Airlines’ Improved Annual Performance Shows Fly Quiet League Success


By Heathrow

Published 31st March 2015

Home > Must See > Airlines’ Improved Annual Performance Shows Fly Quiet League Success

Home > Must See > Airlines’ Improved Annual Performance Shows…

As the Fly Quiet League begins its second year run, the sixth league table, covering October to December 2014, provides the first set of data that can be compared to the same three month period from a year before and which takes into account airlines’ efforts in improving their League performance. From now on, Fly Quiet data will reveal longer term trends, and highlight yearly best performance.

This quarter, the League shows Chapter number scores violations have been reduced from four at the start of the League table to one this quarter. This indicates airlines are moving towards operating best-in-class, modern, quieter aircraft more frequently at Heathrow.

Heathrow-based airlines have also successfully reduced their ’red’ violations in their use of Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) by two over the same period last year, with LOT and Iberia in particular turning their red scores to amber.

Continuous descent approach requires less engine thrust and keeps the aircraft higher for longer, helping to reduce noise in arriving aircraft. Heathrow is a CDA pioneer: over 85% of daytime and over 90% of night-time arrivals achieve a CDA.

Continuous Descent Approach explained.

Cathay Pacific has demonstrated the most consistent improvements in performance over the past year due to its improved adherence to CDA, as well as continued engagement between the airline’s and Heathrow’s technical teams. The Hong-Kong based airline debuted in the League at 24th place before climbing quickly to 15th and later 11th place, a ranking it maintains to this day.

US Airways jumped up 9 places from the previous quarter, due to its use of quieter, more modern aircraft at Heathrow during what was a comparatively busier period of activity for the airline.

Europe’s first Fly Quiet League

Heathrow is the first European airport to introduce a Fly Quiet League and Heathrow Sustainability Director Matt Gorman said the first year results are encouraging.

“As Europe’s first Fly Quiet League, our transparent ranking airlines according to their noise performance has driven improvements. Through hard work and open communications between us and airline partners, we have assured quieter skies for local residents over the past year,” Matt Gorman said.

“Undoubtedly, more work remains to be done, but we are encouraged by the improvements we have seen this year, and what is more, the innovation of airlines in finding ways to reduce noise and be better neighbours to residents.”

The latest Heathrow Fly Quiet table.

Heathrow will continue to engage with its airline partners in fulfilling the goals of the Blueprint for Noise Reduction, a ten point plan to cut noise. The Blueprint includes commitments to reduce the number of Chapter 3, the oldest and noisiest aircraft, and ensure more noise respite for local communities through measures to reduce late departures from the airport at night.

As a result of the rules and incentives already in place, aircraft flying in an out of Heathrow are on average 15% quieter than the other planes flying in the fleets of the same airlines at other world airports. Since the early 1970s, both the area and the number of people within Heathrow’s noise footprint have fallen around tenfold, despite the number of flights doubling.

Find out more:


Vibrant Vietnam! With the arrival of Vietnam Airlines at Heathrow’s Terminal 4 on the 31st of March, discovering the gateway to South East Asia is easier than ever with daily direct flights to As we welcome the newest airline to join the LHR family, we’re showcasing Ho Chi Minh City- one of the most popular Vietnamese destinations for both business and leisure passengers alike.

Ho Chi Minh is a resilient city, rich in history and full of hope. Formally known as Saigon, it’s the largest city in Vietnam. With a population of over seven million people it’s a city on the move and it’s moving quickly!

Reasons to visit

From its wide, elegant boulevards to its historic French-colonial buildings, the city has a rich history marked by remnants of its struggle for independence. The mix of modernity and antiquity makes for an ideal destination for anyone searching for an off-the-beaten path journey where contrast abounds. From the bustling commercial centre where you can enjoy culture, food, shopping and nightlife, to the serene village life in rural outskirts hugging the Mekong River, there’s something for everyone.

Best time to visit

Vietnam has a tropical climate so the dry season between December – April is the recommended time to visit. This period is the hottest time of the year with average temperatures of 28 °C to 39 °C and lows of 16 °C in late December. Humidity is moderate in December and decreases from January into April.

