Heathrow Airport welcomes the latest generation of Qatar Airways’ quiet aircraft

Courtesy: Heathrow Airport.

Courtesy: Heathrow Airport.

Qatar Airways has brought its first A350 XWB aircraft to Heathrow to help the airport prepare for its eventual introduction.

Developments and improvements on functionalities on the Airbus A350 XWB will allow it to operate up to 21 decibels below the regulatory standards for aircraft of its kind, as well as reducing its carbon emissions.

New, quieter aircraft such as the A350 XWB will help to ensure fewer local residents are affected by noise from Heathrow. Given the popular and competitive nature of Heathrow’s routes, airlines tend to use their newest and quietest aircraft at the airport. In fact, Heathrow’s fleet mix is made up of over 18% more Chapter 4 aircraft, the quietest and newest aircraft, than the global fleet average.

Heathrow and Qatar Airways are coordinating on a long-term plan to provide quieter skies for people around the airport, as outlined in the airport’s Blueprint for noise reduction. Some of the practical steps outlined in the Blueprint include:

  • Providing consistency around landing gear deployment
  • Use of steeper approaches when we run trials
  • Improvements on track keeping,
  • Use of Continuous Descent Approach,
  • Reducing late runners / early arrivals

Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Director of Sustainability says “Heathrow is proud to count on airline partners like Qatar Airways to use the quietest and most modern aircraft on our routes. We are committed to phasing-out the noisiest and oldest aircraft in the short-term, and ensuring that new aircraft like A350 XWB are taken up by all our airline partners in the long-term, to the benefit of local residents.”

Dider Evrard, Airbus Executive Vice President Programmes says “With the A350 XWB exceeding our own targets on noise emissions far below the ICAO requirement, we have designed an innovative aircraft that can deliver quieter take-offs and landings at airports like Heathrow alongside its exceptional fuel burn and all-round environmental performance.”

Simon Burr, Rolls-Royce, Trent XWB Programme Director – Civil Large Engines, says: “The Trent XWB has already proven itself to be the most efficient large aero engine flying today and we have focussed on ensuring we deliver the best possible environmental performance to support Airbus A350 XWB operations.”

In response to the feedback from local communities, Heathrow’s Blueprint for noise reduction outlines the airport’s ten-point plan to cut noise by Summer 2015. The first of these steps is a plan for an early phase out of Chapter 3, the oldest and noisiest planes, and exploring a stronger round of incentives like increases in landing charges for older aircraft.

Source: Heathrow Airport.

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