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Heathrow Airport: Noise

Volume 470: debated on Friday 25 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the proportion of planes landing at Heathrow Airport using the continuous descent approach; what assumptions have been made regarding the proportion of planes landing at Heathrow Airport using the continuous descent approach in the noise modelling findings contained in the Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport public consultation document; and if she will make a statement. (181715)

[holding answer 24 January 2008]: The current daytime levels of continuous decent approach (CDA) are around 80 to 85 per cent.

Noise modelling for future Heathrow scenarios is based on the airspace arrangements described in the supporting technical reports by NATS. This assumes full CDA capability on all approaches to a three runway airport; but reduced CDA capability under the mixed mode (‘maximum capacity, baseline’) option, at around 35-40 per cent., as explained in paragraphs 3.102 to 3.105 of the consultation document. As the document states, the main noise benefits from CDA are felt further from the airport, outside the area of the 57 dBA noise contour.