Other Inflight Impacts

Fuel jettisons

The jettisoning of aviation fuel from an aircraft is an extremely rare event. This only takes place when there is a need to reduce aircraft weight mid-flight, so that its weight reaches the level recommended by the aircraft manufacturer to enable it to land safely, for example during an emergency landing. In an emergency, fuel can be released from the aircraft's wingtips and, when activated from the cockpit, a fuel dump system can release fuel into the air, if necessary. It is recommended that jettisoning fuel is carried out over the sea, or, if this is not possible, at above 10,000 feet to allow it to evaporate before it reaches the ground. In 2011, 15 instances of fuel jettisons were recorded for Cathay Pacific flights, leading to 832 tonnes of fuel being released. There were no such cases from Dragonair.

Noise management

We work closely with the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD) on mitigating noise impacts around the airport. The new aircraft on order for our fleet are rigorously designed such that their noise footprint is 15% of that of the aircraft they replace.

In 2011, the number of noise infringement warnings we received from the Frankfurt airport were slightly up compared to 2010, but was halved at Brussels airport, while there was an increase at Manchester. This was due to operational delays which led to our flights departing later at night, and hence exceeding a more stringent noise threshold. Fines relating to noise infringement at London Heathrow Airport came down drastically, which is a result of our noise abatement deployment strategy of arranging quieter aircraft such as the Boeing 777-300ER instead of the Boeing 747-400s on these routes to alleviate noise impacts around Heathrow airport.

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