The Choice for the Chilterns

50,000 planes a year over the Chilterns if a third runway ever went ahead.

On the day the Government launches the consultation on its plans for a new high speed rail line (1), research by the campaign group HACAN has revealed that, if a third runway at Heathrow ever went ahead, the Chilterns would be overflown by 50,000 aircraft a year.

The campaign group, which represents residents under the Heathrow flight paths, based its figures on the previous government’s plans for Heathrow.

The Government will reveal today that up to 4,860 homes will experience additional noise as a result of a high speed rail line from London to Birmingham. Of those, 10 will suffer from “high noise levels” and another 150 are likely to need noise insulation.

HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “Of course the Chilterns will be impacted by the High Speed Rail scheme but it is worth remembering that the area would have been one of the big losers if a third runway had gone ahead. Planes would have been swarming over the skies of the Chilterns.”

The HACAN figures, all drawn from the Department for Transport’s consultation document into a third runway, show that a new runway would mean over 43,000 flights a year taking off over the Chilterns and just over 7,000 landing over the area (2).


Notes for Editors:

(1). The consultation will be launched on Monday 28th February.

(2). The area of the Chilterns mostly affected would be from just north of Beaconsfield in the south to Princes Risborough in the north and from Watford/Chesham in the east to Wallingford in the west. Some of this area is already overflown but a much wider swathe of the area would be affected by a 3rd runway because of the need to move many of the flight paths further north than they currently are.

The area would be overflown by departures on the days when a west wind is blowing (75% of the time in a typical year) and arrivals during and east wind. This would mean approximately 43,980 departures a year and 7380 arrivals.