Luton Airport introduces quieter aircraft for routes over St Albans and Harpenden

EasyJet takes delivery of its first LEAP powered Airbus A320 NEO its 300th delivery
@Airbus Toulouse

EasyJet takes delivery of its first LEAP powered Airbus A320 NEO its 300th delivery @Airbus Toulouse. EasyJet CEO Carolyn McCall & crew - Credit: TIM ANDERSON

Campaigners fighting to stop aircraft noise pollution above St Albans and Harpenden are calling for targets to be set for the introduction of quieter planes.

Luton Airport has introduced their first neo-engined A320 aircraft, which is much quieter than standard planes, and the Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (LADACAN) is calling on airport operators to expand their roll-out of these aircraft to decrease noise pollution.

LADACAN spokesman Andrew Lambourne said: “We welcome this long-awaited step, but let’s remember that we were promised quieter aircraft hand-in-hand with significant expansion.

“We’ve had much faster than anticipated expansion, so now we’re asking for an accelerated roll-out of these quieter aircraft, instead of continuing to add more of the noisiest types to the mix.

“Let’s hear details of proactive measures to attract quieter planes to Luton by way of reducing landing fees for quieter types and increasing fees for noisier types.

“Meanwhile we are still calling on the airport operators to tighten their noise controls and raise the penalties for noisy flights as an added incentive to change.”

The new plane, known as the Neo, will help reduce easyJet’s environmental footprint with 15 per cent improved fuel efficiency, a 15 per cent carbon dioxide emission reduction and a 50 per cent noise footprint reduction during the take-off and landing phases compared to the current generation A320 aircraft.

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London Luton Airport operations director Neil Thompson said: “Our airline partners are already operating some of the newest and quietest aircraft in the skies and we’re delighted they are now introducing even quieter planes, earlier than anticipated.

“Working constructively with all of our partners and local communities we have the toughest noise control measures of any major UK airport and we look forward to the arrival of more of these quieter planes in the coming years.”

Carolyn McCall, easyJet chief executive, said: “The A320 neo is a major step change for our fleet efficiency and will provide a cost per seat saving of up to seven per cent over the current A320, which itself has a cost-saving benefit of up to eight per cent over the A319 and this benefit will enable easyJet to continue to offer our famous low fares helping to connect people across Europe for work and play.

“We strive to do this in the right way by reducing our carbon and noise impact on the environment and local communities.”