Heathrow resurfacing work on southern runway all summer means more noise for Kew and Barnes
Due to works to resurface Heathrow’s southern runway, all night flights will be landing on the northern runway. This will mean flight paths at night will be directly over Kew and Barnes – between 10.30pm and 6am, for most of this summer from early March until the end of October. Heathrow says they need to carry out the resurfacing, and this has to be done about every 10 years. They say this has to be done at night, as the airport is so busy during the day. There is no increase in the overall number of flights but it does unfortunately mean people under the northern runway flight path will have more noise during the early morning whilst those near the southern runway will have less. Leader of Richmond Council, Lord True, who has arranged for a borough-wide ballot on Heathrow expansion to take place in May, said anyone disturbed by night flights should protest. People want most night flights to be stopped during the resurfacing, rather than having to endure the ordeal of weeks or months of broken sleep, with 4.30am wake up calls and insufferable noise.
Heathrow runway works mean more noise for Kew and Barnes
21st February 2013 (Local Guardian)
Campaigners: Much of Richmond is against expansion
There will be increased aircraft noise for people under the flightpath, due to runway resurfacing work.
Due to works to resurface the southern runway, all night flights will be landing on the northern runway – with flight paths bringing them in directly over Kew and Barnes – for most of the summer.
A Heathrow spokesman said: “We are sorry for any disruption caused by the essential runway resurfacing work, which happens around once a decade.
“There will be no increase in the overall number of flights but it does unfortunately mean people under the northern runway flight path will have more noise during the early morning whilst those near the southern runway will have less.”
Leader of the council Lord True, who has arranged for a borough-wide ballot on Heathrow expansion to take place in May, said anyone disturbed by night flights should protest.
He said: “While I understand the need to resurface the runways to maintain safety, Heathrow should not put so many people through the ordeal of weeks or months of broken sleep, with 4.30am wake up calls and insufferable noise.
“When works are under way, there should be a no more night flights rule on any flight path – and if that means some services will have to be stopped or rescheduled during resurfacing, then that would be the least we should expect of Heathrow’s arrogant management.”
The work, which will see changes to the pattern of night flights from March 3 to October 31, is essential but comes at a time of strong opposition to Heathrow expansion.
Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith has asked ministers for Richmond residents to have their say on the current night flight regime (Night flights consultation at link with deadline for comment 22nd April) and has been working closely with Richmond Heathrow Campaign.
Runway resurfacing alters night-time flight patterns
Runway resurfacing is an essential maintenance task that comes round roughly once every decade. During 2013, we’ll be resurfacing the southern runway. Because Heathrow is so busy, this work needs to takes place at night.
That will mean changes to the pattern of night-time flights. From 3rd March to 31st October, most aircraft flying after 10.30pm and before 6am will use the northern runway.
Since Heathrow has relatively few night flights, the changes won’t affect many aircraft – mostly arrivals after 4.30am. There will be no additional night flights.
What does this mean for you?
- If you live under the flight path for the northern runway, you’ll experience more night-time aircraft noise than usual
- If you live under the flight path for the southern runway, you’ll experience less
Key areas affected in 2013
- To the east: Hounslow west; Syon; Kew; Barnes; Fulham; Chiswick.
- To the west: Colnbrook; Datchet; Windsor; Dedworth
The switch in noise levels occurs because we normally use both runways equally at night. For two weeks, we use one runway for arrivals and the other for departures. The following two week period we swap. Runway alternation, as we call it, can happen only when both runways are open.
This is what’s happening to night-time runway alternation during the eight months of resurfacing:
- For five nights a week from Sunday evening to Friday morning all flights will use the northern runway between 10.30pm and 6am.
- For two nights a week from Friday evening to Sunday morning runway alternation will operate as normal: southern runway one week, northern the next week.
- Daytime flights are not affected.
Night-time flight paths during 2013 runway resurfacing
1. When wind blows from the west
- Arriving aircraft fly in from the direction of London (red line on the map)
- Departing aircraft take off towards the west (green lines on the map)
- Areas affected: Cranford, Hounslow West, Syon, Kew, Chiswick, Barnes and Fulham
2. When wind blows from the east
- Arriving aircraft fly in from the direction of Windsor (red line on the map)
- Departing aircraft take off towards the east (green lines on the map)
- Areas affected: Colnbrook, Horton, Datchet, Windsor and Dedworth
Runway alternation helps us manage aircraft noise for the good of the entire community. Suspending night-time alternation for a full eight months is not ideal, but it is unavoidable. To those of our neighbours who are likely to experience more noise than usual, we’d like to apologise. It may help to know that we’ll be resurfacing the northern runway during 2014 and the north-south switch will be reversed.
Release Date: 24/01/2013 (Richmond Borough Council)
Richmond will go to the polls in May over future of Heathrow
The Leader of the Council, Lord True, has announced further details of the borough-wide ballot aimed at showing the Government and the airport lobby the strength of opposition to any expansion of Heathrow.
At a full Council meeting earlier this week, Cllr True announced that all residents in the borough will be sent a polling card in April that will ask them to declare their views both on expansion of the airport and the future of night flights.
Last year the Council unanimously reaffirmed its position to resist any proposals to expand Heathrow airport after 2015 and resolved that any expansion of the airport should be blocked permanently. The Leader of the Council at that time promised that every resident would have the chance to express a view.
Residents will have four weeks to return their ballot vote online, by post or in person at venues across the borough, with a big polling day event being held on the 16 May. To ensure that residents are provided with the facts for and against the two issues, information will also be provided in the shape of local hustings events, briefings and a manifesto. The Council has invited Heathrow Airport to contribute.
At Tuesday nights’ meeting, Cllr True also announced that at the same time as Richmond, Hillingdon Council will also be carrying out an identical poll, giving hundreds of thousands of Londoners a chance to give their views on the issues.
Lord True said:
“Together with Hillingdon Council we need to send a strong message to Central Government that further expansion of Heathrow is simply not acceptable to the majority of people in West London.
“We are all elected to fight for our residents – and there is no issue more important to them than this. I expect every councillor will want to campaign for the biggest possible turnout to send the loudest possible combined message to the decision takers. Ministers were wrong to reopen the Heathrow question – it needs to be resolved in the negative and resolved soon.
“We are not prepared to sit meekly and take incoming fire from the Heathrow lobby without giving our residents the chance to hit back and have their say. And this referendum will allow them to do it for less than the cost of a second class stamp per resident.
“This ballot will give the long-suffering people of West London an unprecedented opportunity to shout loud and clear to the Big Heathrow brigade that Londoners simply won’t take it. Certainly not from an organisation like the multinational-consortium running Heathrow that has let down our country so spectacularly in the recent poor weather – and now, quite incredibly, expect to be rewarded for that incompetence by being allowed a new runway!
“Over the next few weeks and months all residents will receive information about the ballot – but it is coming soon and I hope that all who can will use the opportunity to have their say.”
View the full press release