London/Heathrow has begun the installation of 50 new noise monitors as part of a long-term plan to provide real-time noise measurements to local residents. The airport is adding the new equipment, and upgrading its existing monitoring network, under the latest version of its ‘Blueprint for Noise Reduction’ published on August 17.
The airport said the ten-point plan was updated as a direct result of its engagement with resident groups through the Heathrow Community Noise Forum. It added that the new monitors will help it, and residents, gain a better understanding of the impacts of aircraft noise in local areas, and will complement the modelling of the existing fixed and mobile monitors.
The data gathered will be shared publicly through the airport’s noise website and the Heathrow Community Noise Forum – longer term, the London hub is also planning to use the system to provide real-time noise measurements to residents.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “We share 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.”
Other measures outlined in the new blueprint include the introduction of a voluntary Quiet Night Charter to reduce the impact of Heathrow’s night operations, a new web-based tool – xPlane – that gives residents access to flight data specific to their location, and lower landing charges for quieter aircraft. Heathrow said the latter, due to be introduced in January 2017, will make it the first airport in the world to differentiate charges for new Chapter 14 aircraft such as the Airbus A350 XWB.
Heathrow added that, as a result of incentives and evolving technology, the airport is quieter now than at any point since the 1970s, despite the doubling of aircraft movements. New data released under the airport’s Fly Quiet League table shows a 5.5% increase in the proportion of quieter, new-generation types being used at the hub over the same period last year.