Airbus wins UK noise abatement award for the A380 and its innovations in quiet technology
Wed 7 Nov 2012 – The news is unlikely to thrill environmental activists fighting moves to expand airport runway capacity around London but Airbus has been presented with a top annual award by the UK’s national noise reduction charity, the Noise Abatement Society (NAS). The award recognises the Airbus A380 superjumbo for its innovations in quiet technology and reduced noise around airport communities. Airbus says there will be 10 daily A380 flights to Heathrow by the end of the year, which has the strictest noise regulations of any airport worldwide that are the benchmark on which noise measurement for aircraft is based. The aircraft manufacturer claims the A380 will be the quietest long-haul aircraft for the foreseeable future, generating only half the noise on departure and up to four times less noise on landing compared with some other large long-haul aircraft, while carrying 40 per cent more passengers.
Presented at a House of Commons event in London last night, the award recognises local authorities, industry, organisations and individuals judged to have been outstanding in their efforts to reduce the impact of noise nuisance or seeking to pioneer practical and innovative solutions to the problem.
“The NAS was immensely impressed with the reduced external noise emissions of the A380 compared to typical equivalent aircraft and with its quiet and peaceful interior acoustics,” commented Lisa Lavia, Managing Director of the society. “This proves that with commitment and engineering excellence, noise pollution need not be the inevitable by-product of progress, and traditionally noisy operations and equipment can be made quieter for the benefit of all.”
Following a collaboration involving Heathrow Airport, NATS, Singapore Airlines and Airbus, a departure procedure for A380s has been introduced in which the aircraft use less power when taking off from the airport. Once a height of 1,500 feet has been reached, the aircraft uses flexible acceleration up to 4,000 feet before continuing its journey. As well as reducing emissions, Airbus says by producing half the noise energy at takeoff, the A380 cuts the area exposed to equivalent noise levels around the airport runway by half compared to other large aircraft.
“The reduction in the environmental impacts of our aircraft is the result of constant investment and commitment over many years,” said John Roberts, A380 Chief Engineer for Airbus in the UK, who accepted the NAS John Connell Silent Approach award. “Our industry is committed to greener aviation and in the last 50 years the aviation industry has cut noise by 75%.”