Flight path changes to cut noise and CO2

01 December 2015 09:15

Flight paths to and from London City airport are being altered

Flight paths to and from London City airport are being altered

While jetting off on holiday is usually an exciting prospect, it can leave green-minded travellers feeling guilty about the noise and pollution their flights are generating.

But those keen to boost their environmental credentials will now be flying easier following an announcement by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that a series of flight paths over southern England are to be altered.

The changes - due to come into force on February 4 2016 - are aimed at cutting noise and CO2 emissions by reducing the number of low-level flights over the region.

Britain's aviation regulator says the move will improve efficiency, reduce the amount of noise people on the ground are subjected to, and cut CO2 emissions by 30,000 tonnes per year.

Flight paths are to be changed in airspace above Kent, Essex, east London, Hampshire, Sussex, Norfolk and Suffolk.

The changes will affect commercial aircraft flying into and out of Stansted, London City, Luton, Bournemouth, Southampton and Northolt airports as well as Biggin Hill in Kent.

As they check their accommodation and travel insurance details, passengers flying out of Stansted airport will notice their planes climb earlier and higher than they do now.

Planes approaching London City airport will remain over the Thames Estuary for longer to cut noise over Essex, east London and Kent. Those taking off from the airport, meanwhile, will climb earlier to reduce emissions and noise.

Flight paths into Bournemouth and Southampton airports have been altered to cut the amount of time aircraft are over land. Instead they will spend longer over the Solent.

Phil Roberts, the CAA's head of airspace, says the changes will bring benefits for both passengers and the communities that their planes fly over.

He adds that the flight path alterations will cut emissions and move a significant number of services away from populated areas.

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