Emirates wants to be allowed to fly A380s over London at night except 1 – 4am
Emirates wants to be allowed to land its A380s at Heathrow, at night, except 1 – 4am. The number of night flights – which are deeply hated by tens or hundreds of thousands of London residents, whose sleep is disturbed by the noise – is around 16 per night, between 23:30 and 06:00, and those flights are mainly between 04:15 and 06:00. Emirates claims is A380s are quieter than most 747s on take off and landing, but the difference is small. To someone sleeping below the flight path, it is still a noisy plane going overhead, even if it is a fraction less noisy. Emirates wants to land at an angle of 5.5 degrees, rather than the usual glideslope of 3 degrees, so making less noise further from the runway. There is due to be a night flights consultation starting later this year – hence the Emirates hopes.
Airline calls to end Heathrow night flight ban
Super-jumbos could be allowed to land at Heathrow for more than 20 hours a day under plans being considered by ministers.
Emirates Airline hopes to bypass restrictions on night flights by landing its A380 airbuses — the world’s largest passenger airliners — at steeper angles to protect homes from jet-engine noise. The airline wants permission to fly in and out until 1am every day, restarting flights after 4am.
Tough restrictions are in place on night flights, with only 16 allowed at the airport, the majority of which arrive and depart between 4.15am and 6am. Campaigners today warned that around 500,000 people who live near Heathrow are already affected by night flights and that steeper approaches would not help the problem.
However, Emirates believes that it could increase the number of daily flights from London to Dubai from five to seven using the new take-off and landing methods. If allowed, it could allow Heathrow — which is operating at nearly full capacity — to increase flight numbers despite continued opposition to a third runway.
Tim Clark, Emirates Airline’s president, told the Financial Times: “If you can demonstrate the noise profile is much quieter, why not look at that as a means of growing capacity at constrained hub airports?”
Emirates estimates that the steeper descents into the airport could reduce the impact from jet engine noise by between 15 and 20%.
The planes would fly into Heathrow at a 5.5-degree angle, rather than the usual 3 degrees. Aircraft would also land a kilometre further along the runways, meaning that they would be further from homes near the airport.
John Stewart, of campaign group HACAN clearskies, said: “At night, there is no such thing as a quiet plane. A new landing approach will not mean fewer people being affected by noise.
“It seems that they are using the fact that the A380 is a bit quieter to try to get this through, but I don’t think they’ll get away with it. Night flights are so controversial. It’s almost impossible to see a minister authorising any more night flights.”
Last month, the Government said it would keep existing night flying restrictions at the airport until 2014 but would consult on the issue this year.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We will launch a first-stage consultation this year which will seek detailed evidence, and we welcome any contributions to this debate.”
Any change to the permitted 480,000 annual flights allowed at Heathrow would need a planning application to be submitted by airport owner BAA.
Both Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone today said they would oppose moves to increase night flights.
Heathrow night flights info at http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/Heathrow_Noise/Downloads/PDF/Nightflights11.pdf
April 9, 2012 (Financial Times)
Heathrow night flights proposed
By Andrew Parker
Ministers are to study a contentious proposal to fly A380 superjumbos in and out of London’s Heathrow airport late at night.
A few extracts from the FT article:
The government imposes tight restrictions on night flying at Heathrow between 11.30pm and 6am, when on average 18 aircraft arrive or depart from the airport. Most are inbound, long-haul flights and land between 4.30 and 6am.
The A380, however, is a relatively quiet jet, even though it is the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Data from National Air Traffic Services (NATS) shows the A380 is quieter on takeoff and landing than most versions of the Boeing 747 jumbo, as well as some other, narrower aircraft that have a single aisle.
The government announced last month that it would retain the existing night flying restrictions at Heathrow until 2014, but plans to consult on a new regime later this year.
The DfT said any change to the permitted 480,000 annual flights at Heathrow would require a planning application by BAA.
Some comments by Airport Watch members:
So do A380’s suck in noise made by other planes then?
Unless they are actually proposing cutting other planes from the schedule then more planes must mean more noise, or am I missing something? And why do they need to fly in at night?