Heathrow has claimed that it can increase capacity while reducing the number of people affected by aircraft noise.
The airport, which is lobbying the government’s Airports Commission to be allowed to expand, said that it could cut overall noise levels even if it eventually builds a third runway.
Heathrow said this could be achieved by “encouraging the world’s quietest aircraft to use Heathrow and routing aircraft higher over London”.
The UK hub airport set out its case on reducing noise pollution in its latest submission to the Airports Commission made today (September 6).
Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s sustainability director, said: “Heathrow is at the forefront of international efforts to tackle aircraft noise and as a result, even though the number of flights has almost doubled since the 1970s, around 90 per cent fewer people are affected by noise.
“The evidence we have submitted to the commission today shows it is possible to add the flights that will boost UK jobs, growth and trade whilst keeping the impact on local residents to a minimum.
“New aircraft technology, new flight paths and better noise insulation all have a role to play in allowing Heathrow to grow quietly.”
Rival airport Gatwick refuted Heathrow’s claims and added that noise from its flights was “many times lower than those of Heathrow because aircraft using our airport do not overfly highly populated areas in London”.
“Nothing in the future can change this basic fact, which should weigh heavily in commission thinking,” said Gatwick in a statement.
“We take our responsibilities to the local communities we do impact very seriously, which is why Gatwick is a leader in noise management and community engagement.”
The Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, is currently assessing around 50 proposals to increase the UK’s hub airport capacity and will be drawing up a shortlist of potential solutions in its interim report to be published by the end of this year.
But its final recommendations will not be published until after the next general election in the summer of 2015.