Mixed incentives at Heathrow
It's been a while since I've taken a red-eye into Heathrow but the last time I did so from Seattle there were favorable winds over the Atlantic leading to our early arrival in the vicinity of London. Instead of proceeding to land, we spent 30 minutes circling on the outskirts of the city until it was 6am and the take-off/landing restrictions designed to reduce noise pollution had opened up.
On their own, noise abatement steps seem reasonable for those located in a flight path or near an airport. I suspect those same affected individuals likely also have an opinion on wasted jet fuel and unnecessary CO2 emissions too, perhaps, these days feeling even more strongly about the latter. But is that trade-off ever explicitly considered?
Solving for one problem in a vacuum can have unexpected side effects.