Noise complaints at Heathrow are falling
A new report has shown that Heathrow Airport is on its way towards achieving its vision of ‘a quieter’ airport.
Figures for the first quarter has shown that the number of noise complaints to Heathrow Airport have dropped significantly – by more than a fifth compared to the year before.
However, there will still 13,396 complaints lodged in the first three months of the year.
Nearly two-thirds of those complaints came from the same 10 people – making up a whopping 8,744 complaints between them.
As a result, 1.4 per cent of complainants made up 65.27 per cent of the total complaints.
Heathrow is persistently complained about by a small number of the same campaigners
Heathrow already has some of the world’s toughest rules and regulations to tackle noise and every year, we take action, like increasing the charges we levy, to incentivise airlines to deploy their newest, cleanest and quietest aircraft at Heathrow.
One person even complained about the noise 1,280 times. Heathrow Airport is located in west London, in the borough of Hillingdon.
Most complaints came from nearby Slough, with local authority statistics showing there were 3,835 from this area in total.
Residents from Richmond upon Thames made the second biggest number of complaints, with 1,855 in total coming from the south west London borough.
According to City AM, a Heathrow spokesperson, commented: “We know noise is a concern for our neighbours, and we are taking steps to continue to reduce our impacts.
“Heathrow already has some of the world’s toughest rules and regulations to tackle noise and every year, we take action, like increasing the charges we levy, to incentivise airlines to deploy their newest, cleanest and quietest aircraft at Heathrow.
“In this way, we have managed to continuously shrink the noise footprint around the airport every year despite increasing our passenger numbers.”
The airport has set out a Noise Action Plan to help minimise noise disruption for local residents.
This plan includes quieter planes, quieter procedures and working with local communities to help understand their concerns.
However, local residents and campaigners are still concerned that expansion at the airport could lead to further noise disruption.
Heathrow is still hoping to expand and build a new runway
Jenny Bates, clean air campaigner for Friends of the Earth, commented: “Among all the other problems if Heathrow is allowed to expand, including impacts on our climate and worsened air pollution, more noise disturbance for local people is a huge concern.
“With a quarter of a million more flights over the area a year, many more people would be affected, and for people already affected, then it will just get worse.”
Heathrow Airport is one of the world’s busiest, with 78 million passengers passing through its terminals every year. Last month, the airport recorded its busiest day ever – with some 136,000 passengers jetting off on Good Friday.
Recently, London Luton Airport also faced criticism from local residents, with its noise complaints topping more than 15,000 in the last three years, up 800 per cent. Similarly to Heathrow, just 20 people were responsible for 72 per cent of complaints, with 6,700 coming from the same five people.
Express.co.uk has contacted Heathrow Airport for a comment.