Heliport noise study could help reduce helicopter disturbance

Residents affected by noise from London’s only commercial heliport are being encouraged to help three local councils and a team of academics better understand the impact it has on peoples' lives. 

The three boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Wandsworth and Kensington and Chelsea - which are members of the London Heliport Consultative Group - are working with acoustic experts from London’s South Bank University (LBSU) to monitor and assess the noise impact caused by operations at the heliport, which is situated next to the Thames in Battersea.

As part of the study, residents are being asked to take part in this survey, to give their experiences of the heliport.

The aim is to influence policy makers to introduce new rules to curb the noise impacts caused by helicopters. The results could be used to introduce new rules to curb the disturbance caused by helicopter noise.

“The soaring usage of the heliport has meant increased noise disturbance for local residents,” said Cllr Wesley Harourt, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Residents Services. “We are now exploring how to limit noise nuisance and improve the quality of life of those living nearby who are affected by the sound of helicopters.”

Part of the study involves monitoring noise levels at the homes of local volunteers to show how people are impacted by noise from the heliport. Other residents can contribute to the study by answering an online questionnaire about the noise they experience from helicopter activity.

The information will help the LSBU team produce a report in the autumn which will be shared with the three boroughs, the GLA and the Civil Aviation Authority. The goal is to resolve the problems caused by the loudest flights.

Dr Stephen Dance, who is leading the LSBU team, said: “London has only one commercial heliport, based at Battersea, which was built in 1959. But the urban landscape has changed dramatically. The result is that this vertical gateway to the city is now surrounded by housing which presents us with a noise management challenge.”

Dr Luis Gomez-Agustina from the LSBU team added: “This is the first time since the heliport started operations that a study on the noise emissions and their impact is going to be undertaken. Results from the study will be crucial in shaping the future of the heliport operation and improving the wellbeing of local residents.”   

The survey runs until 30 September.