Dreamliners flying high as Heathrow hits new low noise record


By Heathrow

Published 27th September 2017

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Heathrow’s new “Fly Quiet and Clean” report shows airlines are increasingly using the quietest, cleanest aircraft in their routes to Britain’s hub airport. The report ranks the 50 busiest airlines operating at Heathrow from April to June this year, based on seven noise and emissions metrics. The latest results come as Heathrow hits a noise milestone – the first month without the oldest generation, and noisiest, “Chapter 3” aircraft operating at the airport.

  • New report released ranking airlines on noise and emission performance from April to June

  • Air India ‘most improved’ up 37 places to number 5

  • Heathrow marks its first month without Chapter 3 aircraft – the oldest and noisiest classification of planes

The League report shows Air India has climbed an astounding 37 places to place 5th this quarter, in part because of their use of Boeing Dreamliners at Heathrow, an aircraft that has 20-25% fewer C02 emissions and a smaller noise effect than the airplanes it replaces. Israeli airline El Al (48th) has now started operating a Dreamliner on its Heathrow route from September to March 2018, which should lead to an improved rank in the next quarter scores.

Dreamliners are now the fastest growing aircraft type at Heathrow, with more than 700 additional flights being made on this aircraft in June 2017 compared to last year.

Early phase out of the noisiest planes is a key part of Heathrow’s Noise Blueprint. Becoming the first large European airport to be completely free of “Chapter 3” aircraft, the oldest and noisiest classification of aircraft, by 2020 is a key promise in the blueprint and Heathrow will be working to ensure the trend started this month continues. This year, Heathrow increased the charges airlines pay to land the noisiest aircraft so that, on average, airlines pay ten times more to fly Chapter 3 planes than they pay for the quietest aircraft, like Dreamliners.

Air India leads the way in track-keeping improvers…

Air India has also improved its score because of its exemplary “track keeping” – the ability to adhere to the Government-set noise preferential routes in the skies around Heathrow – this quarter. Track keeping winners this quarter also include Singapore Airlines, jumping up 21 places to rank 12th, and Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, SN Brussels which are all up by more than 10 places compared to last quarter.

Regional airline FlyBe features in the League Table for the first time, at a good debut position of 29th. Heathrow continues to work with all airlines, particularly those at the bottom of the League Table to improve their scores and is already seeing some success.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Sustainability at Heathrow said, “Heathrow airlines continue to bring the best of their fleet to our airport – a trend which not only delivers benefits for our passengers, but also makes our skies quieter and cleaner. Upgrading aircraft is the single best way to cut emissions, and to continue to shrink our noise footprint.

“We are pleased to see our efforts, including increasing our charges for noisier aircraft this year, are yielding results and we hope to continue the trend seen this month so our passengers and local communities benefit from Heathrow’s newer, cleaner fleets.”

– Heathrow Director of Sustainability, Matt Gorman

Heathrow’s new “Fly Quiet and Clean” report can be accessed via www.heathrowflyquietandclean.com

Now in its third year, Heathrow’s Midnight Runway Marathon has raised a record-breaking £50,000 for charity.

More than 350 runners from the airport’s Baggage, IT and Security teams, as well as colleagues from Ferrovial and other airport partners took part in the marathon which took place on Heathrow’s northern runway – after the airport closed for the day. 55 volunteers also gave up their time to make this year’s event a success.

The Midnight Marathon consists of 12-person relay teams, in which each team member is required to run a 2.2 mile stretch of Heathrow’s northern runway within a 16-minute time limit. The Marathon also includes a fun run section, where participants are able to run as many lengths as they can within the same time limit.

Fast track

The ‘Security Fast Track’ team led by Heathrow’s Security Director, Tom Willis, won fastest team with a time of 03:14:27, beating ‘Finance & Procurement Athletic’ by seven seconds. This year’s fastest runner was Patrick Lucas, an intern with Heathrow’s finance team, who ran his 2.2 mile stretch within a record time of 11 minutes and 21 seconds.

The funds raised will be split equally between four charities, Oxfam, Help for Heroes, Hillingdon Autistic Care and Support (HACS) and the Heathrow Community Fund which supports a variety of local projects and charity initiatives.

