After details of Heathrow’s easterly departure trials were posted here, it has become increasingly obvious that very few local residents knew anything about the changes to flightpaths before noticing changes themselves. Heathrow have again stated that local groups, councils etc were informed but not provided any further detail than this.
Heathrow’s Community Communications Officer stated that: “Instead of spreading tracks over a wide area, aircraft following more precise routes. The height or number of aircraft using each route is not affected. For people living under these routes it’s likely you’ll experience a concentration of aircraft during periods that these particular routes are being used. They’ll also be people that have less aircraft over them.“
Example maps of one day before & during the trial were also supplied that make the changes more clear: it appears as though the MID and SAM routes are now combined in a concentrated corridor over the west of Teddington.
Heathrow correspondence has confirmed that complaints from residents have been massively higher than expected – perhaps the flightpath changes had more of an effect than even the airport had anticipated. If you feel that the noise continues to be unacceptable, then it’s advisable to continue logging this by emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org including your name, address, postcode and phone number.
The trials are driven by the Governments Future Airspace Strategy to simplify and modernise UK airspace by 2020 by making more efficient ways of routing planes, whilst reducing delays for passengers – all made possible by modern navigation systems. What works and doesn’t will be determined by feedback during the trials and via public consultations (likely in 2016) with final decisions to be made by the Government.
It’s still not clear why areas that should in theory be experiencing less plane noise are seeing complaints lodged – feedback has been added to the map after a Twitter survey, with many negative comments from areas between the centre of Teddington and the river, where it should now be quieter. One local resident using a phone app recorded a noise level of 100 decibels near Teddington Memorial Hospital at 11pm on Sunday night!
If you do feel that noise has remained the same, or improved then post your road/postcode in the comments section below and it will be added as a positive (green) marker on the map.
Following complaints and petitions such as City Airport and this one from Ascot residents to cease trials for Westerly departures, a petition has been created to create awareness of the noise created by these trials and to persuade Heathrow to cease them and not make the changes permanent. You can sign the petition here if you agree. Complaints are being lodged from Teddington, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, Hampton Hill, Molesey and Ham.
In the 3 Villages area (Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot) residents have been impacted both by the latest trials – that started on 28th August 2014 – as well as those which ended on 15th June.
With local feelings running high, people in this began a campaign and now also have an online petition with links from their website at www.aircraftnoiselightwater.co.uk
Following contact with John Holland-Kaye in early August, the campaign has secured a meeting with Cheryl Monk, (Head of Community Relations and Policy) to which residents of all affected areas are invited (both 3 Villages and Ascot will attend) – to be held on 15th October (time and venue to be confirmed).
There is a Change.org petition to the Heathrow complaints team, here They say:
“Flights are passing overhead, lower, louder and later than ever before disturbing all aspects of everyday life. Flights continue as late as 11.30pm and as early as 6am – a period when a reasonable person expects the right to peace and quiet.
“Local residents are now opposed to any more expansion at Heathrow and call for an IMMEDIATE end to the flight path trial!”
Ascot area residents’ petition to end new Heathrow flight path trial
Residents in the area in and around Ascot (not far from Heathrow) have a Change.org petition asking that the new Heathrow flight path trial, which started in the last few days, should immediately be ended. It is causing considerable noise nuisance, and making life there unpleasant.
Residents can see the planes very clearly from their gardens, and the noise is so loud now it disturbs any conversation they have outside.
Petition to end the flight path trial
Heathrow flight path changes / trial inflict more noise misery on Ascot area
Heathrow airport and NATS are experimenting with flight path changes and new technology systems for Heathrow flights. The aim is to reduce ‘stacking’ of aircraft waiting to land, and to speed up departure times, getting more planes in the air per hour – in order make the airport more efficient (or more profitable). There is a series of trials, over a period of years from 2012 to 2017, advertised on Heathrow’s website. They are to inform the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP) consultation. One trial, for departures to the west, started on 28th August and will last till January 2015. It will test how sharply aircraft are able to turn on take-off and how fast they can climb. The results will be factored into Heathrow’s revision of flight paths that are required under the European ‘SESAR’ programme. The reality for people being over-flown is that there are now more aircraft passing over Ascot, Sunningdale and Sunninghill, and these planes are low (around 3,000 feet) and climbing. The gaps between planes are also shorter than before. A petition has been set up by people in the Ascot area, to get the trial ended immediately. The new noise barrage has created new fears in those areas of the impact of a 3rd runway.
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