Plane Hell Action make these pertinent comments on their Corridors of Concentration Report (3rd April 2018) that has been produced jointly with HACAN.
No relief from noise:
South East London receives no relief from plane noise in the way that West London benefits from the use of runway alternation. Planes cross swathes of South East London in a nose-to-tail frequency from before 4.30am until after 11pm. This is unacceptable. Planes cross and turn in a trombone shape to join the final approach, mostly at around 15 miles east of Heathrow. This blights people’s lives.
Never consulted on changes:
Over the last 5 years, communities across South East London have been reporting significant increases in the level of noise resulting from observed changes in flight paths to LHR. These changes have been repeatedly denied by HAL (Heathrow Airport Limited) and NATS (National Air Traffic Services). However, the lived experience of residents is clear- flight paths have changed, and we weren’t consulted or told about it.
The research presents evidence that an increased concentration of flights paths has indeed taken place. The evidence comprises South East London residents’ empirical observations of counting planes, both from indoors and outdoors, verified by CAA data.
Concentration by stealth:
The research shows that planes are joining the approach further east and proceeding through concentrated corridors. This blights the health and wellbeing of communities; it disrupts the daily lives of the overflown residents. For example, daily arrivals over Brockley increased by 135 between 2011 and 2017. Greenwich saw an increase of 165 arrivals.
Whilst overall numbers of plane movements across London may not have significantly increased in recent years, a stealth exercise has taken place to concentrate arrivals over South East London, creating intolerable noise sewers.
Who can we TRUST?
Heathrow and NATS have lost the trust of communities across the South-East region due to a lack of transparency and their policy of denying that any changes have taken place. Now Heathrow is consulting on the principles of future flight paths.
With the publication of this research it is time for NATS and Heathrow to come clean about what has changed and commit to an equitable distribution of flight paths across London, sharing the noise, as well as the economic and other benefits that the airport creates.
Fast action for relief is required:
Communities cannot wait seven years for new, hopefully fairer, flight paths to be developed as part of the move to Precision Based Navigation (PBN). We need a commitment to undo these damaging changes now before it is too late – in order to restore residents’ wellbeing.
A fair distribution of flight movements – PLEASE:
In a region where westerly winds prevail for over 70% of the time, Heathrow airport is simply in the wrong place – requiring arrivals to fly over densely populated residential areas across London. This has led to a situation where 28% of people suffering from high levels of aircraft noise in Europe are affected by one airport- Heathrow. Because of this, Heathrow is under a huge moral obligation to push every technical boundary to disperse flights, not concentrate them. Yet, as the research report shows, they have been secretly doing the opposite. Now is the time for Heathrow to set out an immediate plan for how they will undo the damage of concentration and work towards a long term and fair distribution of flight movements across London.
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