Our charities

  • Oxfam

Since joining forces in 2013, Heathrow has helped fund Oxfam projects such as: providing safe clean drinking water, setting up people with their own businesses, campaigning for women’s rights, helping equip schools and train teachers, help establish health care centres providing free health care for those in need.

  • Help for Heroes

Many Heathrow employees have close links with the armed forces. Their funds raised through the Midnight Marathon will provide better support for British servicemen and women by supporting projects such as the Personnel Recovery Centres, which help injured soldiers adapt into the next phase of their lives.

  • Hillingdon Autistic Care and Support (HACS)

HACS is local charity based in the London borough of Hillingdon for children and young people on the autism spectrum. Through provision of high quality Family Support, Training, Recreation Services and Employability services the aim of the charity is to minimise disability and maximise ability of autistic individuals.

  • Heathrow Community Fund

Heathrow Community Fund is part of the independently run grant-making charity LHR Airport Communities Trust, which receives funding from Heathrow Airport Limited, noise fines and other funders, as well as funding from Heathrow staff via their fundraising activities. Through the Heathrow Community Fund grant programme, the Fund has supported significant and positive change for communities near the airport for the past 20 years.

In a letter to Chancellor Phillip Hammond ahead of the upcoming Autumn budget, Heathrow urged the Government to scrap domestic Air Passenger Duty (‘APD’) on all UK flights after new research from Frontier Economics revealed that UK passengers are paying an extra £225 million in aviation tax on domestic flights compared to many of their European counterparts.

The proposal is part of a new 9-point plan unveiled by the airport today – Bringing Britain Closer – which includes “practical, deliverable and binding plans” to connect more of the UK to global growth and prepare the economy outside London for Brexit.

  • Chancellor urged to support British industry in Autumn Budget by scrapping uncompetitive aviation tax on internal flights

  • Proposal builds on Heathrow’s efforts to improve domestic access to UK’s hub – saving passengers at least £24 million annually on flights to Heathrow alone, boosting domestic journeys by 8% and driving economic growth during key early years post-Brexit making it revenue-neutral for the Treasury

  • Proposal forms part of Heathrow’s plans to support growth across the UK by connecting more of the country to the nation’s only hub airport

  • Plan also includes support for key surface access links to bring millions more people within reach of the airport via sustainable transport

Taxes on a return domestic flight from Heathrow are currently £26 – abolishing them would save UK passengers at least £24 million annually at Heathrow alone, while stimulating an 8% increase in demand which would make many new domestic connections commercially viable for airlines. Heathrow currently has 8 domestic routes and earlier this year cut its domestic passenger charges by third to improve route economics and boost connectivity.

Abolishing domestic APD is the next step to helping Heathrow reach its goal of connecting to at least 14 UK destinations once expanded – including the potential for new flights to Liverpool, Humberside and Newquay.

“UK APD is the highest tax of its kind in Europe”

UK APD is the highest tax of its kind in Europe – with most European countries having little to no tax on internal flights to boost their economies and support domestic industry. Abolishing it for domestic flights would level the playing field with Europe.

The research from independent economics consultancy Frontier Economics shows that removing APD on all domestic flights would save UK passengers up to £225 million annually and boost the country’s overall GDP by facilitating greater connectivity between regions. The increased tax receipts from this growth is likely to mean that the impact of abolishing APD on domestic flights is revenue-neutral for the Treasury.

Christine Ourmières-Widener, Flybe’s Chief Executive Officer commented on Heathrow’s position, “Flybe welcomes and supports Heathrow Airport’s campaign to scrap Air Passenger Duty on all domestic flights across the UK. Removing APD on domestic flights would help drive UK economic development and mobility, but more importantly would bring down the cost of air travel for the everyday travelling public.”

As a leading provider of UK regional services and an operator into Heathrow, many of our passengers feel the financial pain of the level of APD levied on domestic flights. At worst, APD can account for as much as 50% of a total ticket price when based on Flybe’s lowest fare.

– Flybe CEO, Christine Ourmières-Widener

As the UK’s global gateway, Heathrow has been an ardent campaigner for improving domestic access to the airport. New and improved surface transport connections like a link to HS2 at Old Oak Common as well as Western and Southern Rail Links will help millions more people to reach Heathrow and help us achieve our goal of at least 50% of airport passenger journeys being made by public and sustainable transport by 2030.

Heathrow has also announced a £10 million Route Development Fund to support new domestic flights and is currently reviewing its charges to further support domestic passengers.

