Home Page Link Thaxted - under the present flightpath and threatened with quadrupled activity Takeley's 12th century parish church, close to proposed second runway Harcamlow Way, Bamber's Green - much of the long distance path and village would disappear under Runway 2 Clavering - typical of the Uttlesford villages threatened by urbanisation
Campaigning against proposals to expand Stansted Airport

image Press Release - 2 November 2009


Analysis carried out by Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has revealed that the controversial new departure procedure being used by airlines at Stansted Airport which is causing noise misery for thousands of local residents produces a cost saving for the airlines of less than two pence per passenger.

The increase in aircraft noise which is being felt most by residents in Hatfield Heath, Hatfield Broad Oak and the Hallingburys stems from cost saving measures introduced earlier this year by airlines using Stansted. In order to save fuel, aircraft are flying lower for longer during the take-off phase, which increases their noise impact upon local communities.

SSE has calculated that the average fuel saving is only about 6.5 kilograms (kg) for each aircraft using this new departure procedure. This calculation is based on a recent Cranfield University report for the Department for Transport on the potential for aircraft to achieve fuel savings during take-off and on figures published by the EU Environment Agency on the amount of fuel used by various aircraft types during the take-off phase.

A saving of 6.5kg is worth about 2.65 to the airline and since the average aircraft leaving Stansted is carrying 135 passengers, the saving is less than two pence per passenger. In terms of carbon dioxide emissions, the saving is less than one tenth of one per cent of Stansted's annual emissions and so this is all about saving costs, not saving the planet.

The new departure procedures being used at Stansted appear to be a breach of the formal guidance issued by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) which states that departing aircraft must "ensure that the necessary safety of flight operations is maintained while minimizing exposure to noise on the ground" [SSE's emphasis]. They are also in breach of Government policy as set down in the 2003 Air Transport White Paper aimed at "encouraging airport operators, airlines and air traffic managers to adopt the cleanest and quietest operational practices."

SSE Campaign Director Carol Barbone said: "If ever proof was needed that BAA and the Stansted airlines are interested only in profit maximisation regardless of the interests of local residents, then here we have it - and all for the sake of making an extra tuppence per passenger."

She continued: "BAA is fond of quoting the ICAO rules and the Government's Air Transport White Paper when it suits its purposes to do so. BAA should now be prepared to apply the same standards to itself and its airline customers."


The Cranfield report identified the potential to achieve a 3.1 per cent fuel saving on take-off and the EU Environment Agency estimates that, for the types of aircraft using Stansted, an average of about 220kg of fuel is used during take-off. A 3.1 per cent reduction therefore produces a fuel saving of about 6.5kg per flight. At the current aviation fuel price of $668 per tonne, and current US$/ exchange rate, this equates to 2.65 per aircraft departure.

Further details of SSE's calculations and full references for the sources quoted above are available from SSE upon request.

Carol Barbone, Campaign Director, SSE: M 0777 552 3091 & cbarbone@mxc.co.uk

Media Centre