Heathrow Airport’s expansion plan should be scrapped, says report

25 January 2019 (Last Updated January 25th, 2019 10:18)

Plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport should be cancelled and measures should be taken to improve airspace in London, according to a new report by London Assembly Environment Committee.

Heathrow Airport’s expansion plan should be scrapped, says report
London Assembly Environment Committee demands scrapping of Heathrow expansion plan. Credit: Greater London Authority.

Plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport should be cancelled and measures should be taken to improve airspace in London, according to a new report by London Assembly Environment Committee.

The Aircraft Noise report states that noise nuisance levels are unacceptable and calls for a halt at air traffic growth at Heathrow and London City airports.

It suggests that the expansion of the airport and the proposed third runway will adversely affect Londoners due to an increased level of noise pollution caused by aircraft.

The Environment Committee chair Caroline Russell said: “The experiences of residents living with the daily nightmare of overhead noise are deeply worrying. There are significant health impacts that follow from an inability to sleep, relax and concentrate.

“We have already made clear our objection to the expansion of Heathrow but aviation authorities and operators must prioritise the health and well-being of Londoners.”

“This drive towards filling airspace capacity must be checked. For too many people, including children, aircraft noise is a major dominant intrusion into their everyday lives. It is not an acceptable price to pay for air travel. It isn’t right and must be challenged.

“We have already made clear our objection to the expansion of Heathrow but aviation authorities and operators must prioritise the health and well-being of Londoners and give us a break.”

The Aircraft Noise report calls on the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise to use lower thresholds for disturbance, allowing residents to leave their windows open when they need to.

It also recommended that air traffic controllers should minimise continuous stacking and maximise descent and ascent to keep airplane further from the ground for longer. They should also minimise overlap between City and Heathrow flight paths.

The committee recommended that there should also be no night flights, and restrictions on early morning flights should be strengthened, with all London airports providing predictable periods of respite.