Average of 283 noise complaints to Heathrow per day so far this year, from around 4,280 people

Figures from Heathrow of the number of noise complaints received in the period 1st January 2016 to 24th October 2016 have been released. Heathrow does keep all complaints data. The figures show there were complaints made by a total of 4,282 people over the period, and a total of 87,201 noise complaints. The Telegraph reports that 1,209 people complained only once about plane noise during the period.  The BBC reported that since the start of 2016, an average of 72 people complained every day.  The total number of complaints received was an average of 283 per day. Much is made by the media of some people who make a very large number of noise complaints each. Heathrow confirmed that these were not computer generated.  The highest number of complaints in a day was 673 on 8th June (with 235 people complaining), and 672 on 10th October 2016 (128 people). The lowest number of complaints was 91 on 1st August (87 people). Data sheets here.  Many people give up complaining, as it is a futile process, and the airport does nothing about the problem. It takes time and energy to keep complaining. If people are upset by the plane noise, and make repeated complaints they are regarded as eccentric, odd, bored, neurotic, over-sensitive etc.  But if there are no complaints, the airport says there is no problem – proved by the fact no-one contacted them. Catch 22. Or win-win for the airport.



Heathrow complaints page is at


and Heathrow  produces operational data for every day, such as this example for October 24th, showing all take offs, landings, TEAM movements on the “wrong” runway, wind direction, number of planes between 4.30am and 6am, etc etc.   http://heathrowoperationaldata.com/24th-October-2016/


Heathrow Airport noise complaint every five minutes

Figures for January to October 2016 show 84,000 complaints, one for every five take-offs and landings.

But the airport said half the complaints received over summer period were from just 10 people.

Campaigners believe the planned third runway will result in more complaints and called for the airport to vary flight paths.

In a report, the airport said a total of 2,218 people made 25,200 complaints between July and September 2016.

Of those, 12,312 – just under half the total – were said to have come from the same 10 people.

Slough accounted for the most complaints during the same time period, with 3,944. Heathrow Airport said they came from just 22 people.

Further analysis by BBC News found that since the start of 2016, an average of 72 people have complained every day.

The total number complaints received is an average of 283 per day, just under 12 every hour.


Heathrow noise complaints

1 January to 24 October 2016

84,457    Total complaints to Heathrow

12   Average complaints per hour

  • 1,308 Average arrivals and departures per day
  • 283 Average daily complaints
  • 72 Average number of people complaining

Get the data here

The highest number of complaints in a day was 673 on 8th June (with 235 people complaining), and 672 on 10th October 2016 (with 128 people complaining).

The lowest number of complaints in a day was 91 complaints on 1st August (with 87 people complaining) and the next lowest was 6th February and 1st April, virtually the same numbers – with 109 total complaints,(made by 37 people).


John Stewart, chairman of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (Hacan) said: “I would expect complaints to rise, certainly initially, if a third runway was built.

“The biggest thing that Heathrow could do to reduce complaints would be to give more communities a break from the noise during the day by varying the flight paths.

“Most of the complaints are coming from areas that get noise all day long.”

Given up complaining

Justine Bayley, part of the Stop Heathrow Expansion Campaign, lives in Harmondsworth. Half the village will disappear due to the third runway.

The doctor of archaeology believes many people have given up complaining about noise.

“If you get woken up at 1am you don’t immediately complain and by the morning the moment has passed,” she said.

“If I asked people near me, many would say they had tried complaining but they have given up because it doesn’t make a difference.

“With half the village demolished and the rest up against the Heathrow fence, with the third runway I doubt I’ll be able to open my front door without ear defenders.”

Heathrow Airport publishes daily data on aircraft movements and complaints.

A spokeswoman for Heathrow Airport said: “Heathrow’s plans for expansion will ensure fewer people are impacted by aircraft noise, offer more predictable respite than we can now and a world-class noise insulation scheme. [Such nonsense. This only makes sense if you only consider those impacted by noise to be within the 55 Lden noise contours, or the 57Leq contours. These measures conveniently do not count those nearby, who are experiencing almost the same level of averaged noise.  An extra 260,000 flights per year are planned.  It is frankly insulting (dishonest?) to say there will be less noise, or to try to massage the figures to give the impression of less noise.The Heathrow statements are disingenuous.  AW note].

“Heathrow has consistently reduced the number of people impacted by aircraft noise, by incentivising airlines to bring their cleanest, quietest aircraft to the airport and driving forward changes in how they operate through measures like steeper approaches.

“Independent experts agree. Following the most in depth study of aviation expansion in a generation, the Government’s Airports Commission confirmed a bigger Heathrow can be a better neighbour.”



Telegraph article

Half of Heathrow’s 25,000 noise complaints made by the same 10 people

1.11.2016 (Telegraph)

By Hugh Morris

…. extracts …..

Telegraph said 1,209 people complained just once about the noise from aircraft passing overhead, three people contacted the airport more than 1,280 times each – or nearly 14 times a day over three months.

In numbers | Noise complaints to Heathrow

  • Heathrow received 274 a day over the summer
  • Three people complained more than 1,280 times each – that’s nearly 14 times a day
  • A total of 2,128 people made 25,200 complaints
  • 10 people made 49% of those
  • 22 people in Slough made 3,944 complaints
  • That’s on average 179 per person – nearly two a day each
  • Airport has received 87,201 complaints so far this year – one every five minutes
  • 40,829 (46.8%) of those came from 10 people


In January last year the airport unearthed a scheme whereby campaigners were using automated software to generate complaints against the airport. Officials caught out the set-up when the two anti-Heathrow enthusiasts forgot to take into account the hour going back in October, and began complaining about flights that had not yet taken off or arrived.

Heathrow told Telegraph Travel that it had received 87,201 noise complaints for the year to date – or one every five minutes – from 4,282 people, and that 46.8 per cent of those (40,829) came from 10 people. That means that, on average, those 10 people made a complaint every 90 minutes.

“We do take every complaint seriously and each one is logged,” said an airport spokesperson.

The spokesperson said that the airport believed that none of this year’s complaints were computer generated.

…. full Telegraph article at …..