300 black “No 3rd runway” planes planted in Southall, by local anti-noise campaigns
On 29th February, campaigners from EANAG (the Ealing Aircraft Noise Action Group) and West London Friends of the Earth ceremonially planted 300 small black card planes in Southall. The planes, each saying “No 3rd runway” at Heathrow were planted on Norwood Green. The number signifies the extra number of planes that would over-fly the area, if there was a 3rd Heathrow runway. The Ealing and Southall area is affected by take-offs from Heathrow, when the airport is on easterly operations – planes taking off towards the east. Flights can be from about 6.45am to 11.45pm. Aircraft overfly much of the borough on a major flightpath from Norwood Green over south Hanwell, Northfields, south and central Ealing and parts of Acton. There are currently around 20 planes per hour overhead, but this would hugely increase with a new runway. Local residents say life and work in the borough’s homes, schools and businesses are continually disrupted by aircraft noise. It interrupts conversation, thought and sleep and prevents residents from enjoying their gardens and the local parks. The planting was joined by Jon Ball, a Liberal Democrat Ealing Councillor and Meena Hans, the Green Party GLA candidate for Ealing and Hillingdon.
The 300 planes planted on Norwood Green
The Ealing Aviation Noise Action Group
EANAG seeks to limit and diminish disturbance from aircraft flying over Ealing. The borough is particularly affected by flights out of Heathrow during easterly operations, which are in force when the wind is blowing from the east. During easterly operations, planes take off from Heathrow towards Ealing and central London, and overfly much of the borough on a major flightpath from Norwood Green over south Hanwell, Northfields, south and central Ealing and parts of Acton.
When the wind remains in the east, or largely in the east, for the whole day, the flightpath is used from about 6.45am to about 11.45pm without a break, and at the rate of some 20 planes an hour overhead. Life and work in the borough’s homes, schools and businesses are continually disrupted by aircraft noise. It interrupts conversation, thought and sleep and prevents residents from enjoying their gardens and the local parks.
In addition to the noise, the planes generate air pollution and pose a safety risk. Heathrow also gives rise to secondary effects such as congestion on public transport and the roads.
EANAG aims to minimise these effects by pursuing eight campaign goals:
1. Prevent further expansion of capacity
EANAG is against all expansion of capacity at Heathrow. Expansion would exacerbate the noise and disturbance experienced by Ealing residents.
2. Eliminate night flights
3. Reduce Heathrow operations
4. Reduce the level of aircraft noise
5. Distribute the flightpath
6. Alleviate congestion to and from Heathrow
7. Improve air quality
And there is detail about all these campaign goals on the EANAG website
2,000 small “No 3rd runway” planes planted near Parliament (one for each plane per day)
A large group of Heathrow anti-runway campaigners gathered near Parliament, in Victoria Gardens, to plant rows of small black planes, each with the message “No 3rd Runway.” The number planted – 2,000 – is the number of aircraft that would used Heathrow per day, with a fully used 3rd runway. That is a total of 730,000 flights per year, up from the total cap at present of 480,000 per year. Heathrow says it could be 740,000 flights …. The event, timed to coincide with the first day Parliament resumes this year, was to highlight the fact that 2016 will be a grim year for residents if a 3rdrunway is given the go-ahead. Of the 2,000 planes, about 500 were planted by HACAN; about 400 by CHATR (the group in Chiswick); about 300 by Friends of the Earth; and about 800 by SHE – Stop Heathrow Expansion – to symbolise that around 800 homes would be demolished for the runway. After the government delayed its decision on a runway, expected in December, until some time in summer 2016, or shortly after the summer, the anguish and uncertainty for all those facing the threat of a new runway continue. There are yet more stressful and worrying months ahead – but the campaign against the Heathrow 3rd runway is in fighting form, and ever more determined.