Booking your flight from Heathrow with Vietnam Airlines

Enjoy Vietnam Airlines luxurious new fleet of 787-9 Dreamliners offering four services to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City each week. Flights start from £539 economy return and are available to book online today. Vietnam Airlines are also part of the Skyteam programme- join today to start earning points and status credits on flights with any of the Skyteam partners. Visit their website for more information.

Eating in Vietnam

Phở, Bánh mì, fresh spring rolls…need we say more? Vietnamese cuisine is famous for the use of deliciously fresh and fragrant ingredients, and there is something to suit most palates. Ho Chi Minh is particularly famous for its high quality street food. Our favourite places to dine are below:

Traditional Vietnamese

 Bar: Saigon, Saigon


The Vietnamese Dong (VND). 1 GBP = approx. 32,000 VND. The US dollar is also widely used in the city. To make things simple and easy you can pre-order and collect your currency at Heathrow, using Travelex. Secure yourself a better rate online before you fly and don’t forget your Heathrow Rewards card when collecting your currency to claim your points.

Where to spend your VND

For local crafts and textiles as well as mementos to bring home to remember your trip, look no further than Ben Thanh Market. With numerous vendors bartering for your VND, you could spend hours bargaining for goodies!

Don’t miss:

Notre Dame Cathedral – Built between 1877 – 1880 in the Paris Commune Square, it’s a great example of Neo-Romanesque architecture. Crowned with two square bell towers, it serves as a memorable remnant of the French colonial empire.

The Independence Palace – Formally known as the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam and Headquarters of Saigon Government during the Vietnam War, this is a historical landmark visited by large number of tourists every year. The Palace stands today as an architectural symbol of peace, marking the end of the war and the inception of Ho Chi Minh City.

Cu Chi Tunnels – A 200km long cobweb-like network of underground tunnels served many functions as meeting, living and fighting quarters during the Vietnam War. Descend into the tunnels and experience what is was like to live in these restricted conditions. Located 70km North West of the city, the Cu Chi Tunnels can be easily visited via bus.

War Remnants Museum – A deeply moving museum showcasing the impact of the Vietnam war on the people of Saigon. The museum has a large collection of military equipment and other artefacts used in the war. Note- this museum may not be suitable for young children.

Day trip on the Mekong – A body of water over 4,000 long, winding through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam! It is used as a major part of Vietnam’s trading route. The Sinh Tourist (as well as other guides) offer fantastic sightseeing tours of the Cai Be Floating Market where you can watch locals selling, buying and exchanging goods from their boats. Boat rides transport visitors through the local villages and some also include cooking classes, where you can learn to make local delicacies. 

Did you know…Vietnam is the second largest exporter of rice and cashew nuts in the world!

The basics:

  • Hello -xin chào (sin chow!)
  • How much? Bao nhieu (bow nyew) – will be useful for visits to the Ben Thanh Market.

Don’t forget!

A Visa – Visas are required to visit Vietnam. If you have a UK passport, further information on how to obtain one can be found on the UK Govt website.


More Vietnam travel tips or pictures? Share them with us on Twitter @HeathrowAirport, Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram.

Photo credits: Cu Chi Tunnels Official and The Independence Palace official websites, Vietnam Airlines and iStock.

This page has been moved, please visit:

In time for Terminal 5’s seventh birthday celebrations, Ted Baker’s newly designed boutique reopened its doors this morning.

As a travel enthusiast, Ted thought he’d turn his Heathrow Terminal 5 store on its head – taking passengers out of the airport and up to cruising altitude before they set foot on their flight.

The sparkling new aerial view interior gives shoppers a bespoke experience of being up in the clouds. As many travellers would agree, everything seems different from the sky, patterns emerge, nature shines and cities spread out beneath your feet in a sea of light. There’s always something beautiful out of the window waiting to be discovered, and that can be said of the menswear, womenswear, accessories and every item in-store.

A quintessentially British brand with an unconventional approach to fashion, we are delighted to have Ted Baker within our award winning Terminal 5 as well as Terminal 2, 3 and 4 for all of our departing passengers to enjoy.

