging economies would also like to add new routes at Heathrow but are unable to do so.

Heathrow, as the UK’S only hub airport, needs to provide direct access to emerging economies  in order to remain an attractive place to invest and do business. This direct connectivity between the UK and Colombia will boost trade and tourism as  well as help achieve the new bilateral trade target of £4 billion by 2020, as announced by the UK government this week.

Do you have business interests in Colombia and will benefit from this direct connection from the UK? Share your comments below or on our @yourHeathrow Twitter feed.

UPDATE: The Community Consultation period has now finished. For the next steps in the Airports Commission process please click here.

Heathrow has launched a community consultation this week to allow residents to have their say ahead of the next stage in the UK Airport Capacity Debate. Here at yourHeathrow, we take a look at what’s involved, how you can have your say, and the local events taking place.

The consultation has been launched to help guide Heathrow’s revised 3rd runway proposal submission to the Airports Commission, due by May 9.

The consultation will help Heathrow establish what local residents think about the proposals and the issues they believe are most important for us to take into consideration.

What’s involved in the consultation?

During the process, 140,000 households and businesses most likely to be impacted by the proposed plans will receive booklets and a questionnaire, while anyone outside this area can share their views online or attend a local drop-in event.

Overall, Heathrow is encouraging people to ask questions and influence the plans. The results of the consultation will help Heathrow understand what is most important to local residents and will be used to refine our proposals before they are resubmitted to the Airports Commission in May.

Commenting on the consultation, Heathrow Chief Executive Colin Matthews said, “We know that opinion is divided locally about whether a third runway should go ahead or not, but everyone has an interest in making sure that if a third runway does happen it is developed in the best way possible.”

Heathrow is hosting a series of public exhibition events across local areas during the consultation to meet as many local residents as possible – the details of which can be found below. The consultation runs from 3 February until 16 March.

How can I get involved online?

For those outside of the local areas, or who are unable to attend one of the events, you can get involved online by submitting your views here.

When are the local events?

There are 11 local events being run during the consultation process across the following locations:

Where can I find out more information?

For more information on the consultation process you can visit Heathrow.com or read more about the capacity debate via our related coverage.

Download a copy of the updated Heathrow Airport’s Commission Options Submission document (easy-read version 7MB) – A New Approach – click here.

Samurai, cherry blossoms, and origami all originate from the over 6,000 islands that make up the archipelago nation of Japan which is the fourth country to feature in our Business class to Asia series. A world leader in technology research, home to over 126 million people and the world’s 3rd largest economy, we’re thinking you’ll be just as fascinated by Japan as we are.

Japan at a glance?

Located in northwest Asia, Japan shares maritime borders with China, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and Taiwan. While never a colony of Western power, Japan has managed a rich history of trade relations with Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Japan entered more prominently onto the global stage in the 1800’s and since then it has adopted many Western practices which have allowed it to industrialise rapidly.

Japan’s capital, Tokyo, often gains the most attention abroad and rightly so due to its staggeringly dense population of 37 million people and the presence of countless multinational corporations and household names such as Toyota. Tokyo also has the highest metropolitan GDP of any city in the world. Cities such as the culturally renowned Osaka (11 million), the industrious port of Nagoya (3.3 million) and the transport hub Fukuoka (2.9 million), though seldom mentioned, are also thriving.

Why do business in Japan?

An extremely dense population and the presence of advanced technology and scientific research make Japan an attractive place to do business. The country lays claim to the largest electronic goods industry in the world, while automobiles and robotics are also highly produced and sort after. Significantly, Japan lacks natural resources to fuel its advanced, high-tech economy meaning opportunities for mining companies to export to the nation are almost endless. Business is also made easier by the extensive and modern transport infrastructure in the company including over 100 bullet trains connecting the major cities.

Getting to Japan from Heathrow…

The Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) is not only Japan’s, but also Asia’s, busiest airport. A number of carriers fly from Heathrow to Haneda including British Airways, Emirates and Air China.

Top tips for doing business in Japan…

  • Face to face interaction is important;
  • Show respecting respect for hierarchy is an important;
  • Punctuality and good body posture are crucial for meetings;
  • Translators are recommended for formal settings or complex meetings as attempts to speak Japanese, by those not fluent, in these settings are often seen as amateurish;
  • Greet people with a bow. Longer bows are used for formal situations. Shaking hands is an uncommon practice amongst Japanese people.

Information and graphics for this article were sourced from a document published by Asia House, “Navigating Asian Markets: A quick guide to 8 Exciting Economies”. For the Japan guide, including a case study, please click here.

Was this guide helpful? Tell us about your experience of doing business in Japan! Leave a comment or tweet us @yourHeathrow, and Asia House @asiahouseuk, using the hashtag #Navig8Asia.

The Heathrow Community Fund has announced 2013 as its biggest year on record, with over £500,000 pounds donated across more grants in local areas than ever before.

Set up in 1996 to support and strengthen local communities close to the airport, last year’s results have contributed to donations totalling over £1 million across 9 local boroughs since 2012.

Significantly, the HCF is funded through fines imposed on aircraft that breach noise limits and an annual donation from Heathrow, as well as spare change from airport passengers.

Two of the biggest charities, amongst others, to have benefitted from donations during 2012 and 2013 are The Waterman’s Art Centre and The Willow Tree Centre.

The Waterman’s Art Centre…

The Waterman’s Art Centre received £25,000 during this time to help fund Urban Ambush, a four-week festival of creative programmes for young people from Ealing, Hounslow and Hillingdon during the summer of 2013.

As a result, hundreds of young people worked with professional artists to develop new projects, learn new skills and showcase their work.

“Last Summer nearly 200 young people aged between 8 and 18 participated in Urban Ambush, many from disadvantaged families. Urban Ambush is our new Summer arts programme that gives young people an opportunity to develop their creative and interpersonal skills. The grant of £25,000 from Heathrow Community Fund was central to providing the range of activities that made the project such a great success,” said Jan Lennox of Urban Ambush.

The Willow Tree Centre…

Likewise, The Willow Tree Centre in Hillingdon received grants of £25,000 in both 2012 and 2013 to help build new volunteer and maintenance facilities. Volunteers, including Heathrow staff, maintain 15 acres of woodland, reed beds and meadow with the centre providing outdoor activity facilities for children.

‘We are indebted to Heathrow Airport, its Community Fund and its employees for their support and belief in what we are doing for the 14,000 young people, of all abilities, who use our centre every year. The grant is going to help maintain the centre’s high standards by expanding various environmental works and contributing towards maintenance,’ said Dawn Palmer from Willow Tree Management.

Caroline Nicholls, Director of the Heathrow Community Fund, said it was great to have been able to contribute “to so many excellent community projects” during the record-breaking 2013.

‘It has been a privilege to be able to see first-hand, the inspiring work done by dedicated local volunteers and community organisations,’ said Caroline Nicholls.

‘I’d like to thank our trustees and local panel members who review the applications and help ensure our grants go to the projects that will bring the biggest benefits to local people.’

Made of up three distinct grant streams; Communities for Youth, Communities for Tomorrow and Communities Together, the Heathrow Community Fund is calling for more local charities to apply for grants in 2014.


By Heathrow

Published 2nd February 2014