Heathrow welcomed today the arrival of Finnair’s first commercial flight on an A350 XWB, the newest and most advanced passenger plane of its kind. The Airbus A350 XWB’s cutting-edge technology reduces both nitrogen oxide emissions and noise, helping Heathrow be a better neighbour to local residents.
Quieter aircraft are an essential part of Heathrow’s efforts to continue to reduce its noise footprint, which a recent Civil Aviation Authority report confirmed is at its smallest level to date. Today, 99% of aircraft movements at Heathrow are already operated by “Chapter 4 equivalent” aircraft, currently the quietest international standard for aircraft noise certification.
Airbus brings together the very latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies in the A350 XWB to provide a 25 per cent step-change in fuel efficiency compared to its current long-range competitor. Phasing out the oldest and dirtiest aircraft and encouraging aircraft like the A350WXB to operate at the airport, amongst other measures, has also allowed Heathrow to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 16% over 5 years, and improve local air quality.
Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Environment and Sustainability said:
“Thanks to the efforts of partners like Finnair, airlines operate aircraft at Heathrow that are on average 15% quieter than their global fleet. Newer planes like the A350 XWB also have the navigational technology to allow for steeper approaches, a flight procedure which keeps aircraft higher for longer and which Heathrow is beginning to trial this autumn.
"The A350 XWB’s engines are not only quiet, they also use less fuel, produce fewer emissions, and ultimately help Heathrow be a better neighbour.”
Pekka Vauramo, Finnair Chief Executive said:
"Finnair is proud to be the first European airline to fly the A350 XWB which is the world's most modern and efficient aircraft. It is the future of flying and takes customer comfort to a completely new level,"
"The A350 XWB is a much quieter aircraft with considerable savings in CO2 emissions, supporting our ambitious environmental targets."
Finnair’s A350 XWB will operate out of various locations in Europe over the next two weeks in order to familiarize the crew with the aircraft. Pending delivery, a scheduled commercial service is expected to begin operating with the aircraft early next year.
New aircraft technology will ensure that even with expansion at Heathrow, air quality limits will be met and fewer people around the airport will be affected by aircraft noise than today. This was confirmed by the Airports Commission in their recommendation to the government, which also stated that at least 200,000 fewer people are expected to be within Heathrow’s noise footprint by the time an additional runway opens.