Aviation Industry Marks 5 years of Progress against Noise

  • Sustainable Aviation report shows growth in passengers has been decoupled from noise
  • UK aerospace manufacturers, airlines, airports air traffic service providers’ investments in past 5 years has led to big leaps forward in reducing noise
  • Government urged to invest in noise research, and to issue clear, consistent planning guidance to remove residents from noise footprints

Sustainable Aviation – the coalition of UK airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and leading air traffic service providers – has today revealed the results of investments in procedures, technology and policy work to reduce the impacts of noise on UK residents over the last 5 years. A new  “progress report” on the Noise Road Map issued by Sustainable Aviation in April 2013,  shows the industry has managed to decouple growth in aviation from noise, as the number of people impacted by aircraft noise in the UK has reduced by over 12,000, despite a rise in passenger numbers of 13%

Overall investments in projects to reduce noise have been increasing since the launch of the Noise Road Map.  As a result of their investments, UK air carriers now have some of the youngest and most environmentally friendly fleets in the world, made up of next generation aircraft such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 737-MAX with a noise footprint that is typically 50% smaller on departure and 30% on arrival than the aircraft they are replacing. NATS, the leading air traffic provider in the UK, has delivered an additional 60,000 quieter, continuous descent arrivals over the past two years.

Despite the significant progress made, Sustainable Aviation believes more can be done to achieve its goal to reduce noise output so that the industry’s total noise output remains at lower levels than those at 2010.  As such, Sustainable Aviation is asking the Government to make a clear commitment into research of new aircraft and engine technologies, a sector where the UK has the potential to be a true world leader.  Sustainable Aviation is also calling for the Government to improve planning rules for the use of land close to airports, which would make an important difference in managing the number of people affected by noise.

Recognizing that the effects of noise can often be subjective, and that solutions cannot be a “one size fits all,” Sustainable Aviation has commissioned some independent research to better understand UK communities’ concerns around noise.  A discussion paper detailing out the results of this research will be issued later this year.

Chair of Sustainable Aviation, Neil Robinson said:

“As an industry, we recognise aircraft noise can be a concern for people across the UK and we have been taking action to ensure growth in passenger numbers is disconnected from the rate of growth in carbon and noise emissions.  We are calling for the Government to help us finish what we started, improve planning guidance and land use, and make real investments in research, so our industry can be leading the world in quieter, more sustainable aviation operations.”

Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg, said:

“One of the main areas we want to address through our new and comprehensive Aviation Strategy is how to support growth while tackling environmental impacts.

“Noise is a key environmental concern among communities living near airports and it is vitally important that the aviation industry maintains its focus on this.

“I am pleased to note this progress report and look forward to working with industry on our continued journey towards a cleaner, greener and more sustainable aviation sector.”

Notes to Editors:

Sustainable Aviation is a coalition of UK airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and the air traffic service provider, which works to deliver cleaner, quieter, smarter flying. It acts as a long term strategy which sets out the collective approach of UK aviation to tackling the challenge of ensuring a sustainable future for the UK aviation industry.

Launched in 2005, it is a world first, bringing together major UK airlines, airports, manufacturers and air navigation service providers towards a collective sustainability goal.

A full list of Sustainable Aviation members is available here:

For further information please contact info@sustainableaviation.local

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