Airbus has teamed up with British Airways, London Heathrow Airport (LHR), and UK air navigation services provider NATS to study and develop operational procedures to reduce the number of people affected by noise at the airport.

Using a British Airways’ Airbus A380, the four cross-industry partners have announced a three-stage Quieter Flight project.

The first stage will identify potential operational improvements including, for example, reducing thrust and optimizing height on departure, while the second will involve testing and training of identified procedures in a British Airways’ flight simulator. The final stage will involve a series of A380 demonstration flights, starting early next year.

Successful procedures will then be made available to other operators and airports around the world.

Airbus ProSky, the Air Traffic Management (ATM) subsidiary of Airbus is responsible for designing the departure and arrival procedures based on recommendations from the four partners.

British Airways environment strategy manager Dean Plumb said: “The A380 is the ideal aircraft for this project as it has unique operational capabilities that can be adjusted to reduce noise during takeoff and landing. The next step for the Quieter Flight Partnership is to train our pilots to use the optimized noise procedures in the simulator and then to test these improvements in flight trials.”