Following complaints from local residents, Heathrow Airport, in collaboration with the residents who sit on the Community Noise Forum commissioned independent research to assess if anything had changed in a number of areas including the Teddington/Twickenham area.
The research found that the trials which had taken place recently but which have now stopped are not the cause of the complaints about increased noise. It believed that things had gone back to their pre-trial pattern on the Teddington/Twickenham route: “aircraft have reverted to using the departure routes used before the airspace trials last year and that no new areas are being overflown.”
But, significantly, it found that that pattern had been changing over a period of years. Three things had contributed to the change:
- there has been an increase in the number of planes using this route to take off: up to 30 aircraft more per day compared to 2011, an average increase of around 2 flights per hour.
- The number of large ‘heavy’ aircraft has increased on the route. For example, A380s are up from 4 per day in 2011 to between 11 and 14 per day in 2015.
- The lowest aircraft are getting lower by around 200-300 feet (i.e. around 10% lower than in 2011).
- Aircraft have been increasingly concentrated down the centre-line of the route. Some years ago HACAN warned about the impact of this sort of concentration.
Full details of the report can be found at: http://www.heathrow.com/noise/making-heathrow-quieter/our-noise-strategy/working-with-local-communities/community-noise-forum/teddington-and-twickenham-flight-analysis#
Further research looking at what changes have been made to this and other routes and will be available later this year or early next year.