London Stansted Airport - Noise reduction trial

The Experian Building Stronger Communities Award, in recognition of Sir John Peace, Shortlisted, 2016

London Stansted Airport is pioneering new performance technologies, using satellite navigation, which can reduce the noise impacts on residents living around the airport, by helping aircraft to fly more accurately.

Good for society

  • Significantly fewer people in the local community are now affected by aircraft noise (a reduction of 84%).
  • The project reduces emissions as a result of more precise navigation techniques, benefitting the environment, which can also be scaled up across other airports for greater environmental benefit.

Good for business

  • The project demonstrates scope for airlines to achieve large fuel savings, keeping suppliers satisfied and engaged in the project to continue delivering societal benefits.
  • The project sets a benchmark for the wider UK industry and positions Stansted as a pioneering industry leader.

London Stansted Airport

Aircraft noise is a recurring concern for communities living beneath flight paths so Stansted Airport has developed a careful trial with the community and airline partners to explore an innovative new solution and continually monitor the results.

The closer and more accurately an aircraft flies to its designated flight path, the less people it flies over and exposes to noise. Aircraft noise can sometimes be intrusive and disruptive, particularly for those people that live closest to the airport and its flight paths. 

This technology is so far untested in the UK and so Stansted’s trial could have major benefits for people living near airports all over the UK, and beyond. 

Stansted has a long-term aim and firm commitment to manage, and reduce wherever possible, the number of people affected by noise as a result of aircraft operations and this project was designed to tackle this noise issue. 

The results demonstrate substantial societal advantages which can be scaled up across Stansted and other airports, with considerable benefits for the aviation industry’s wider growth agenda.

Two flight paths have been targeted in the project and there are around 4,300 local people living under these paths.

Flying more accurately will also save airlines money in fuel costs.

What Stansted Airport's Managing Director said:

“Stansted Airport is growing. We connect 22 million passengers annually to 170 destinations and are the biggest single-site employer in the East of England. We are ambitious and plan to grow sustainably, creating jobs and opportunity.    

To fulfil our potential, support from local communities will be critical and reducing aircraft noise is important, particularly for those people who live under our flight paths. Our precision navigation trial represents Stansted at its best, showing leadership, sharing learning and most importantly, working in genuine partnership.  The results have been outstanding.  We could not have achieved them alone and I thank all those who contributed to this innovative project.” - Andrew Harrison, Managing Director, Stansted Airport