Sustainability
Sustainability

Noise

Expansion not a choice between more flights or less noise – Heathrow can deliver both. We know this because it’s what we’re already doing.

noise impact

Since the early 1970s both the area and the number of people within Heathrow’s noise footprint have fall around tenfold despite the number of flights doubling.

Our proposals for a third runway will see noise reductions continuing.

Analysis by the Airports Commission found that under all measures, the number of people affected by noise would be reduced with an expanded Heathrow compared to today.

200,000 fewer people are estimated to be affected by significant noise with our proposals.

Turning down the noise with expansion

By the time a third runway opens, 90% of Heathrow’s air traffic will be quieter, next-generation aircraft such as the Airbus A380, Boeing 787 and Airbus A320NEO.

A third runway at Heathrow will be further west than previous proposals, which means aircraft approaching over West London will be higher in the sky.

The runway is also a full 3,500m meaning many aircraft will be able to land further along it – still having time to stop safely while enhancing noise reduction for local communities as well.

Aircraft like this Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 are quieter and cleaner than the aircraft they replace by up to 25%.

By introducing steeper angles of descent (which we’re currently trialling), we can cut noise even further for surrounding communities.

We’ll also maintain the principle of runway alternation which gives periods of respite for every community that is affected (click here to listen to the difference that three-runway alternation will make for local residents).

Compared to other European hub airports, Heathrow already has the strictest limit on night-time operations and the fewest night-time flights and we are not proposing any extra planned night flights.

And for people living under existing flight paths, a three-runway Heathrow will mean fewer disturbed nights and all communities will experience periods of relief from noise. We’re committed to working with local communities to develop our plans further.

A world-class noise insulation scheme for those affected

Over £700 million could be spent through Heathrow’s world-class insulation package offer, an increase of over £610 million from its previous proposals for a third runway.

The scheme is based on two newly designated insulation zones, and residents would be eligible regardless of whether they experience noise under existing flight paths or will be newly affected by noise from a new runway.

For more information, click here.

Source: Heathrow’s North-West Runway Air and Ground Noise Assessment (AMEC, 2014)

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