The UK Department of Transport (DTp) has been forced to shelve plans to introduce some of the world's strictest noise limits at London's three main airports, after admitting that it failed to consult properly with airlines.

After taking legal advice, the DTp decided not to contest a legal challenge brought by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on behalf of airlines serving London's Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports.

IATA argues that the proposed limits were, "not workable for airlines", pointing out that several Chapter 3-compliant aircraft, such as Boeing 747s operating at higher weights, would break the new rules.

The DTp will restart consultations as early as possible after the UK general election on 1 May. It had planned to reduce noise limits for departing aircraft by 3dBA between 07:00-23:00, and by 2dBA between 23:00-07:00, to 94dBA and 87dBA,respectively.

Source: Flight International