With their latest vibrant Spring/Summer collection out now, spoil yourself before your next flight.Heathrow Rewards Special offer: Until 30 April 2015, you can collect up to triple points on Ted Baker at Heathrow with your Heathrow Rewards card. Double points when you spend £125 to £499.99 and triple points when you spend £500 or more!

Journalist Gwynn Topham has tested out the state of the art Arup SoundLab that Heathrow is working with on understanding noise levels with a third runway. Gwynn has covered his visit in an article published in The Guardian today, “Heathrow sound simulator aims for a quiet take-off in central London”, which includes audiovisual examples in the online version.

An excerpt from the article:

“The Arup Sound Lab, originally created by the engineering firm to help the acoustic design of buildings such as concert halls, was also used to allow residents living along the HS2 route to gauge potential disruption from high-speed trains, even though noise disturbance was a relatively minor concern for many HS2 opponents.”

“Richard Greer, Arup’s director in charge of the acoustic programme, says that our perception of background noise is skewed because we rarely experience anything near true silence. Only minutes after I enter the lab, a soundproofed box room, does Greer draw my attention to the fact that a soundtrack is playing. With the soundtrack switched off, the silence is startling. Everyday life is depressingly loud once you realise what true silence sounds like.

Greer insists that although Heathrow is paying for the sound lab Arup’s neutrality is maintained because it is key to the engineering firm’s credibility – plus it is peer-reviewed and laboriously checked.

The sound lab’s technicians can replay combinations of aircraft types, times of day, and both present and future scenarios, simulated in two locations: one in Hounslow 1.8 miles east of the airport perimeter, another in Richmond, nearly seven miles away, but both under the flightpath of the southern runway. Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s sustainability director, says: “We want to give people a realistic and objective experience of what sound levels are like around Heathrow today and what they will be like in the future, to help inform the debate.”

So far, a lot of Heathrow’s pledges have had to be taken on trust – even if a new generation of quieter planes has started filling up slots at the airport. Allowing people to experience what the toned-down noise sounds like is clearly something the airport believes will help. “It’s not about telling you what to think, it’s about presenting information,” says Gorman.”

Source: Gwyn Topham, The Guardian

Noise and mitigation measure examples:

Source: Guardian Tech

Source: Guardian Tech

The full article can be found via The Guardian online, here

Our new Terminal 2 swept the board at the annual Lighting Design Awards last night, beating off stiff competition from the likes of London 2012’s Olympic Cauldron and the National Maritime Museum to win the Public Buildings and Daylight categories.

The Awards recognise innovation and creativity in lighting and are judged by some of the most experienced, knowledgeable and authoritative individuals in the lighting industry.The awards received were:

  • Public Building project of the year – for the LED ceiling lighting used in association with the natural light from the north facing roof windows – beating two museums National Maritime and Imperial War Museum to the top slot.

  • Daylight project of the year – for the north facing roof lighting, using natural light whenever possible – beating BskyB and Reid Building Glasgow School of Art.

  • Special lighting project of the year for the Seafood bar – described as ‘beautiful’ by judges and beating the London 2012 Olympic Cauldron.

  • Client of the Year – being the only named individual in the list of finalists and beating PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Tesco Stores.

On winning the award for Client of the Year, Heathrow’s Head of Design Barry Weekes said: “It’s fantastic to be recognised for the innovative way we’ve used natural light and the latest LED lighting technology in Terminal 2. We should mention Studio Fractal for their excellent work on the artificial lighting solution, Hoare Lea for the daylighting design and Cinimod Studio for ‘Emergence’, the amazing light feature above the seafood bar in the T2 Departures Lounge.”

These awards are the latest in a series for Heathrow. Terminal 2 recently won ‘Airport of the year’ and ‘Car Park of the Year’, and our passengers recognised Heathrow for the first time as the ‘Best airport in Western Europe’ at this year’s Skytrax World Airport Awards, as well as ‘Best Airport for Shopping’ for a sixth time and ‘World’s Best Airport Terminal’ for Terminal 5 for a fourth year in a row.

