Noise from Arriving Aircraft

Together with the community-based organisation HACAN, the Trustees were pleased to sponsor research on the feasibility of introducing alternative operational practices at Heathrow with a view to minimising aircraft noise, particularly on arrival. Aircraft noise policy in the UK has aimed to minimise the number of people exposed, but this has led to significant overflying of communities under the flight path, with little or no respite except for runway alternation. The frequency of noise events experienced by these communities is masked by the average noise exposure contours produced for the airport as the methodology is relatively insensitive to changes in the number of flights. The research examined the current regime at the airport and how operations have changed over time; examples of procedures in other countries where dispersal of flight paths has led to a successful outcome, and; the potential of new operational concepts currently being evaluated including curved Continuous Descent Approaches and steeper glideslopes on arrival.