Heathrow adds emissions along with noise metrics to its airline performance league table

Heathrow Airport has extended its quarterly "˜Fly Quiet League Table"™ to include for the first time the emissions performance as well as the noise performance of airlines serving the airport. The 50 busiest airlines at Heathrow are now publicly ranked on their efforts to reduce emissions from the aircraft they use for operations at the airport. A new metric has also been introduced that takes into account unscheduled night flights operating between 11.30pm and 4.30am. The league table has tracked airline noise performance since 2013 and is credited with incentivising airlines to use their quieter aircraft types and operating procedures at Heathrow. Based on data from January to March, British Airways short-haul, Aer Lingus and Etihad Airways were judged to be the cleanest and quietest fleets at the airport.

The two new emissions-based criteria scores the type of engines used by aircraft and the efficiencies of aircraft NOx emissions per seat. Better scores are given to aircraft that are compliant with the more recent and stringent standards produced and published by ICAO"™s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). The score is based on the certification for a single engine so, for example, a twin-engined aircraft compliant with CAEP 6 standard gets the same score as a four-engined aircraft with engines compliant with the same standard.

Regarding the NOx efficiency metric, for each arrival and departure the total mass of NOx emissions is calculated, based on the certified values and accounting for the number of engines for the aircraft associated with individual flights. The aggregate of certified NOx emissions for all flights of an airline are then divided by the aggregate seat capacity.

"While the main contributor to local pollution remains road traffic, Heathrow is playing its part to improve air quality by reducing emissions from its vehicles, buildings and aircraft," commented Matt Gorman, the airport"™s Director of Sustainability. "We are excited to add a whole new dimension to the league table and have another tool to help airlines reduce their impact on air quality. Together, we can play our part to improve our local environment and help the UK and London governments meet their air quality targets."

As well as the new emissions metrics, the other metrics measure noise quota per seat, noise certification (ICAO Chapter number), continuous descent approach violations, track keeping violations and early or late movements between 23:30 and 04:30. Each metric is assigned a RAG (red, amber or green) status based on the performance bands set for that indicator so that operators towards the top of the table will have more green scores than those towards the bottom. Amber indicates airlines have met minimum performance targets and green that they have exceeded them. Heathrow says it works closely with those airlines with a red status in a particular category…

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