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Steeper approach trial report

August 2016

In September 2015 we ran a 6 month trial testing a slightly steeper approach angle for aircraft landing at Heathrow.

This trial is one of 10 practical steps Heathrow is taking through its Blueprint for Noise Reduction to explore ways to improve the noise climate around Heathrow.

The international standard approach for most airports in the world is set at 3 degrees, except for obstacle clearance (e.g. buildings, mountains etc). We believe a steeper angle is possible and will lead to quieter approaches to the airport. This has been the experience at Frankfurt airport that has introduced steeper approach angles to reduce noise for people living nearby.

Steeper approaches graphic


The trial was approved by the Civil Aviation Authority and continued until 16 March 2016. It was optional and only airlines that had the necessary standard of navigational equipment for this approach took part.

The trial was about gathering data to better understand how a slightly steeper approach angle would impact Heathrow’s operation.

A full independent report produced by Trax and can be download here:

Steeper Approach Trial Report

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