Public consultation re Heathrow airport expansion: The government has launched a consultation on the proposed expansion of Heathrow airport. They are also holding local consultation events in locations which include Bracknell (on Thursday 16 February), Windsor (on Friday 3 March) and Maidenhead (Tuesday 7 March). Click here to read their leaflet with the details.
With thanks to Aircraft Noise Lightwater for this update (aircraftnoiselightwater.co.uk)
On 17th March, Heathrow released a statement admitting that, despite its constant assertion that nothing has changed and that we are all simply over sensitive to aircraft noise since the trials, actually something has changed.
The links below give the full story but in summary:
On 27 June 2014 NATS made a procedural change affecting the Compton route, one of six departure routes used at Heathrow during periods of easterly winds. Heathrow was unaware of this change. The Compton route is used by 16% of departing aircraft turning west when the airport is on easterly operations, equating to around 6% of total departures. Other departure routes are not affected.
That NATS kept so quiet about this, even though it has been represented at all meetings, is nothing less than a disgrace.
That HAL did not uncover this information earlier confirms that it failed to instigate a sufficiently rigorous investigation into community complaints. Proof if it were ever needed that continued pressure by Community Groups is critically important, as is pressure on Ministers for an independent investigation into the whole issue of increased aircraft noise.
This news does not solve the problem that many of us are suffering from continued aerial bombardment. We feel aircraft are flying lower and the Compton changes could well be one of the factors.
The public meeting held on 13th October was attended by over 1,000 local residents, all concerned about the increase in aircraft noise we’ve been experiencing. The CAA confirmed at that meeting that the new flight paths trial will finish earlier than planned on the 12th November. No guarantees however were offered by any of the officials attending that further trials may not take place or that, indeed, these new flight paths may not be implemented.
A number of residents have commented that, even following the end of the current trial, aircraft appear to still be flying low and over the new flight paths. If you are feel you are still being impacted by noise, you can continue to submit noise complaints to Heathrow by emailing: email@example.com or go to their website and submit a complaint online: http://www.heathrowairport.com/noise/what-you-can-do/make-a-complaint-about-noise
There is a also a Heathrow Noise Twitter feed you can monitor: https://twitter.com/HeathrowNoise
It is difficult to believe that these trials have nothing to do with potential expansion and a third runway at Heathrow. The recommendation on the third runway will be made by the Airports Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies.
PUBLIC COMMENT INVITED! The Commission published on the 11th November its assessment of proposals for additional runway capacity at Heathrow and Gatwick airports and are inviting public comment on them. The consultation period will run for 12 weeks until Tuesday 3 February 2015. You can read or download their report from their website, which also includes details on how to respond to the consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/increasing-the-uks-long-term-aviation-capacity
Windsor and Maidenhead Council is actively campaigning against a third runway at Heathrow. If you wish to register your support for their campaign, email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A new petition has been started, calling for Heathrow, NATS and the CAA to return all flights to the same pattern as prevailed before October 2013. If you wish to support this petition, sign it here: Change.org: Heathrow flights petition
There is also a new petition against further expansion at Heathrow: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/no-third-runway
Heathrow Airport have announced that the current flight path trials will now end on 12th November instead of continuing until January. But it should be noted that this includes no guarantee that there won’t be further trials in the future nor that these flight paths will not be adopted permanently.
If aircraft noise has been disturbing you, it is up to you to make your views heard. You can continue to log complaints at www.heathrowairport.com/noise. And make sure you attend the meeting taking place on Monday 13 October:
Monday 13 October at the Pavilion, Ascot Racecourse. Gates open at 7pm for a 7:30pm start. See our previous post for full details.
The public meeting will be held in the Pavilion at Ascot Racecourse on Monday 13th October. Door will open at 7pm for 7:30pm start and an expected close of 9pm.
The meeting will be chaired by Cllr David Hilton and we are told that the speakers are likely to include:
Matt Gorman, Sustainability Director, Heathrow
Nigel Milton, Director of Policy and Political Relations, Heathrow
Mark Burgess, Head of Air Traffic Management, Heathrow
Ian Jopson, Head of Environmental & Community Affairs at National Air Traffic Services.
We are advised that two public consultation events are taking place to hear Heathrow Airport’s plans for noise compensation should it get the go-ahead for a third runway. This is very short notice as these meetings are taking place on:
Saturday 20 September: 10am to 4pm at Datchet Village Hall, 3 Allen Way, Datchet Village, SL3 9HR
Wednesday 24 September: 2pm to 9pm at Old Windsor Day Centre, 27B Straight Road, Old Windsor, SL4 2RW.
These meeting are not, as we understand it, about the current flight path trials taking place over Ascot, Sunninghill, Sunningdale and Cheapside, which many residents are up in arms about. But you may still wish to attend to learn more about Heathrow’s plans, ask questions and to highlight the impact that additional aircraft noise is having on quality of life in our area.
Our MP and local Councillors are very aware of the strength of feeling in the local community about these flight path trials and we’re told they are close to setting a date for a public meeting so that residents can ask questions of Heathrow Airport about these. We’ll inform you of the date as soon as we know it.
In the meantime, if any individuals or groups wish to comment or complain we suggest you contact HACAN ClearSkies, a “campaigning organisation for those under the Heathrow flightpath”, at hacan.org.uk or Heathrow Airport action website:heathrowairport.com/noise.
You can also email the department that deals with noise complaints at Heathrow: Noise_complaints@heathrow.com. Note that you must include your full name and address when doing so.
This is to inform everyone that a petition has been set-up by a local lady, Amanda Smerczack on www.change.org against the new Heathrow flight paths. Click on the link for more information.
Another trial of new Heathrow flight paths is scheduled to commence on 25th August and run until 26th January 2015.
The purpose of these trials is to reduce the intervals between take-offs by using more departure routes and routes which diverge more significantly from each other than the current ones. This would enable Heathrow to accommodate more departures while meeting the requisite safety criteria and is being presented as being part of the Civil Aviation Authority Future Airspace Strategy.
There are six new routes, three of which will track over our area, compared with one currently.
The map shows the new routes, one tracking southwest over Cheapside, another west of the racecourse where it turns south, and the third tracking southwest over Sunningdale to Lightwater. The current flight path is marked in black.
By the time aircraft are in our area they will be at 3000 feet or higher. There is no information about the frequency of departures on these routes.
Airplane flight routes are outside the scope of the Neighbourhood Plan and hence of the activities and responsibilities of the NP Delivery Group. If any individuals or groups wish to comment or complain we suggest you contact HACAN ClearSkies, a “campaigning organisation for those under the Heathrow flightpath”, at hacan.org.uk or Heathrow Airport action website: heathrowairport.com/noise.
You can also email the department that deals with noise complaints at Heathrow: Noise_complaints@heathrow.com