See more of T2:

Heathrow has announced a new package of commitments deliverable with expansion, designed to connect the UK’s nations and regions to growth markets around the world. Taken together they have the potential to deliver billions of pounds worth of trade and investment opportunities, reversing a lost decade of connectivity which has seen regional connections to long-haul markets squeezed out of the UK’s hub airport.

Highlights from the new commitments include:

  • New package of commitments conditional on expansion enabling up to nine new air links to Heathrow and increased frequency on seven existing routes

  • New £10 million Heathrow Route Development Fund

  • A review of airport charges to help play our part in keeping existing domestic routes commercially attractive to airlines

The move comes at a time when Amsterdam Schiphol has more links to the UK’s nations and regions than Heathrow and Gatwick combined. As a result, Schiphol has gained traffic that would otherwise support new long haul routes, jobs and economic activity in the UK.

The measures would boost the seven existing routes, offering the potential for better timed and more frequent flights. In addition, our analysis indicates that passengers would be able to fly from nine domestic airports not currently served by Heathrow, meaning that a total of at least 16 regional airports will have the opportunity of direct links to the UK’s hub.

Heathrow’s commitments to help boost regional links

The commitments include:

  • A review of airport charges to help play our part in keeping existing domestic routes commercially attractive to airlines from January 2016;

  • Establishing a new Heathrow Route Development Fund. £10 million in start-up capital for airlines to support five new routes for three years;

  • Partnering with UK airports, LEPs, Chambers of Commerce, national and regional governments to work with airlines to establish new domestic routes through Heathrow;

  • Working with government to re-designate public service obligation (PSO) routes to Heathrow, the only airport that can connect them to and through London to growth markets across the globe;

  • Working with any organisation that wants to operate Northolt as a satellite runway for UK routes until Heathrow is expanded.

The commitments announced today have been informed by the recommendations of the National Connectivity Task Force, set up in May 2014 with a remit to recommend how connectivity between the UK’s nations and regions and the major airports in the South East can be enhanced.

They build on a previous announcement by easyJet that it plans to operate from an expanded Heathrow, competing on several existing domestic routes and providing new links to four airports across the UK.

Airports Commission analysis has already revealed that an expanded Heathrow will deliver up to £114bn in economic benefit outside London and the South East, double the amount that would be delivered by an expanded Gatwick.

Flybe welcomes Heathrow commitments

Commenting on the commitments, John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow CEO, said: “Expanding Heathrow could deliver close to 80,000 jobs and up to £114 billion of GDP outside London and the South East.”

“We have been listening to businesses, politicians and now to the National Connectivity Task Force, and today’s announcement shows that we have a plan to deliver what Britain needs. Only Heathrow can connect all of Britain to global growth.

“That’s why we are best for Britain and backed by Britain. Let’s get on with it.”

Saad Hammad, Chief Executive of Flybe said, “Flybe welcomes the commitment of Heathrow to enhance regional connectivity both within current runway capacity constraints and in the event of new runway development.”

“As the UK’s largest regional airline, operating Flybe services from 37 UK airports, we are in a prime position to connect the country via Heathrow.

“Our national hub in the South East must address the needs of all the nations and regions of the UK not just those living within the boundary of the M25. Key to this is an airport pricing regime that encourages regional connectivity alongside guaranteed slot availability for regional connecting services.

We are delighted that Heathrow has listened to the issues faced by the UK regions and is taking practical steps to be more inclusive.”

Find out more:


  • Today, domestic destinations already served by Heathrow include: Aberdeen; Belfast City; Edinburgh; Glasgow; Leeds Bradford; Manchester; and, Newcastle. In addition, EasyJet has backed Heathrow expansion and indicated its plans to increase competition on several existing routes and establish four new air links to Inverness, Belfast International, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

  • The Heathrow Route Development Fund will support five further links for airports around the country which need access to global markets but where the market doesn’t initially support those routes following expansion. Airports which could benefit from this support include Liverpool, Newquay and Humberside.