Mark Povall, Strategy Director for Liverpool John Lennon Airport also welcomed the proposals from Heathrow, “An expanded Heathrow would offer the opportunity for unserved UK airports such as Liverpool to have access to the UK’s hub airport for improved worldwide connectivity and to further grow their networks, something that is crucial for generating growth across the whole country, not just London and the south east.”

However APD remains a barrier to airline growth here in the UK and will undermine the viability of such domestic connections. We naturally support Heathrow’s efforts to lobby for change and scrap Air Passenger Duty going forward.

– Mark Povall

Bringing Britain Closer with Heathrow’s 9-point plan

Bringing Britain Closer is Heathrow’s 9-point plan to boost domestic connectivity and support UK-wide growth. Measures include:

  • Introduced £10 discount on domestic flight

  • Committed to £10 million route development fund

  • Campaigning for the abolition of domestic Air Passenger Duty

  • Supporting the ring-fencing of slots for domestic routes

  • Supporting public service obligation routes to Heathrow

  • Connecting to the largest 100 towns and cities

  • Supporting Western Rail Link and Southern Rail Access

  • Improving connections to London

  • Working with HS2 to connect passengers to the North

Should the a Scottish Government announce a reduction in APD, Heathrow would like to see this matched with a reduction of APD rates across Britain.

To download the research from Frontier Economics and the letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond click on the links below:


Heathrow is proud to announce the unveiling of over 200 stunning GREAT campaign images across Terminal 3, capturing the best of Britain and Northern Ireland.

The GREAT Britain Campaign artwork at Heathrow showcases the many benefits of visiting and doing business in the UK. The images, which display a mix of heritage sites, pioneering British businesses, and cultural attractions across the UK, have been curated as part of a joint initiative by GREAT and Heathrow.

More than 12 million passengers will be able to view the pictures which highlight scenes unique to the UK; from the Angel of the North located in Gateshead, to the Queen’s Guard posted at Edinburgh Castle.

John Glen MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism has unveiled the artwork, which is prominently displayed across an estimated £500,000 worth of space in Terminal 3. These images will also be shared across Heathrow’s social channels.

“Heathrow is the gateway for many travelling to the UK”

Heathrow’s Chief of Staff and General Counsel Carol Hui said, “As the UK’s only hub airport, Heathrow is the gateway for many travelling to the UK for business and leisure. Therefore, we are delighted to support this campaign and highlight the many factors that make Britain a great place to visit, do business and to live.”

“We’re proud to show some 12m passengers what makes the UK one of the most popular destinations in the world and bring to life why we should all be proud of it as a travel and trading destination.”

“London is one of the most visited cities in the world, with Heathrow the gateway to Britain for millions of people every year.”

– UK Tourism Minister John Glen MP

UK Tourism Minister John Glen MP said, “London is one of the most visited cities in the world, with Heathrow the gateway to Britain for millions of people every year.

“I am delighted that visitors to Terminal 3 will be greeted with fantastic images that strengthen our welcome and promote the diverse array of attractions the whole of the UK has to offer. This latest part of the government’s GREAT Britain campaign will help encourage people to explore more of our beautiful country.”

British Tourist Authority Chairman Steve Ridgway said, “Inbound tourism is one of the UK’s most valuable export industries and we want to provide a world-class experience for the millions of visitors who travel here every year, more than 70% of whom travel by air.”

“This wonderful showcase of our vibrant cities and countryside, our culture and heritage, not only promotes a great message of welcome, it leaves the millions of visitors travelling through Heathrow in no doubt about the amazing experiences that you can only have in the UK.”

– British Tourist Authority Chairman, Steve Ridgway

The Heathrow Skills Taskforce, chaired by Lord David Blunkett, has opened a six week, UK-wide online forum to gather independent views on the airport’s future education, employment and skills strategy. Launched to coincide with the start of the TUC Annual conference, Heathrow has called for union members to continue their close working relationship with the airport by having their say.

  • New online forum now open for six weeks to seek independent ideas on the skills and employment strategy for major UK infrastructure projects including Heathrow expansion

  • Feedback will shape the once-in-a-generation opportunity of up to 180,000 jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships to be created with expansion

  • Forum launched at the start of TUC conference so key union stakeholders can take part

The 14-member strong Skills Taskforce, including a representative from the TUC, is looking for the best ways to capitalise on the once-in-a generation careers and skills opportunities to be created through Heathrow expansion. With as many as 100,000 of these jobs expected to be created outside of London and the south east, Heathrow wants to encourage the widest range of educational stakeholders and those with experience in building infrastructure across Britain to have their say.

