London Heathrow Airport
London’s Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports. It is used by over 90 airlines flying to 170 destinations worldwide. The airport has five passenger terminals and a cargo terminal. In the 1950s, Heathrow had six runways, now it has just two parallel runways running east-west.
Heathrow has witnessed strong growth over recent decades, currently handling 68 million passengers and 477,000 flights a year compared to around 48 million passengers and 427,000 flights a year in 1996. In the absence of any increase in runway capacity, this growth has resulted in Heathrow’s runways operating at around 99% capacity compared to its main European competitors which operate at around 75% capacity, leading to increased …show more content…
Noise is created by aircraft approaching or taking off from airports and by taxiing aircraft and engine testing within the airport perimeter.
Aircraft manufactured today are much quieter than they were 40, 30 or even 20 years ago and these will be replaced by even quieter aircraft in the future. But even though each individual aircraft is quieter, there are more planes flying now. This means that although the average level of noise is lower than before, the frequency of aircraft movements and hence noise level has increased.
Noise can be described as unwanted sound. There are many different effects and sources of noise and individuals experience each of them to varying degrees. The effects can include general distraction, speech interference and sleep disturbance. Sometimes these effects can lead to annoyance and possibly more overt reactions, like complaints.
At Heathrow there is a full and comprehensive range of noise management measures already in place when compared with similar airports. This is based on the evidence of benchmarking studies and long standing status as a designated airport. These measures cover operational procedures, stakeholder communication and engagement as well as mitigation and compensation schemes.
To reduce the noise effect quota count system has been used by London's Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted airports to limit the amount of noise generated by aircraft movements at night time. Each aircraft type is classified and