  • Public Service Obligations (PSOs) are routes from regions that are dependent on air connections for their economic and social development but airlines would not operate them if they were considering their commercial interests alone. Government pays a subsidy to airlines to enable those routes to ensure those regions are connected. There are two PSOs currently in operation, one from Newquay to Gatwick, the other from Dundee to Stansted.

  • The recent Transport Select Committee’s Smaller Airport Inquiry found that:

    • Constrained capacity at Heathrow has damaged domestic air connectivity from smaller airports.

    • Smaller airports have replaced withdrawn flights to Heathrow with flights to other European hub airports. But, while airport hubs in northern Europe – Amsterdam-Schiphol, Frankfurt and Paris Charles de Gaulle – are attracting more transfer traffic from the UK, Heathrow remains a key access point to international and long-haul travel for many passengers from smaller airports.

  • The value of regional links to Heathrow is demonstrated by the fall in passenger numbers at smaller airports where these links are withdrawn. For example, Durham Tees Valley airport experienced a 75% reduction in overall passenger numbers following the withdrawal of its Heathrow service in 2009.

  • PWC analysis for the Airports Commission has shown that Heathrow expansion will deliver greater economic benefits beyond London and the South East than any other option – £114bn of economic benefits to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions. The rest of the UK would receive more than twice as much economic benefit by expanding Heathrow as by expanding Gatwick.

  • Independent report by QUOD, commissioned by Heathrow, confirms over half the gains from forecasted economic benefits and job creation will be made outside of London and the South East (see table below). Their assessment is based on the Airport Commission’s baseline scenario for future growth and remains a conservative estimate of the potential economic and employment benefits that could be delivered by a new runway at Heathrow.

  • Further scenarios developed by the Commission estimate the total economic benefit of Heathrow expansion at £211 billion across the UK – almost £65 billion more than the baseline adopted for QUOD’s analysis – and up to 179,600 new jobs across the UK demonstrating that significant additional value could potentially be secured.

  • The Commission says the additional value to the economy of choosing Heathrow over Gatwick could be as much as £97bn

Manufacturers across the UK have shown their support for Heathrow expansion in recent months, highlighted by a recent EEF survey that saw 79% of those surveyed say they supported expansion at the UK’s only hub airport – Heathrow. The Airports Commission estimates Heathrow expansion will generate up to 180,000 jobs and £211bn economic benefits across the UK.

The manufacturers’ organisation, EEF, surveyed 100 British manufacturing companies in Autumn 2014 with the results showing a preference for Heathrow across every sector and company size.

According to separate Airports Commission analysis, Heathrow expansion could create up to 95,000 jobs for manufacturers and engineers by 2050.

As part of our commitment to reducing the skills gap and unemployment locally we’ve also set out a plan to double our apprenticeships over the period between now and 2040, so that 10,000 new apprenticeships will be created!

And it’s not just the EEF showing their support…

Groups representing businesses large and small across the country including the FSB, IoD, BCC and CBI have united in calling for government to act on the Commission’s positive recommendation following the release of their final report on 1 July 2015.

Documents published alongside the recommendation also show the overwhelming support for Heathrow received by the Commission – over 80% of all responses received by them were from Heathrow supporters.

Heathrow releases new images of third runway and expansion

Heathrow has released new images of the proposed new runway and expansion, including a state-of-the-art new central terminal area and business park. See all of the images here.

T2: Made in Britain

Heathrow expansion will create jobs up and down the UK with the brand new Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal a perfect example of the supply chain work that will be created. Over 35,000 jobs were supported across the country during its construction with firms, for example, such as Bison Manufacturing Ltd in Scotland, and Mivan in Northern Ireland among those part of the construction.

Find out more:


What’s it like working on the Heathrow Airport airfield? We’ve taken a peek behind the scenes at how it all works with our very own Airside Joe! Search #AirsideJoe on Instagram for more of his pics!


Having the latest information is essential to Joe’s role, therefore he’s in constant contact with colleagues in the Airport Operations Centre (pictured below). A place where the operational planning, monitoring and day-to-day oversight of Heathrow is managed from. The type of information shared can include stand changes, details of aircraft that require assistance parking, locations that our ambulance and other emergency services need escorting to. A lot of the information is expressed through the phonetic alphabet, a shared language of airlines and airside teams alike (details below). New technology allows Joe to access information faster than ever before.

