Below are links to stories about noise in relation to airports and aviation.
Islington Council agrees motion on opposition to Heathrow Expansion & the introduction of concentrated flight paths over Islington
Islington Council has agreed a motion, to oppose the expansion of Heathrow, and the introduction of concentrated flight paths over Islington. This was debated by the Council on 26th September. The Council believes: That expansion of Heathrow is not compatible with the climate emergency recently declared by the UK Parliament and by this Council. And That noise impacts from additional flights over London would have a negative impact on the health and quality of life of Islington residents. It therefore resolves to: Oppose expansion of airport capacity in London if the Government cannot demonstrate that it is accommodated within the emissions budget that the CCC recommends for aviation in 2050, as well as other environmental limits, such as air quality. Make representations to London City Airport and the CAA calling for a fairer distribution of flight paths in London. Make representations to the Government urging UK Aviation Noise policy to be brought into line with WHO recommendations. Register as an ‘Interested Party” in the Development Consent Order Process for the proposed expansion of Heathrow. Investigate joining the No Third Runway Coalition as a local authority member
Redbridge councillors agree to oppose ‘detrimental’ London City Airport expansion plans
Redbridge Councillors have agreed to oppose (43 : 10) London City Airport's expansion plans and express serious concern about the "detrimental effect" of noise and air pollution on the health and wellbeing of Redbridge residents. Proposing the motion, Councillor Sheila Bain and Councillor John Howard spoke about the "profound noise and environmental impact" the proposals will have on residents, particularly those living directly under the flight paths. The motion also asked councillors to note a lack of evidence to support the claims that noise pollution, air quality and emissions will not be affected and the lack of adequate consultation by London City Airport with residents affected by the proposals, most of whom are unaware of the consultation taking place. Councillor Paul Donovan said: "City Airport needs to think again, listen to what people are saying and realise that whilst they may need to make more money, that the environment, health and welfare of those of us living below these flight paths is more important."
Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) announce a major campaign to challenge Gatwick’s Master Plan.
Under the banner Gatwick's Big Enough community groups around Gatwick have joined forces with GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) to call Gatwick to account over their Master Plan growth proposals. The airport plans to grow to be the size of Heathrow today, with an increase in flights in the next 10 years to 390,000 pa (1,050 or more per day), and passenger numbers to 70 million passengers per year (190,000 or more per day). By contrast the current numbers are around 283,000 flights in 2018, and 46 million passengers. That growth will bring increased misery to thousands through noise, pollution and impacts on local infrastructure. They also mean a massive increase in CO2 emissions caused by the additional flights estimated at an increase of almost 1 million tonnes CO2 (circa 37% increase) per annum by 2050. The new campaign group is already challenging Gatwick's attempts to bypass full scrutiny on its main runway growth plans through use of the Planning Permitted Development processes. It has made a submission to the Planning Inspectorate for Gatwick's use of its emergency runway to be fully used. It is also planning challenges to plans for a 3rd runway.
Local opposition growing to expansion plans by Southampton airport
A group within Southampton Friends of the Earth has set up a campaign to oppose Southampton Airport expansion. Despite the Government's recent commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, there are many airport expansion applications across the UK. This expansion cannot enable the aviation sector to meet even its current, easy, carbon target - let alone the much more stringent one required for a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. The airport will probably submit its planning application to extend the runway by 170 metres to Eastleigh Borough Council in the next few weeks. The scoping report and Master Plan have received approval in principle from Southampton City Council. Twyford Parish Council has objected, due to a proposed increase of flights over the village. Eastleigh Greens are likely to be objecting as well. Friends of the Earth Southampton are currently putting together a petition to Southampton City Council to ask them to re-think their support for airport expansion, given that the Government is asking for net zero carbon by 2050. Campaigners started a group here to oppose the proposed expansion but it has not got a name yet. People interested can get in touch via the local FoE group email@example.com
Mayor of Newham’s challenge to London City Airport’s expansion as “fundamentally flawed, due to lack of clarity & information”
Campaigners have welcomed a demand by the mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, to halt London City Airport's consultation on expansion with more daily flights - until it shows how it will tackling noise and CO2 emissions. City Airport's Consultation Master Plan suggests almost doubling the number of daily flights, with more early morning and late evening. The airport insists its consultation will continue till 20th September. The mayor called the consultation "fundamentally flawed because of lack of clarity and information" in a letter to the airport's chief executive. She calls on the airport to halt the public consultation immediately until it publishes the "omitted technical details". "The significance of the mayor's move cannot be overstated. Newham is the planning authority for the airport," said Hacan East chairman John Stewart. Newham Council which declared a "climate emergency" earlier this year, and is seeking more evidence about the airport's plans to tackle CO2 emissions and air pollution. A huge number of people are already badly affected by aircraft noise. Newham already has a large number of deaths, occurring prematurely, due to air pollution. London City airport growth - pollution from aircraft - would only add to that, as well as the noise assault.
