Heathrow poll launched as noise complaints soar

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Heathrow poll launched as noise complaints soar

Wednesday November 14, 2012

A surge in Heathrow aircraft noise complaints has prompted the council to launch a quick poll to gauge local reaction to the relaxation of runway rules at the airport.

Last week it emerged that the number of aircraft noise complaints over west London has rocketed by nearly 900% – from more than 200 in June to a spike of around 1,800 in August.

Concerns over increased aircraft noise – due to BAA’s trial of new runway rules at Heathrow Airport – have been soaring in west London since the summer, according to Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) council.

Residents living under the flight path have been voicing concerns over the ‘Operational Freedoms’ trial – which allows the airport's operator BAA to use runways simultaneously under certain circumstances.

H&F Council is encouraging residents who are disturbed by aircraft noise to respond to BAA directly, so that their concerns are formally logged in the consultation, but has now also launched a poll of its own.

The quick poll – which asks for a yes or no answer – poses the question: ‘Has Heathrow Airport's trial of relaxed runway rules affected you? For example, have you noticed more aircraft noise?’.

Vote now

Cllr Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler, H&F Council Cabinet Member for Transport and Technical Services, says: “BAA’s relaxing of runway rules at Heathrow has triggered a wave of aircraft noise misery for thousands of residents under the flight path. The constant whining and deafening roars from more planes overhead is intolerable and I would encourage anyone who has been disturbed by these trials to make their views known.”

Historically the airport has used a runway alternation system which means using one runway for arrivals and the other for departures. Traditionally their use is switched halfway through the day at 3pm to give residents a predictable period of relief from aircraft noise.

At certain times BAA is already allowed to use both runways simultaneously for arrivals, mainly to clear backlogs of flights. However, under the current trials – which started on July 1 and last until March 2013 – the threshold for triggering dual use of the runways has been lowered. Both runways are now being used when planes face a 10-minute wait to land or take off or if there is more widespread disruption to the airport’s flight schedules, for example due to bad weather.

On a typical day around 665 aircraft fly over the borough with the earliest typically starting at 4:20am and flights continuing throughout the day, at intervals of about one every 90 seconds, until around midnight.

H&F Council has consistently argued that any form of expansion at Heathrow, including a third runway, would bring extra noise hell for residents, more air pollution put further pressure on overstretched roads and public transport in the area. H&F Council is part of the 2M campaign group that blocked a previous plan to expand Heathrow in the High Court in 2010.

In addition to voting on the council quick poll residents, who are disturbed by aircraft noise, should respond directly to BAA so that concerns are formally logged in their consultation. Visit www.heathrowairport.com/noise (opens new window) or call 0800 344 844 or email noise_complaints@baa.com.

» Send us your comments now

Pat has it 100% correct!!! BAA have simply introduced changes .. much lower flying and much tighet corridors are leading to these daily wakeup calls starting at 4.30am over Fulham .. I'm disgusted, wish I didn't buy here 5 years ago, should have never trusted BAA ... Repeating pat's words: BAA claims that the increase in complaints this summer was caused by 'unusual winds.' BAA says that there were more westerlies than usual, which meant more planes approached Heathrow by flying over west London. This is rubbish. Westerlies ALWAYS dominate in the summer. Any weather web site will confirm this. Easterly winds - which mean that plans approach Heathrow from the east, by flying over Windsor - are almost unknown in June and September and are non existent statistically in July and August. This is yet another straightforward lie by BAA. So why have complaints soared? Could it be that people are more sensitive because more planes (about 38 in an eight hour period) are using 'the wrong' runway? Or has BAA used this 'trial' to introduce other changes in the way planes approach the airport. For example, by allowing them to fly lower and in tighter corridors.
From ruth on 19/02/2013 at 10:23
I moved in December to Vera Road SW6 and first month's i never heard the airplanes. Since two weeks ago is impossible to sleep from 4.30 am until 11 pm, no can study at home and watch TV, no internet works 100%. is unsupportable this situacion. It is possible to collect signatures or what can we do? i need a solution im losting my nerves and im not 100% at work...i need some help!!thank you
From Vera road on 06/02/2013 at 18:29
When I purchased my property in Fulham a few years back I did not expect to be totally sleep deprived to this extent. I wake up early for work (6.30am) and my precious 2 final hours of sleep have been decimated. My double-glazing and use of ear plugs do not help. This is quite infuriating and cannot go on for me and others whose quality of life has been undermined. If I wanted to experience this level of noice, I would have purchased a cheaper property closer to the airport and that would have been my decision.
I am pretty disgusted with the 'trial' and will fight it every inch of the way.
A. Adel
From A Adel on 06/01/2013 at 13:28
There is no doubt that planes are flying over lower, faster and more frequently than ever before which is resulting in a disgraceful level of noise and air pollution over our borough. Write to the mayor the department of transport and the pm to express your views. Slough Heathrow is an airport in the wrong place build a new airport like modern countries do with a flight path that does not pass over populated cities. We are 14 miles away I dread to think what it is like for those people who live closer
From Brad on 06/01/2013 at 06:18
I am now woken at 4.30 every morning. How dare heathrow assume they can continue their duel runway scheme.
Forget whether they can squeeze more planes in....think about the thousands of west London residents who suffer sleep deprivation due their greed
From Sandberg on 03/01/2013 at 20:45
I live in neighbouring Richmond. I can now hear the noise of landing aircraft right through my double grazed conservatory in my living room with adjoining door shut and curtains drawn.

