Embargoed until 08.00 on 8.1.19
WINNERS AND LOSERS AS HEATHROW PROPOSES BIGGEST CHANGES TO FLIGHT PATHS IN 50 YEARS
There will be winners and losers as Heathrow proposes the biggest changes to its flight paths since the airport opened in 1946. Although people in parts of West London will find their period of respite cut, vast swathes of London and the Home Counties are set to enjoy a predicable break from the noise from the first time.
The proposals are part of a wide-ranging 12 week public consultation which Heathrow launched today (1). Under the proposals people in West London, who currently enjoy a half day’s break from the noise when planes switch runways at 3pm, will find that cut to one third of the day if a third runway is built. But all-day flying will become a thing of the past for many places as the principle of respite is extended to people living under departures routes and areas such as Windsor and South East London which at present do not get it (2).
The consultation also asks for views on night flights. One condition Parliament laid down when it gave Heathrow the go-ahead to work up proposals for a third runway is that the current 5 hour night break is extended to 6½ hours. Heathrow is asking for views on how this should be implemented.
Heathrow is also proposing to bring in 25,000 more flights a year before any new runway opens. The plan is called Independent Parallel Approaches (IPA). It would require the lifting of the 480,000 annual cap on flights which was imposed as a condition of Terminal 5.
Heathrow will only ask for these flights until the third runway is operational. They would only start once Heathrow’s detailed plans for a third runway had been approved – expected to be 2021. Heathrow aims to open a third runway in 2015 so it is likely IPA would be in place for about 4 years.
John Stewart, chair of HACAN, the organisation which gives a voice to residents under the Heathrow flight paths, said, “A lot of West London will be badly hit by these proposals but there will be many other communities who will be relieved at the prospect of all-day flying coming to an end. It amounts to a near-revolution to Heathrow’s flight paths.”
(1). Heathrow proposals attached
(2). See page 23 of the attached proposals
For further information:
John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650