Heathrow deploys landing gear rules in 'blueprint for noise reduction'

Heathrow deploys landing gear rules in 'blueprint for noise reduction'

Aircraft landing at Heathrow are being told to delay the lowering of landing gear as part of a drive against noise.

Waiting to use the landing gear, which causes greater wind noise, will lessen the impact on households.

An airport spokesman said that aircraft wheels could be lowered about 4.6 miles from the runway, instead of the average of eight miles at present, without posing a safety risk.

The change is part of a ten-point ‘blueprint for noise reduction’ as the west London hub seeks to appease local residents in its bid for a third runway.

Measures include cutting landing charges for the quietest types of aircraft from January 2017, phasing out old aircraft and installing 50 monitors to measure the noise.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s director of sustainability and environment, told The Times: “There is no single solution. It is a case of going after all the small things that can collectively make a big difference.”

Heathrow already publishes a league table of the noisiest airlines. In the most recent rankings, El Al was worst followed by Kuwait Airways. British Airways’ short-haul operation was the quietest followed by Aer Lingus and Emirates.

Prime minister Theresa May is expected to deliver a decision within weeks on a new runway for either Heathrow or Gatwick.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Heathrow shares a common objective with local residents: we want to make the skies around us quieter.

“The arrival of new, quieter aircraft and the start of our programme to install 50 new noise monitors will help us to accelerate the reduction in the noise impacts of Heathrow.

“Our new plan for a third runway means that we will reduce the number of people affected by noise even with expansion, while increasing the social and economic benefits that Heathrow provides.

“Heathrow expansion is no longer a choice between the environment or the economy. It will deliver for both. That's why the prime minister can make the right choice and expand Heathrow."

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