Heathrow Airport unveils new noise reduction bid to appease angry locals
Planes coming in to Heathrow are to change the way they land to cut noise for west London residents.
Pilots have been told to delay the point when they lower the wheels beneath the planes – which causes wind noise which can be heard by residents – until they are nearer the runway.
The changes will not alter the safety of the landings, an airport spokesman said. Heathrow has told airlines the wheels could be lowered 4.6 miles from the runway, rather than the current average of eight miles, without any risk.
The change is part of a plan to appease residents living near to the airport and reduce opposition to a third runway, The Times reported.
According to Heathrow’s most recent league table of the noisiest airlines, El Al is the worst followed by Kuwait Airways. British Airways’ short-haul planes were the quietest.
It is expected a new runway for either Heathrow or Gatwick will be approved within weeks by Prime Minister Theresa May.
Other measures in the ten-point plan to cut noise include encouraging more modern planes by introducing cuts in landing charges for newer aircraft, and bringing in 50 monitors to measure the noise.
Matt Gorman, the airport’s director of sustainability and environment, said there was “no single solution” but small changes can make a big difference.
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