to Wandsworth Council proposed changes to existing restrictions on
night flights will continue to rely on a flawed system for assessing
aircraft noise at Heathrow.
regime comes to an end in October 2005 when the new proposals would
for Transport wants to extend the existing quota count (QC) system
which 'measures' total noise according to the number of movements
by each type of aircraft.
last year exposed the weaknesses of this approach which uses a points
tariff to assign a noise rating to each aircraft. In general terms
a QC2 rating is half as noisy as a QC4 rating.
research revealed that the true noise level at Heathrow was much higher
than admitted. This is because most of the early morning arrivals
at Heathrow are B747-400s with Rolls Royce engines.
research study has recently shown that these aircraft fail to meet
their certificated noise levels on landing. They are in many cases
at least twice as loud as they should be.
of the aircraft concerned have been allocated a QC rating of 2 points
when the DfT figures show that in fact these aircraft should be in
a QC4 or QC8 category. Currently Heathrow operates a voluntary ban
on all QC4 and above aircraft between the hours of 23:30 and 06:00
(The Night Quota Period).
consultation document on the new night restrictions regime now confirms
that the council was right to highlight this major discrepancy in
the way noise figures are compiled.
Despite the admission, the Government says it intends to continue
operating the points system and is now proposing a new lower category
(QC 0.25) for the latest versions of jets such as the Boeing 757 and
737 which the DfT say are much quieter. This could pave the way for
an increase in the overall number of early morning arrivals. - There
are currently 14 arrivals at Heathrow before 6am.
paper also suggests formally excluding all of the noisier QC4 rated
aircraft from landing in the night period - although this would only
have any impact if each engine type was accurately rated.
leader Edward Lister said local residents' interests would be best
served by a complete ban on night flights.
called for an end to the discredited points system which had been
used to mask the real level of night noise at Heathrow:
latest consultation paper concedes the flaws in the points system
at Heathrow yet makes no attempt to come with a more robust measure
people who are woken up in the early hours by an aircraft landing
at Heathrow and are then unable to get back to sleep these convoluted
points tariffs are meaningless.
council wants to see a complete ban on all night flights - but at
the very least there should be live monitoring of noise at Heathrow
so that our residents can judge the true scale of the annoyance caused
by early morning arrivals."
night restrictions regime would run for six years. Consultation is
being conducted in two stages with the first part concluding by October
will consider its formal response to the consultation paper in September.
The closing date for comments is October 29.
of the consultation paper are available by email from the DfT on firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling 020 7944 5796.
information on aviation issues the Council invite you to visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/aviation
August 6, 2004
Council pledges to fight any
recommendation to relax restrictions on night flights 01.03.2004
wins Night Flight case 8.7.03
first with night flights cash
makes cash call to save night flights ruling May 2002
face fresh night flights challenge April 2002
flights ruling could come before Christmas November