Pictured below is the Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) portal which shows highly accurate, real-time information relating to every stage of the flight from pushback to ‘on blocks’ time. Want to know more about A-CDM? Visit our website.

Letter Phonetic letter


B Bravo
C Charlie
D Delta
E Echo
F Foxtrot
G Golf
H Hotel
I India
J Juliet
K Kilo
L Lima
M Mike
N November
O Oscar
P Papa
Q Quebec
R Romeo
S Sierra
T Tango
U Uniform
V Victor
W Whiskey
X X-ray
Y Yankee




One of the perks of Joe’s role is getting to see each airline’s fleet up from a new perspective! With more than 80 airlines, Heathrow is unique in the variety of aircraft arriving and departing everyday. Fleet identification is an important part of the role and therefore it is always exciting when a new livery arrives. As pictured below we were able to capture this British Airways Boeing 777-200 (G-YMML) with a special livery by Chinese fashion designer Masha Ma which marked the opening of the GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai. Interestingly the festival was attended by the Duke of Cambridge, HRH Prince William.


Marshalling ensures all aircraft stop in the correct place and park safely on the gate for passengers to disembark. Due to the size and variety of aircraft at Heathrow, this part of the role takes training, precision and confidence to master. For larger aircraft, on some stands, a second marshaller is required to provide wingtip clearance. As technology has evolved the majority of aircraft are now parked via an automated system called Safedock. However, for operational reasons sometimes this system can’t be used, so Joe and the team are always ready to step in and do it ‘the old fashioned way’!

Click on image below to watch the video:



While on duty Joe is always in contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) and his Airside Operations colleagues using different radio frequencies used on the airfield. With the team in constant contact any fault or hazard is raised, logged and dealt with immediately. Joe has been carefully trained to inspect the airside infrastructure ensuring it’s in top shape. For example here he is checking the runway guard ambers at A11 as a Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777-200 touches down. ‘Wig Wags’ are they are sometimes known help protect the runway from incursions.

New technology is making this part of Joe’s role a lot easier. Pictured here is the new inspector application which uses GPS to pinpoint exact locations and details to be sent to engineering and maintenance colleagues direct from the airfield.


This week we’re shadowing one of our Airside Operations Officers, Joe Audcent, otherwise know as Airside Joe. We wanted to see what his role entails and how he helps our operation run safely and smoothly.

Our Airside Safety Department provide a safe and efficient airfield for all users, in all weather and under all conditions – even with Heathrow operating at 98% capacity. There’s never a second of down-time, with members on duty 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year!

Joe is one of a team of 68 and with 2 years experience is a relative newcomer…one of his colleagues started in 1976! Joe’s first job after graduating from University was with the operations department of an airline and, with his love for the industry, now spends his working days out and about in an airside operations vehicle (pictured below).

On Instagram? Follow us @Heathrow_Airport and search #airsidejoe for more of Joe’s photos.

Are you an aviation fan? Why not also check out our Aviation Fan Zone for related content.

Heathrow has released the following statement in response to today’s report from the National Connectivity Task Force (NCTF), established in May 2014 to investigate what measures airport operators, the Government and the regulator should take to ensure the benefits of expansion are spread as widely as possible.

A Heathrow spokesperson said:

“We are pleased the taskforce has recognised that as the UK’s only hub airport, Heathrow expansion would offer greater regional connectivity benefits for passengers than any other option. This builds on Airports Commission findings that Heathrow delivers the greatest economic benefit outside of London and the South East.

The taskforce agrees that connectivity shouldn’t just be about access from the rest of the UK to London, it should be about onward access to the rest of the world, particularly the long-haul routes only a hub can provide.

That’s why 32 chambers of commerce from every region and nation in the UK and five regional airports across the country back Heathrow. We will now carefully consider the report and its recommendations and respond shortly.”

Find out more:


By Heathrow

Published 16th March 2015