Less than a year into its operations at Heathrow, Flybe has achieved top ranking in the airport’s latest Fly Quiet and Green league table of noise and emissions rankings.
The rankings are based on the performance of 50 airlines on seven noise and emission metrics between October and December last year. Flybe, which operates from Heathrow to Edinburgh and Aberdeen, landed top spot after working with the London airport to increase its use of Continuous Descent Approaches. This flight procedure reduces noise because it requires less engine thrust and keeps the aircraft higher for longer. Flybe pilots were also more successful in keeping their flights within the corridors of “noise preferential routes” designated by the government, also known as track keeping.
There were also marked improvements in track keeping for other carriers. Cathay Pacific climbed 11 places with a perfect score in that metric and Oman Air rose 15 places thanks to its nearly perfect (99 per cent) score.
Flybe’s chief operating officer, Luke Farajallah said: “We are naturally delighted to have topped the rankings at Heathrow as the best operator in noise and emissions performance, especially so early on in our operations there. Flybe acknowledges and takes seriously its environmental responsibilities. It is central to what we do, informing our choice of using Q400 turboprops on the right routes and making constant improvements in our operational processes. As one of Heathrow’s smaller operators, we are obviously very proud to have outperformed most of the biggest and best airlines in the world.”
The Fly Quiet and Green scores also reflect a marked decrease in the number of aircraft departing during sensitive night hours in 2017. Airlines at Heathrow reduced the number of late running departures between 23:30 and 04:30 by more than 30 per cent compared with 2016.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “The latest ‘Fly Quiet and Green’ results show the great progress that Heathrow’s airlines have made to help us be a better neighbour. Last year we announced our intention of halving the number of late running flights over 5 years – I hope that the 30% reduction in the first year alone will give confidence that we say what we will do and we do what we say.”