in Aerospace

Heathrow reveals greenest and quietest airlines

Posted 21 May 2018 · 1 Comment

LOT Polish Airlines has proved to be the success story of Heathrow’s Fly Quiet and Green Programme, having completely transformed its noise and emissions performance - from last place in the first league rankings to second place in the latest results.

Also, Scandinavian Airlines System continues to prove itself an environmentally conscious carrier at Heathrow, reaching the top of the rankings.

The latest league table ranks the performance of the top 50 busiest airlines at Heathrow on seven noise and emission metrics from January to March 2018. Scandinavian Airlines flies to Copenhagen, Oslo (Gardermoen), Stavanger and Stockholm (Arlanda) from Heathrow, whilst LOT Polish Airlines operates 15 services a week to Warsaw.

SAS at Terminal 2.
Courtesy Heathrow Airport

LOT Polish Airlines have now begun operating new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on its Heathrow services this year, which have made the largest positive differences to its rankings. The engines on the Boeing 737 MAX are quieter and more efficient than its predecessors, and have distinctive v-shaped winglets which allow the wings to encounter less drag, use less fuel, and produce lower carbon emissions.

Scandinavian Airlines has worked with Heathrow to improve its use of ‘Continuous Descent Approaches’ into Heathrow. This flight procedure reduces noise as it requires less engine thrust and keeps the aircraft higher for longer. The airline also worked to improve its ability to keep flights within the departure corridors of “noise preferential routes” designated by the Government – referred to in the league table as 'track keeping'.

As part of Heathrow’s commitment to be a global leader in reducing the impact of aircraft noise on local communities, the airport produces a Noise Action Plan every five years setting tough new objectives to further reduce aircraft noise. The Fly Quiet & Clean league table itself was created in 2013 as one of the actions from Heathrow’s last Noise Action Plan. Heathrow is currently developing its next five-year Noise Action Plan and will hold a series of public consultation events on the 2nd, 6th and 23rd of June, giving the public a chance to shape how the airport manages aircraft noise in the future.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Director of Sustainability said: “As the first initiative of its kind in Europe, it was hard to estimate the impact the ‘Fly Quiet and Green’ league table would have when it was first launched. LOT Polish Airline’s story, however, shows the results that can be achieved by working productively with our airline partners to encourage them to use quieter technology and operating procedures for the benefit of our local neighbours.

"We know there is always more we can do to reduce our noise impacts, and we have set some ambitious targets in our new Noise Action Plan. We encourage all of our local neighbours to give us their feedback on this plan and help us shape the way we manage noise in the future.”

EasyJet’s Director of Ground Operations, Karen Cox, said: “We are trialling new facial recognition technology at Gatwick for the first time which, if rolled out, could revolutionise the boarding experience for our customers. The technology streamlines the processes our customers go through, saving them time and enhancing their travel experiences.

“Whilst still in its very early stages this project is clearly consistent with our digital strategy of continuing to innovate to make passengers’ journey’s easier at every stage of their interaction with us - from searching and browsing for a flight through to stepping off the aircraft in their destination.“

The boarding process is the final part of the automated journey to be developed and it follows Gatwick’s implementation of innovative self-service bag drop technology three years ago, and the opening of the largest self-service bag drop facility in the world in 2015. Five airlines are currently using this self-service bag drop technology at Gatwick with excellent passenger feedback and a further five airlines due to adopt the technology soon.


1 Comment for Heathrow reveals greenest and quietest airlines

Dave Reid

posted 2 months ago

LOT Polish Airlines can't possibly have achieved 938 points out of 1,000 as claimed by Heathrow! They performed worse than most of the other airlines on one of the most highly-weighted measures (in 30th place out of 50 for track-keeping), so they should have had 159 points deducted for that metric alone, according to Heathrow’s published scoring system at Then LOT only just scraped into the top half of the rankings for two other measures (noise quota count and NOx emissions), losing another 84 points as a consequence. You don't need to be a maths genius to see that subtracting 243 points from 1,000 can't give a result of 938!

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