Skip to Content
Saved Flights

Your Saved Flights

No Saved Flights

Heathrow received approval in August 2021 from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to implement Slightly Steeper Approaches (SSA) at the airport. These approaches have been in operation on a temporary basis following trials held between 2015 and 2017 and have now been made permanent.

Most aircraft arriving into Heathrow fly a standard 3.0° approach angle which is similar to most airports around the world. However, a small percentage fly a slightly steeper 3.2° approach, causing them to fly higher for longer. The trials demonstrated that this helps to reduce the noise footprint on the ground.  This is the first major airspace change Heathrow has successfully transitioned through the Government’s new airspace change process introduced in 2018.

Minimising the impact of aircraft noise is a priority for Heathrow. We have been at the forefront of efforts to tackle noise and as a result Heathrow's noise footprint has shrunk considerably over the past few decades. The permanent adoption of SSA at Heathrow is one of the steps we are taking as we continue to make efforts to reduce the impact of noise.

Slightly Steeper Approaches