Close this airport altogether.
From FN on 30/12/2012 at 12:20
following the email below sent to Heathrow authorities, a plane flew literally above my house yesterday night for the first time since we live here...it is getting more and more noisy by the month !
what can we do??


> Dear Sir, Madam
> It is 10.15pm on a Wednesday night and the noise of planes landing in heathrow has dramatically increased over the last few weeks and are now starting to make it difficult to get to sleep at night.
> I find totally unacceptable that this is happening without any consultation of any sort happening with the residents living in Hammersmith. I used to not hear the planes at all and now this is really getting ridiculously noisy!
> Please let me know how i can send a formal complaints to the airport authorities.
> Regards,
> Fred&Nicola HUET
From fred on 03/12/2012 at 12:18
Crookie,

You are missing the point.

The argument is about the expansion of Heathrow, especially in the past decade, and BAA's plans (enthusiastically supported by BA and the aviation industry's cronies in business, Whitehall and Parliament) for a third - and possibly fourth - runway which would mean between 700,000 to 1 million plane 'movements' annually over London. Already millions of people endure non stop noise from 480,000 'movements' annually; imagine what would happen if that was more than doubled. BAA and the airlines will always want more planes because more planes means more profit for them. They must be stopped.
From pat on 24/11/2012 at 22:36
Every morning like clockwork I am working up at 4:30am with the constant noise of the aircraft beginning there landing approach to Heathrow. The noise from coming over Hammersmith bridge is terrible and goes on for over 3-4 hours, guess it is the wrong type of wind blowing coming down the Thames.
From Richard on 22/11/2012 at 11:01
BAA claims that the increase in complaints this summer was caused by 'unusual winds.' BAA says that there were more westerlies than usual, which meant more planes approached Heathrow by flying over west London. This is rubbish. Westerlies ALWAYS dominate in the summer. Any weather web site will confirm this. Easterly winds - which mean that plans approach Heathrow from the east, by flying over Windsor - are almost unknown in June and September and are non existent statistically in July and August. This is yet another straightforward lie by BAA. So why have complaints soared? Could it be that people are more sensitive because more planes (about 38 in an eight hour period) are using 'the wrong' runway? Or has BAA used this 'trial' to introduce other changes in the way planes approach the airport. For example, by allowing them to fly lower and in tighter corridors.
From pat on 17/11/2012 at 09:48
It seems to me that the changes have actually benefitted me after many years of outrageous noise it seems the nuisance is now being shared with the rest of the borough. I hope this will encourage more people to campaign against this nuisance and not just send it back to us in W14 9**. It doesn't mean I am now ok with it, just happy it is now an even more widely understood issue.
From jw on 16/11/2012 at 18:49
I live in W14 and am constantly woken at 4.30 on with constant drone of low flying planes to heathrow. My sleep has been ruined and and I now suffer from insomnia brought about by the noise and stress of these planes.
From horner on 16/11/2012 at 17:35
Didn't we know that Heathrow existed when we bought our homes? If you don't like Heathrow noise, go live somewhere else. The sooner the extension gets the go ahead, the better.
From Crookie on 16/11/2012 at 16:48
I think the big issue is the new A320. Never been so noisy since the first singapore airline flights to london, honestly (although it is supposed to be the most silent aircraft in the world... when you are INSIDE)
From jenny on 16/11/2012 at 16:13

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