The Taskforce will use feedback from the online forum to help identify the best teaching, employment and career progression opportunities to make the airport a role model for social mobility and diversity. To increase diversity and promote opportunity, the Taskforce will also be looking at ways of encouraging returners or those seeking new opportunities including older workers. Good examples of best practice elsewhere will be particularly welcome.

Ideas will be incorporated into the Taskforce’s final set of recommendations which will be given to Heathrow by the end of 2018.

Working with HS2, Crossrail and Hinkely Point

Earlier this year, Lord Blunkett convened senior leaders in major infrastructure projects including Tideway, HS2, Crossrail and Hinkley Point to discuss the need for collaboration on skills and the co-ordination of timetables to ensure a steady jobs pipeline for generations of workers to come.

In a joint response to the Government’s Green Paper “Building our Industrial Strategy”, the Skills Taskforce and other infrastructure projects have stressed the importance of this overarching skills strategy. Coming ahead of what is to be period of uncertainty in which major infrastructure projects will provide crucial stability, the Taskforce and other infrastructure projects have called on the Government to ensure the right level of investment is in place to boost the UK construction workforce.

The Rt Hon, Lord David Blunkett, Chair of the Heathrow Skills Taskforce and Former Secretary of State for Education and Employment, said:

“Heathrow has an important role to play in developing the talent needed now and for the success of future projects and enable Britain to become a world leader in infrastructure developments. The Taskforce have been working closely with Heathrow and other major infrastructure project groups, to share best practice and find ways to address fluctuations in labour supply and demand – but we need to cast the net wider, both geographically and in engaging SME’s.”

“We want to hear from those in the community and on the frontline who help to support our young people to transition successfully from education into sustained employment and a fulfilling career. It is only by working together that we can fully understand the challenges and opportunities that exist to deliver a lasting economic legacy for future generations.”

– Lord David Blunkett

The Skills Forum builds on the five commitments the airport has already made with to the Unions. These include:

  • Delivering expansion to create up to 180,000 new jobs spread across the country, including 10,000 apprenticeships;

  • Providing high quality careers for local people, ensuring all our direct Heathrow employees earn London Living Wage;

  • Supporting British industry by working with trade unions, UK steel producers and SMEs across the country;

  • Meeting tough environmental and noise requirements, enforced by new independent regulators;

  • Securing a lasting legacy for future generations, with the TUC represented on the new Heathrow Skills Taskforce.

TUC: “Unions are committed to working with Heathrow”

Paul Nowak, Deputy General Secretary of the TUC said, “Unions are committed to working with Heathrow to put well paid, high-skill, sustainable jobs at the heart of the expansion programme. And we want to see the benefits of expansion spread right across the country. Expansion will help link up all the regions and nations of the UK to opportunities to trade across the globe.”

“It will secure jobs in the UK steel industry. And it will help to train up Britain’s next generation of engineers and construction workers.”

Gail Cartmail, Assistant General Secretary (AGS) Unite, member of the TUC Executive Committee and General Council, and Skills Taskforce member said, “The Heathrow Skills Taskforce has brought forward centre stage the scale of the challenge in meeting the skill demands to deliver major infrastructure projects.”

“Pivotal is the role good quality ‘earn as you learn’ apprenticeships will play in shaping the UK’s future workforce and the role major projects play in ensuring delivery through their supply chains.”

Heathrow airport already supports one in five local jobs (22%), making the airport one of the largest single employment sites in the country.

Heathrow expansion will deliver up to 77,000 additional local jobs, and create 5,000 new apprenticeships doubling the number that will be provided by the project to 10,000 by 2030

.Get involved with the forum by entering your survey responses, here.

Heathrow recorded the second busiest month in its history in August with 7.5 million passengers travelling through the UK’s hub airport – a 2% increase on 2016. It was also a record month for cargo and the number of new aircraft being used.

