Airbus, British Airways, Heathrow and NATS partner for ‘Quieter Flights’
Airbus, British Airways, Heathrow Airport and NATS have launched a unique partnership to study and develop operational procedures to reduce the number of people affected by noise around London’s Heathrow. The study will use British Airways’ A380. The A380 is recognised as one of the quietest aircraft today.
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.