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LHR Airports Ltd.

SAS is “quietest and greenest” at Heathrow

The airlines SAS and LOT have been singled out for praise by one of the busiest airports in the world.

SAS and LOT have taken the top spots in a new Fly Quiet & Green table compiled by London’s Heathrow Airport.

Heathrow is the second busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic and sixth busiest by total passenger traffic, and the league table ranks the performance of its 50 busiest airlines on seven noise and emission metrics from January to March 2018.

Scandinavian Airlines flies between there and Copenhagen, Oslo, Stavanger and Stockholm, while LOT operates 15 services a week to Warsaw.

SAS has been working with Heathrow to improve its use of Continuous Descent Approaches – a flight procedure that reduces noise as it needs less engine thrust and keeps planes higher for longer.

The airline has also worked to improve its ability to keep flights within the departure corridors of “noise preferential routes” designated by the UK government, also referred to by Heathrow as “track keeping”.

LOT, meanwhile, began operating new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on its Heathrow services this year, which have made “the largest positive differences to its rankings”, the London airport says.

The engines on the MAX are quieter and more efficient than its predecessors and have distinctive v-shaped winglets that allow the wings to encounter less drag, use less fuel and produce lower carbon emissions.

Public meetings
Heathrow has committed itself “to be a global leader in reducing the impact of aircraft noise on local communities”, and as part of this it produces a Noise Action Plan every five years “setting tough new objectives” to reduce aircraft noise even further.

The Fly Quiet & Clean table was created in 2013 as one of the plan’s actions, and the airport describes it as the first initiative of its kind in Europe.

Heathrow will also be holding a series of “public consultation events” on June 2, 6 and 23, “giving the public a chance to shape how the airport manages aircraft noise in the future”.

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