Report highlights unease over Super Jumbo

As the world's largest commercial airliner flies into town

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Over 90% of residents will be disturbed by noise from the new A380 Super Jumbo, according to a survey by Hounslow Council. The news came as the world’s largest commercial airliner flew into Britain for the first time, visiting Heathrow for airport compatibility tests (Thursday 18 May).

The Airbus A380 is being promoted by its manufacturers as an ‘environmentally friendly’ aircraft, claiming that it will be "a ‘good neighbour’ at even the most noise-sensitive airports around the world".

But aviation campaigners have warned that the A380 will be “one of the noisiest beasts in the sky”. Media reports have also highlighted potential problems with ‘wake vortices’ from the giant aircraft sucking roof tiles off houses, throwing other aircraft off course and causing delays to planes waiting to take off.
Local residents are now voicing concerns that the Super Jumbo will have a significant impact on the levels of noise pollution in the London Borough of Hounslow.

According to a council survey conducted in the run up to Noise Action Week (22-26 May 2006), 92% of people living in the borough think residents will be disturbed, bothered or annoyed by noise from the new aircraft.

Responding to the news, Hounslow’s Head of Environmental Strategy, Rob Gibson, said “It is clear from our survey that the vast majority of residents are concerned that the A380 will have a negative impact on the environment. Any testing done today will do nothing to allay those fears, as well as being meaningless because the aircraft will not be carrying passengers. Airbus should come clean and publish proper test results showing the noise impact and vortex effects of a fully laden A380.”

During its UK visit, the A380 will be carrying out ground handling and airport compatibility trials, and will be parking at the purpose-built Pier 6 at Terminal 3. These new facilities will enable London Heathrow to be the first European destination of the A380, which can carry up to 840 passengers, when it enters scheduled service late this year.

April 27, 2010