HACAN media appearances speaking about Night Flights (April 2023)

Following the DfT launch of their consultation on a new night noise objective HACAN appeared on BBC Radio Surrey and BBC Radio Berkshire on 12th April 2023 to share our views on the impact of night flights.

A successful AGM

It was pleasure to welcome over 50 members to our in-person AGM this past Thursday.

We were delighted to be joined by Sarah Olney MP who provided an excellent speech highlighting her thoughts on the next steps in the campaign against Heathrow expansion, her recent Parliamentary activities on aviation and her commitment to ensuring that the Government take meaningful action on aircraft noise following the abolition of ICCAN.

It was also fitting for members to finally be able to say thank you to our former Chair John Stewart for his efforts over the previous 20 years.

Campaigners say UK airport expansion plans must be suspended amid new climate goals

HACAN has joined 15 national and community campaign groups calling on the Government to place a moratorium on airport expansion.

Together we have written to the Transport Secretary and the Communities, Housing and Local Government Secretary. You can see the letter in full here.

The letter has been picked up by the Guardian and HACAN have issued a press release here.

Heathrow Flight Path Consultation: January to March 2019: Details on consultation and responses

Major Heathrow consultation launched in January

8th January 2019

Heathrow Airport launched a major public consultation today.  It runs for 12 weeks until 4th March.

Key Points:

Runway alternation in West London will be cut from half a day to a third of the day to allow for alternation on a third runway if it is built.  The consultation is asking for views on how this should be implemented.

Significant changes to airspace are proposed to allow for vast swathes of London and the Home Counties, which currently get all-day flying, to get respite from the noise for the first time.  It applies to both arrivals and departures.

HACAN has released its response to the consultation.  Please feel free to use it to inform your own response should you wish.  It can be found at:  http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/HACAN-response-to-Heathrow-Consultation-1.pdf

And here is the response of our sister organisation HACAN East: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Heathrow-Consultation-response-from-HACAN-East-1.pdf

For a 2 page summary of the runway alternation and respite proposals click: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Heathrow-Consultation-briefing-arrivals-runway-alternation-and-respite-1-1.pdf 

For a 1 page summary on the departure proposals click:  http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Heathrow-Consultation-briefing-departures-1-1.pdf

The night period when there are no scheduled flights allowed will be extended from 5 hours to six and a half hours.  Views are sought on how this should operate.

For a 1 page summary of the night flight proposals click:  http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Heathrow-Consultation-briefing-night-flights-1.pdf

Views are sought on whether ‘westerly preference’ should remain – this is where planes continue to fly as if a west wind is blowing when there is an east wind (of up to 5 knots)

For a 1 page summary on the westerly preference proposals click: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Heathrow-consultation-briefing-westerly-preference-1.pdf

Heathrow is proposing to bring in 25,000 extra flights a year in the years running up to the opening of any third runway.  Some of these flights will use new dedicated flight paths called Independent Parallel Approaches.

For a 2 page summary of Independent Parallel Approaches click:  http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Independent-Parallel-Approach-briefing-1.pdf

The full Heathrow document is here: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Heathrow-Airspace-and-Future-Operations-Consultation-document-Final-low-res-1.pdf

Here’s a link to where and when the Heathrow consultation exhibitions will take place: http://afo.heathrowconsultation.com 

Here’s a powerpoint we have put together highlighting how different areas could be affected by the consultation proposals:  http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Heathrow-Airspace-Consultation-1.pdf


 Respite Report launched

Heathrow published its long-awaited respite report commissioned from Anderson Acoustics on 16th February 2017.  It is the first of its kind to be done.  HACAN was part of the steering group.  Summary video: https://youtu.be/7Z5mt7rKJgA .

Where to find the reports: https://www.heathrow.com/noise/making-heathrow-quieter/respite-research

Most people favour respite

Heathrow’s consultation on the principles it should use in designing its new flight paths showed most people backed respite.  54% wanted the priority to be respite even if that increased the total number overflown; 25% wanted the priority to be to prevent new areas being overflown (that included most respondents not currently overflown); any only 22% backed minimising the total number overflown by concentrating all the flights over certain areas.  (Some backed more than one option which is why the don;t add up to 100%).

You can reading about further findings here:   https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/95fcb6e4-d297-4678-9a08-3a819f0529d9

HACAN South East

Welcome to the HACAN South East Page

HACAN South East is an arm of HACAN.  It was set up in September 2017 to give a voice in particular to people living under the flight paths in SE London (roughly from Clapham to Eltham).


