This project utilises the capabilities of the A380, the quietest aircraft of its size, and looks at how the aircraft manufacturer, airline, airport and air navigation services provider can further reduce the noise impact of flight operations for local communities. Airbus ProSky, the Air Traffic Management (ATM) subsidiary of Airbus is in charge of designing the departure and arrival procedures based on NATS, LHR and BA recommendations.
The four cross-industry partners have announced a three-stage ‘Quieter Flight’ project.
• The first stage identifies the operational improvements that are possible. These include for departures for example, reducing thrust and optimising the height at which the aircraft is flown. Changes to these departure procedures have the potential to significantly reduce noise levels.
• The second stage will see the testing and training of procedures in a British Airways flight simulator.
• Once all the project stages are complete, the partners expect to bring all the operational improvements together into a series of demonstration flights with the A380, starting from early next year. These procedures will then be made available to other operators and airports around the world.
Airbus’ executive Vice President, Customer affairs, Christopher Buckley said: “the A380 is the ideal aircraft to conduct the “Quieter flights” because it has the latest state of the art technologies that allow optimised paths to be flown very precisely. The A380 is able to further reduce the noise of what is already the quietest aircraft of its type. Together with Airbus ProSky, we are honored to be a key player in this unique industry project that addresses a real issue worldwide.
British Airways’ environment strategy manager, Captain Dean Plumb said: “The A380 is the ideal aircraft for this project as it has unique operational capabilities that can be adjusted to reduce noise during take-off and landing. The next step for the Quieter Flight Partnership is to train our pilots to use the optimised noise procedures in the simulator and then to test these improvements in flight trials.”
Matt Gorman, Sustainability Director for Heathrow said “We are really pleased to be working closely with industry partners on this project. Heathrow is at the forefront of international efforts to tackle aircraft noise and collaborations such as this form part of our long term commitment to do this whilst also safeguarding the connectivity and growth that Heathrow provides.”
Ian Jopson, NATS Head of Environmental and Community Affairs, added: “Air traffic management has a vital role to play in tackling the impact of aircraft noise and NATS has an excellent track record of working with the rest of the aviation industry and community groups on this important issue. The Quieter Flight project, brings together the expertise of the whole industry, and when combined with the wide range of other initiatives we are working on, will help make a difference to those people living under the flightpath.”
Video interviews with Chris Buckley Dean Plumb and John Holland-Kaye- CEO of Heathrow is available for broadcasters on http://www.airbus.com/broadcastroom/ and YouTube.
Notes to the editor:
Airbus is the leading commercial aircraft manufacturer offering the most modern and efficient passenger aircraft family on the more than 100-seat market. Airbus champions innovative technologies and offers some of the world’s most fuel efficient and quiet aircraft.
Airbus Prosky, the Air Traffic Management (ATM) subsidiary of Airbus, is dedicated to improving the performance of global ATM. Comprised of recognized subject matter experts and offering intelligent ATM solutions, Airbus ProSky works with stakeholders to maximize efficiency, capacity and environmental sustainability
British Airways part of International Airlines Group, is one of the world's leading global premium airlines and the largest international carrier in the UK. The carrier has its home base at London Heathrow, the world's busiest international airport and flies to more than 70 different countries. British Airways carries almost 40 million customers a year and has a fleet of more than 280 aircraft. British Airways takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously and has a comprehensive programme of activities to reduce noise and carbon emissions.
Heathrow is the world’s busiest two runway airport with 72 million passengers flying through each year. Heathrow is at the forefront of international efforts to tackle aircraft noise and as a result, airlines use their quietest aircraft around 15% more on Heathrow routes.
NATS the UK-based global air traffic management company, handling 2.2 million flights in 2013/14, covering the UK and eastern North Atlantic. NATS provides air traffic control from centres at Swanwick, Hampshire and Prestwick, Ayrshire. NATS also provides air traffic control services at 15 UK airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow; at Gibraltar Airport and, in a joint venture with Ferrovial, at a number of airport towers in Spain.
A380: With seating capacity ranging from 400 to more than 800 passengers and capable of flying 15,300 kilometres non-stop, the A380 is an essential part of the solution to sustainable growth: doing more with less. It is already alleviating traffic congestion at busy airports by transporting more passengers with no additional flights and at much lower cost. The A380 also delivers on reduced noise, being the quietest long-haul aircraft for the foreseeable future, generating only half the noise on departure than the 747-400, and three to four times less noise on landing – while carrying 40% more passengers.
So far total firm orders for the aircraft stand at 324 from 20 customers worldwide.