End In Sight For The First Heathrow Trial

The first of two flight pattern trials finishes on 29th February

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During this four month experiment airport operator BAA has been allowed more flexibility over when it can bring planes into land over central London.

Residents disturbed by increased aircraft noise have been asked to report their concerns to Wandsworth Council. The evidence collected will be used to demonstrate the impact of these trail arrangements on flightpath communities.

So far the council has received more than 600 complaints from local people who feel noise from planes has increased.

A second trial period will take place from July 1 to September 30.

Under the established rules Heathrow is only allowed to use one runway for arrivals and one for departures. Their use is switched everyday day at 3pm so communities living under the flightpaths get a regular break from aircraft noise.

During the current trial BAA has been permitted to land planes on both runways at the same time if arriving flights face delays of ten minutes or more.   In practice this has meant dozens of planes landing during the respite periods on some days.

BAA says the aim is to explore ways of making the airport run more efficiently and to cut down on flight delays. It is being monitored by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia said:  

“BAA will submit a detailed report on the first stage of these trials later this year. Together with our 2M colleagues we will be scrutinising the findings very carefully indeed to ensure they reflect the true impact on communities living under the flightpath.”

To report increased aircraft noise online visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/heathrowsurvey   Alternatively you can email your report to eryans@wandsworth.gov.uk or call the council's aircraft noise hotline on 020 8871 5377.

Please ensure your message includes the time of the nuisance flight and your location when the flight passed overhead.

For more information on the flight trial including the respite period timetable visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/heathrowtrial

The ‘operational freedoms trials’ were approved by the South East Airports Taskforce Group which was set up by the Government to explore ways of making airports 'better, not bigger'.

There will be no increase in the overall number of movements at the airport during the trials.


February 22, 2012