A visual representation of aircraft movement linked to Heathrow – Green represent arrivals resulting from westerly winds (30% of the time), Red represent easterly (70% of the time).

Find out the key things we are campaigning for:  http://wp.me/P5NPQ9-13m 

If you want to find out more about us or are keen to help us email either: info@hacan.org.uk

Heathrow Consultations

Details are on the main HACAN Page but the Airspace Consultation is particularly important to people in SE London.

Consultation Venues: further east than ever before

In a recognition that people are impacted by aircraft noise much further from the airport than previously acknowledged.  On Friday 16 Feb (12- 8pm) there will be an exhibition for the first time in Vauxhall.  The venue , Wheatsheaf Community Centre, Wheatsheaf Lone, off South Lambeth Road is easily accessed from Brixton, Clappham, Oval, Waterloo and Camberwell.

HACAN, though, is in discussion with Heathrow to have two extra meetings: one further into SE London; one in NE London.

Parts of SE London are also overflown by aircraft arriving at London City Airport when an east wind is blowing.  This wasn’t too much of a problem until the flight paths were concentrated in February 2016.  Since then the planes have been concentrated over Eltham, Mottingham, Catford, Dulwich, Brixton, Stockwell, Oval and Waterloo.  The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are expected to comment on these concentrated flight paths by the end of this year.  We’ll bring news of that as soon as we get it.

  • Some days some areas get both Heathrow and City aircraft.  Scroll down to find out why.  

HACAN South East was launched on 27th September at a packed public meeting at the Oval.

Read our blog outlining practical ways to cut noise across South East London:  http://hacan.org.uk/blog/?p=547

Not just a West London problem – people relate their experiences on video of living with aircraft noise.

Click here to look at the videos: http://map.hacan.org.uk/

When people get annoyed by noise

The Government has recognised that people get annoyed by aircraft noise at lower levels than it previously thought. It now accepts the noise from Heathrow can annoy people in SE London.  Its Airspace Strategy, published in October 2017, recognised that people can get annoyed by aircraft noise when it averages out over a 16 hour day at 54 decibels.  Previously government argued it was 57 decibels. Some people get annoyed at even lower levels.

The figures are based on a study which the Government commissioned from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA): Survey of Noise Attitudes 2014.

The chart above, taken from the study, compares the results of the Government sponsored ANIS Study with the new study. 9% of people are highly annoyed when the average is 54 decibels.  In geographical terms around Heathrow that goes as far as about Clapham to the east and about 16 miles to the west: about 65,000 people in total.  The lower average of 51% extends about as far as Peckham.

The full study:  http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%201506%20FEB17.pdf

And you can read here the HACAN South East summary of the Government’s new Airspace Strategy:   http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Airspace-Policy.pdf

Why do parts of SE London sometimes get Heathrow and City planes on the same day?  It is all to do with the wind.  When the west wind blows, Heathrow planes land over SE London.  When it’s an east wind, many areas get City planes.  But Heathrow planes also land when an east wind is blowing up to about 5 knots.  So on these days both Heathrow and City aircraft are landing over SE London.

Out and About Campaigning

South East London campaigners joined forces with HACAN East and presented a flightpath cake to Tim Johnson, Head of Policy at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Friday 28 July.

Plane_Hell.jpg We were joined by Keith Prince AM, current Chair of the GLA Transport Committee. The presentation was timed to ask CAA, in the lead up to their flightpath proposals for City Airport, to take into consideration all people and all areas of London who will be affected by their recommendations.

The CAA entered into the spirit of the event with a picture of the cake accompanying this tweet:


Mr Prince extended an invitation to Campaigners to meet him at City Hall in September. He has promised to take our concerns regarding dedicated flight paths, as well as other plane-related issues, and how they affect residents of East and South East London to Mayor of London Rt Hon Sadiq Khan.

It’s been going on for 20 years…….

Although many residents feel that the problem of Heathrow planes has got worse in recent years as it seems flight paths have narrowed, the big change took place in the mid-1990s when planes began joining their final approach to Heathrow much further east than before.  Previously they had tended to join it around Barnes.  From about 1996 many started to join in SE London.  Thus, many people became ‘the new neighbours of Heathrow’.

Read residents stories:  http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/flight.paths.residents.experiences.pdf

And the summary of a major report commissioned by HACAN:  http://hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/hacan.flight.paths.study.pdf

Click on to a recent video: https://youtu.be/7SvPAFd9ajI

And one made 10 years ago: https://youtu.be/rXf8o_khz8s  

And one made in October 2017 where local residents graphically describe 30 years of living with London City Airport: https://youtu.be/6dMy7cGUVo4