Third Runway would kill historic opportunity to improve noise climate for Heathrow residents

A short report released today by campaign group HACAN claims that a third runway at Heathrow would kill off an historic opportunity to improve the noise climate for residents (1).

The report argues that the combination of the quieter aircraft that are coming on-stream and improved operational practices, such a steeper approaches, provide a real chance to reduce noise. But it says that chance would be lost if a new runway is built as the huge increase in the number of planes would cancel out any improvements to the noise climate. A third runway would allow over 700,000 planes to use the airport each year, up from the current ceiling of 480,000.

The report comes out just a week before Heathrow Airport is expected to announce its favoured site for a third runway when it submits its evidence to the Airports Commission which has been set up by the Government to assess airport capacity in London and the South East (2). The commission released its consultation on noise at the end of last week (3).

HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “There is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve the noise climate at Heathrow. It would be snatched away if a third runway was built”.

The report highlights the fact that Heathrow is “in a noisy league of its own” with 725,000 people affected by noise from the airport, that is, 28% of all people impacted by aircraft noise right across Europe. The report also calls on the Government to introduce a more meaningful way of measuring noise.


Notes for Editors:

(1). Report attached in a noisy league of its own.pdf

(2). Heathrow is expected to publish its evidence on 17th July. The Airports Commission will produce a short-list of schemes it wants to assess in more detail when it publishes its Interim report in December. Its final report will be published in summer 2015, two months after the next General Election.

(3). Airports Commission considers aviation noise.

For further information:

John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650