Significantly, the recent trend of passenger growth to UK destinations continued with domestic passenger numbers up 6% on the back of recently launched Flybe flights to Scotland. Middle Eastern destinations were also popular with travellers with fuller aircraft leading to a 7% increase in passengers to the region

139,000 tonnes of cargo

Cargo flowing through the UK’s largest port climbed 13% to 139,000 tonnes making August the 13th consecutive record month for cargo volumes at Heathrow – building on Heathrow’s status as the UK’s busiest port by value.

Latin America was the fastest growing trading market with cargo volumes increasing 30% in August. North America also performed well with volumes up 13% to nearly 50,000 tonnes as American Airlines, United and Air Canada increased cargo.

Strong growth to China, Hong Kong and Singapore also helped East Asia record a 12% cargo uplift.

Other highlights: More 787s than ever before and 121 applications to help build expansion project

Next-generation aircraft are making Heathrow cleaner and quieter with more than 700 additional flights on Boeing 787s this August versus last year – 787s are the fastest growing aircraft type at the UK’s hub.

Heathrow Airport, China Southern aircraft coming in to land, February 2014.

Since taking its first flight back in 2008, the Boeing 787 has fast became a game-changer in the aviation world.

What sets the Dreamliner series apart is the pioneering use of mainly composite materials which make the aircraft significantly lighter and up to 20% more fuel efficient then the aircraft it was designed to replace. They’re also 20-25% quieter than aircraft they’re replacing.

In other Heathrow news, 121 sites have applied to help build an expanded Heathrow by hosting one of four offsite logistics hubs planned. The airport is looking to build as much of the project offsite as possible to boost jobs across the country and make the project more affordable and sustainable.

“Demand to travel from Heathrow has never been stronger – every day we’re welcoming record numbers of passengers to Heathrow with modern British hospitality and our trade with the rest of the world is growing in the double-digits. Heathrow is firing on all cylinders and showing the world our country is open for business.”

– Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye

Lord Blunket launches online survey to help shape the skills of the next generation

Lord Blunkett and the Heathrow Skills Taskforce today opened a six-week online forum to gather feedback from across the UK to shape Heathrow’s once-in-a-generation careers and skills strategy. With expansion, up to 180,000 jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships will be created. Find out more, here.

In the second year of Heathrow’s Race the Plane charity challenge, 27 teams of cyclists are hoping to race 3,546 miles faster than the time it takes for an Air Canada Boeing 777-300 to reach Toronto. This year’s event has already raised over £94,000 for Heathrow’s charity partners.

  • Heathrow’s second annual Race the Plane charity challenge kicks off as 350 cyclists race a flight in real-time

  • Air Canada flight 896 departed from Heathrow to Toronto this morning with cyclists already having raised over £94,000 for charity

  • All donations to be shared among Heathrow’s charity partners – Oxfam, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and the Heathrow Community Fund

In the second year of Heathrow’s Race the Plane charity challenge, 27 teams of cyclists are hoping to race 3,546 miles faster than the time it takes for an Air Canada Boeing 777-300 to reach Toronto. This year’s event has already raised over £94,000 for Heathrow’s charity partners.

Air Canada flight AC869 took-off from Heathrow’s Terminal 2 this morning as 350 cyclists prepared to clock-up enough miles to beat it to Toronto. The challenge is taking place on stationary wattbikes underneath the iconic Slipstream sculpture and participants and spectators can track their progress in real-time on social media with the hashtag #RaceThePlane.

All money raised will be split equally among Heathrow’s charity partners – Oxfam, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and the Heathrow Community Fund.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said, Race the Plane is one of Heathrow’s biggest charity events of the year and with over £94,000 already raised before the flight takes off it has been a huge success!

It’s not going to be easy racing a plane travelling at nearly 600 miles per hour, but with our charity partners Oxfam, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and the Heathrow Community Fund cheering us on – I’m confident we’ve got a shot a beating Air Canada flight 869 on its way from Heathrow to Toronto.

– Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye

Captain Deane Taneda from Air Canada said, “Air Canada is proud to be a part of today’s Race the Plane challenge at London Heathrow. As the Flight Captain for flight AC869 from London to Toronto, I am extremely impressed that over 350 people have given up their free time to take part in this incredible race to raise money for three important U.K. charities.

“With over 3,500 miles to cover it will certainly be no mean feat. We wish the cyclists the very best of luck.”

Tweets from the event:


By Heathrow

Published 7th September 2017