Flybe claims top spot for noise and emissions performance at Heathrow Airport

Europe's largest regional airline Flybe has achieved top ranking in Heathrow Airport's league table on aircraft operating performance for noise and emissions, after debuting in 29th place in summer 2017.

Flybe has topped Heathrow Airport’s Fly Quiet and Green league table, which ranks airlines according to noise and emissions performance. Airlines are given a score out of 1,000 based on seven noise and emission metrics.

The latest rankings cover October to December 2017 and show that Flybe has made huge improvements across the metrics, attributed to an ongoing engagement with Heathrow’s technical teams. The system covers the 50 busiest operating airlines at Heathrow Airport.

Flybe’s chief operating officer Luke Farajallah said: “We are naturally delighted to have topped the rankings at Heathrow as the best operator in noise and emissions performance, especially so early on in our operations there. Flybe acknowledges and takes seriously its environmental responsibilities.

“It is central to what we do, informing our choice of using Q400 turboprops on the right routes and being one of the world’s most technologically advanced aircraft, to making constant improvements in our operational processes. As one of Heathrow’s smaller operators, we are obviously very proud to have outperformed most of the biggest and best airlines in the world.”

Flybe scored high for its use of Continuous Descent Approaches into Heathrow, which reduces noise and emissions by using less engine thrust to keep aircrafts higher for longer. Flybe pilots have been successful in keeping flights within corridors of “noise preferential routes”, which were designed by the Government.

Noise reductions

The latest data also noted a decrease in the number of aircrafts departing during “sensitive” night time hours. One of the main concerns of the runway expansion was an increase in the number of flights at these times. From January to December, Heathrow’s airline partners reduced the number of flights running between 23:30 and 04:30 by 30% compared to 2016.

Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye added: “The latest ‘Fly Quiet and Green’ results show the great progress that Heathrow’s airlines have made to help us be a better neighbour. Last year we announced our intention of halving the number of late running flights over 5 years – I hope that the 30% reduction in the first year alone will give confidence that we say what we will do, and we do what we say.”

Last month, Heathrow Airport announced that it was increasing its environmental charges for aircrafts by 7%, as part of a move to incentivise airlines to deploy cleaner and newer aircrafts to lower emissions and noise pollution.

More recently, UK businesses have been urged to support Heathrow Airport’s expansion efforts by applying for a Sustainable Innovation Prize that addresses certain environmental challenges and uses the airport as a “live laboratory”.

Matt Mace

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