Quieter take-offs are now the order of the day for all British Airways’ most modern Boeing 747s - the 747-400 - at Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
Up to 1.5 decibels has been shaved from noise recordings at monitoring points 6.5 kilometres from the start of take-off, by subtle changes to take-off and climb procedures introduced recently
The new procedures, coupled with improvements to the navigational database on the British Airways aircraft, also enable pilots to follow more accurately the noise preferential routes designated for all aircraft leaving the two airports.
With the number of 747-400 departures from Heathrow and Gatwick approaching 200 a week, the cumulative benefit of the noise reductions to local communities is significant.
Hugh Somerville, British Airways Head of Environment, said: “When it comes to tackling noise, we think our neighbours will agree with us that every little helps. The quieter take-offs now being achieved by our biggest 747s at Heathrow and Gatwick are one further step to add to the huge investment British Airways is making in new quieter aircraft throughout the fleet.”
British Airways plans to introduce the new procedures as quickly as is feasible at other airports around the world, where local conditions permit. They have already been introduced on the small number of 747-400 flights from Manchester.