London Assembly – wholly opposed to Heathrow expansion – urges people to respond, rejecting 3rd runway plans
The London Assembly is totally opposed to a 3rd Heathrow runway. They have set out clearly 5 key reasons why it should be opposed, and are asking Londoners to reject the plans. They point out that the Heathrow consultation is confusing, and very difficult indeed for anyone who is not an expert to fill in. The Assembly says: "We are gravely concerned that Heathrow is prioritising the interests of the airline industry and passengers over and above the wellbeing of Londoners, who are going to be the most affected by the expansion." The plans would mean unacceptable levels of noise, air pollution, carbon emissions and amounts of road traffic. The extra noise is likely to harm health and well-being of thousands of people. As the consultation is too hard to respond to, using the online or paper forms, the Assembly suggests that people send a short message to the Heathrow email address firstname.lastname@example.org The text they suggest - vary it however you wish - is "Heathrow expansion fundamentally goes against the UK’s commitment to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality in the capital. It’s going to make air pollution worse, increase carbon emissions and increase noise, and we don’t support it. I stand with hundreds of others calling for it to be CANCELLED."
AEF produces extensive guide to understanding how the planning system can influence airport development
The AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) has published a guide explaining the role of the UK planning system in controlling development at airports and airfields, and how planning conditions have been used to limit the impact of operations. The guide, in plain English, outlines provisions and policies in the planning system that are relevant for airport development projects. The Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) applies to smaller scale developments, whilst the Planning Act (2008) has introduced a new process applicable to larger infrastructure projects, like extending or adding runways. AEF says national policy imposes very few meaningful environmental limits on airport operations or expansion, and successive governments have been reluctant to intervene. That means it is largely up to local councils to negotiate controls or limits. An exception is that Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick airports have been “designated” for noise regulation by the Government. Some of the issues covered are those relating to smaller airports; permitted development rights; "established use" rights; conditions and planning agreements; Section 106 Agreements; the stages of the planning application process; the Airports National Policy Statement; and the Development Consent Order process for the largest developments.
ICCAN to consider if it needs [indispensable!] powers by Sept 2020, rather than April 2021 ….
ICCAN (the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise) consulted on its Corporate Strategy earlier in the year, and it has now published the final version. This sets out ICCAN's aims and objectives for 2019 - 2021. A key issue of great concern to anyone hoping the Commission might be able to make any real difference on aviation noise, is whether it will have any powers for regulation and enforcement. The consultation document said: "...as we near our two-year review we won’t hesitate to recommend to the Government that enforcement powers should be introduced, should we consider at that point that the industry and decision-makers are not acting in the best interests of their communities, or not taking their concerns seriously." Now the final version says "... ICCAN will make independent, evidence-based recommendations which it will expect the government and others to take seriously and act on. ... we will bring forward our opinion on the future of regulation and enforcement of noise issues in the UK, to September 2020 (from our intended April 2021 two year review point). This is the earliest that we believe we can realistically and achievably take a view on the regulation."
HACAN East new major campaign against London City’s expansion plans, asking people to fill in postcard responses to the consultation.
HACAN East has launched a major campaign against London City's expansion plans. It is encouraging people to fill in postcards opposing the expansion plans, and send them in to Freepost LCY MASTER PLAN CONSULTATION. People can also download and display posters. The postcards call on residents to back the existing 24 hour weekend ban on aircraft using London City. HACAN East wants the airport drop its proposals to end the 24 hour break as well as its plans to almost double flight numbers from today’s levels and to increase flights in the early morning and late evening. The postcards say: I SUPPORT the 24 hour London City Airport weekend flight ban. I DO NOT want up to 40,00 more flights. I DO NOT want more early morning or late evening flights. I DO NOT want more climate damaging airport expansion. Overall, I DO NOT support the plans in the draft master plan.
Caroline Russell: Action is needed on aircraft noise
Caroline writes in a blog that in parts of London, people are now living with severe levels of noise disruption. This is not acceptable, and urgent, decisive action is needed across the board to alleviate it. For some, the onslaught from Heathrow planes is made worse by the addition of London City planes using narrow, concentrated routes. The noise has significant health impacts for many. A report by the London Assembly’s Environment Committee, which Caroline chairs, concluded that the Government and CAA should regulate noise disturbance more stringently. They should use lower thresholds for noise disturbance (taking into account WHO guidelines and the need for residents to keep windows open) and mapping the combined effect of all London’s airports, especially Heathrow and City. The WHO guidance is that 45dB is the threshold for health impacts, but the UK government persists with 54dB as the ‘disturbance’ threshold. Also that flight paths should be rotated, to give relief to those under concentrated flight paths - and flight paths should be designed to minimise noise impacts, including avoiding overlapping flight paths. Increasing exposure to aircraft noise is unacceptable, and must be challenged