‘Less noise for res­i­dents’

Re­port re­veals drop in those af­fected by planes

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

Heathrow’s noise foot­print has con­tracted by 14% since 2006, though the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion in­crease meant this had not re­sulted in an equiv­a­lent re­duc­tion in the num­ber of peo­ple be­ing af­fected.

The fall in night-time noise was par­tic­u­larly sharp, with 25% fewer house­holds suf­fer­ing the high­est noise lev­els af­ter dark than nine years ago.

The re­port came as Heathrow launched a trial of steeper ap­proaches last week, which it says could fur­ther re­duce noise for those liv­ing un­der its flight paths.

Matt Gor­man, the air­port’s sus­tain­abil­ity and en­vi­ron­ment di­rec­tor, said: “Heathrow is at the fore­front of in­ter­na­tional ef­forts to tackle air­craft noise and these latest con­tours are tes­ta­ment to the ef­forts of Heathrow and our air­line and man­u­fac­tur­ing part­ners to re­duce the im­pact of the oper­a­tions. But we won’t stop here. We know there’s more we can do through ini­tia­tives like our steeper ap­proaches trial, and we will con­tinue to push all those op­er­at­ing at Heathrow to be in­dus­try lead­ers in re­duc­ing noise.”

Heathrow this year launched its 10-point noise blue­print to re­duce dis­tur­bances for its neigh­bours, with mea­sures in­clud­ing big­ger fines for air­lines break­ing its noise lim­its. HACAN chair­man John Stewart said: “This glow­ing re­port doesn’t re­flect the daily ex­pe­ri­ence of res­i­dents.”

The Air­ports Com­mis­sion this year rec­om­mended a third run­way should be built at Heathrow, pro­vid­ing con­di­tions could be met. The Gov­ern­ment has yet to re­spond in full to the com­mis­sion’s fi­nal re­port.

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Im­ages

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