Phase out of noisiest Chapter 3 aircraft at Heathrow continues with growing use of the Dreamliner
Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Mon 2 Oct 2017 – The move towards using quieter aircraft by airlines at London Heathrow is gathering pace and August marked the first month without Chapter 3 aircraft, the oldest and noisiest classification. This year, the airport increased the charges to land the noisiest aircraft and operators pay on average ten times more to fly Chapter 3 planes than for the quietest aircraft such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Heathrow has promised that by 2020 no Chapter 3 aircraft should be operating at the airport. Dreamliners are now the fastest growing aircraft types at the airport, it reports, with more than 700 additional flights in June compared to last year. Heathrow’s latest ‘Fly Quiet and Clean’ top 50 league table for the period April to June shows Air India rose 37 places to 5th as a result of switching to the Dreamliner and better track keeping.
Also as a result of better track keeping – the ability to adhere to government-set noise preferential routes around Heathrow – Singapore Airlines climbed 21 places to 12th, with Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and SN Brussels all improving by more than 10 places compared to last quarter. A previous laggard in the league table, El Al is expected to move up from its 48th place as a result of starting to operate the Dreamliner from last month to March 2018. Regional airline FlyBe features in the table for the first time in 29th position.
The table uses seven metrics to assess scores: noise quota/seat, chapter number, NOx emissions/seat, CAEP engine emissions certification, continuous descent approach violations, track keeping violations and early or late movements between 23:30 and 04:30.
Heathrow said it continues to work with all airlines, particularly those at the bottom of the table to improve their scores.
“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,” said Matt Gorman, Head of Sustainability.
“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 so our passengers and local communities benefit from Heathrow’s newer, cleaner fleets.”