HACAN’s Achievements

HACAN was formed in the 1970s.  In our long campaigning life, there have been successes and failures.  Here are some of the things we have done:

  • In the 1970s we were instrumental in persuading the Government to introduce runway alternation in West London. This is the practice whereby planes landing at Heathrow switch runways at 3pm in order to give residents a half day’s break from the noise.
  • We took the lead representing local communities on noise issues at the Terminal 5 Enquiry.  The Enquiry was lost but it resulted in a legally-binding cap of 480,000 planes being able to use the airport each year.
  • In 2001 we took the UK Government to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that, under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, night flights were an infringement of our right to the ‘peaceful enjoyment’ of our homes.  We won the case but the Government appealed and they won that in 2003.
  • We were the central body in the successful campaign against the 3rd runway when it was proposed by the last Labour Government.  We brought together a wide-ranging coalition of residents groups, local authorities, sympathetic politicians of all parties, environmentalists, direct action campaigners, businesses and trade unions opposed to as new runway.
  • We commissioned an important report which challenged the economic case for the new runway.
  • You can read about the campaign at http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/how.the.heathrow.campaign.was.won.pdf
  • In recent years we have lobbied on noise issues and have been instrumental in putting the concept of putting respite on the agenda.  We are members of, the Heathrow Consultative Committee, the Heathrow Noise Forum and The Community Noise Forum
  • We engaged with the Airports Commission on noise issues, such as the idea of bringing respite to more areas.  In his speech on the day the Airports Commission released it report, HACAN and Hounslow Council were the only two organizations singled out for special thanks by its chairman.
  • We have played a role in persuading the Government to introduced new, more meaningful metrics for noise annoyance, moving away from the 57dbLAeq contour as ‘the onset of community annoyance’.