Published on Thursday, May 30, 2013

Heathrow to name noisiest airlines

Heathrow is to publish a league table of its noisiest airlines and increase the maximum fine for those found guilty of breaking noise limits to more than £1000.

The plans were revealed today in a report, 'A quieter Heathrow', which sets out the airport's commitment to reducing aircraft noise.

It said it will rank the 80 airlines that fly in and out of Heathrow according to how much noise their aircraft produce during take-off and publish a league table every three months on its website.

In what is being seen as a charm offence to pave the way for further expansion of the airport - including possibly a third runway - Heathrow said it was also talking to airlines about raising fines if aircraft break the maximum number of decibels allowed during certain times of the day. Existing fines range from £500 to £1000.

Chief executive Colin Matthews said the measures were "not about adding new runways at Heathrow", but he conceded that if it were to grow "a comprehensive package of measures to tackle noise will need to be put forward to ensure there does not have to be a choice between more flights or less noise."

In the report, Heathrow argues that it is quieter than it was in the 1970s, despite the increase in air traffic, and it says newer generation aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 will further reduce noise.

It is testing other ways to minimise disruption for local residents, including allowing aircraft to make a steeper descent into the airport so they don't fly so low over nearby houses, and it is looking at better insulating schools under the flight path.

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