Noise Overview

An overview of noise at London Stansted Airport

Plan Flying Overhead

Click here for an overview of London Stansted Airports’ operations

Runway Direction

London Stansted Airport has one runway but will operate at one of two ends, with the direction that aircraft approach and depart influenced by the prevailing wind direction. In general, it is Runway 22 (south westerly operations) that is in use for most of the year (around 70%), with Runway 04 (north easterly operations) in use approximately 30% of the time. However, this can vary considerably month to month.

Arriving Aircraft

Unlike departures, there are no set flight paths for arriving aircraft.

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Departing Aircraft

Departing aircraft must follow one of six initial flight paths known as Noise Preferential Routes (NPR’s) until they have reached a minimum height.

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Arrival and Departure Maps

Click here to find a list of maps tracking arrivals and departures >

Night Flights

London Stansted Airport operates 24 hours a day. There are, however, specific regulations and restrictions around night flights.

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If you have noticed an aircraft following an unusual course, it could be a go-around.

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Holding Stacks

When airports are busy, there can be a build-up of aircraft waiting to land. A stack is a fixed circling pattern in which aircraft fly while they wait to land.

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Cargo Operations

The movement of freight is vital to supporting economic growth. Stansted is the third largest London airport transporting cargo into and out of the UK.

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Helicopter operations at London Stansted Airport are a daily occurrence.

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Ground Noise

If you live very close to the airport you may hear noise from aircraft that are still on the ground

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Legal Framework

There are four main tiers of regulation which govern aircraft noise in the UK

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Noise Performance

Click here to view our Noise Performance data >

Noise Contours

Each year the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) calculates the noise exposure around London Stansted Airport on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT). A computer model uses noise data to produce an estimated noise exposure surrounding the airport. The model also calculates the emission and propagation of noise from both arriving and departing air traffic.

Noise Contours Explained >

View the latest CAA report for London Stansted >

Aviation Fuel Odour

London Stansted has monitored, reported on and managed air quality for over a decade and has well-established processes and procedures in place. The air quality monitoring around the airport shows that it is well within the regulatory EU air quality limits. The trend for air quality around London Stansted has been one of continual improvement.

If you believe you are experiencing aviation fuel odour problems, we'd like to hear from you and we'll work with Uttlesford District Council's Environmental Health team to investigate your complaint.

Report Your Fuel Odour Complaint >

Wake Vortex Damage

Although at London Stansted this is an extremely rare occurrence, we do have a published policy which explains the procedures and support available to those who believe their property may have been damaged by a vortex strike.

View Our Wake Vortex Policy Here >

Useful links

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Passenger guides

Everything you need to know for your journey through London Stansted Airport

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Frequently asked questions

Have a question? Check out our FAQs or get in touch