Plane Hell


Plane Hell Campaigners joined forces with HACAN East and presented a flightpath cake to Tim Johnson, Head of Policy at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Friday 28 July.


We were joined by Chair of HACAN John Stewart and Keith Prince AM, current Chair of the GLA Transport Committee. The presentation was timed to ask CAA, in the lead up to their flightpath proposals for City Airport, to take into consideration all people and all areas of London who will be affected by their recommendations.

The CAA entered into the spirit of the event with a picture of the cake accompanying this tweet:


Mr Prince extended an invitation to Campaigners to meet him at City Hall in September. He has promised to take our concerns regarding dedicated flightpaths, as well as other plane-related issues, and how they affect residents of East and South East London to Mayor of London Rt Hon Sadiq Khan.

Also in September we look forward to reconvening meetings with HACAN and HACAN East and forming a South East London chapter of the lobbying organisation.

Meanwhile, the latest CAA consultation is open for responses to aviation noise impacts. We urge you to respond and can promise it will take no more than 5 minutes. Click here to make your voice heard.

You can also Click here to view HACAN's video interviews - as residents across London and the South East speak up about their experiences.

Plane Hell: Too Early, Too Late, Too Noisy, Too Low… Too Many!

Anyone living under a flight path will tell you one thing: it’s plane hell. For residents of Camberwell and other parts of South London it’s fast becoming a nightmare.

The Plane Hell campaign was born in response to local residents noticing an increase in the number of planes flying over a particular area of Camberwell, almost without a break, and starting as early as 4.30am.

The main issue for Southwark is noise from overflying aircraft on approach to land at Heathrow and London City Airports.


To get an idea about what it’s like to experience ongoing disruption as a result of plane noise then click here for the thoughts of local resident Bridget Bell.

For another take click here to read Dan and Jacky Jenkin's tale of woe.

Try here for Dan Scorer's views on the potential impact of new technology.

Why not relive the noise disturbance faced by many of London's residents by plugging in your headphones and watching the video?  

The Demands

  • Enable residents to achieve at least 7 hours sleep, the minimum recommended by WHO (World Health Organisation) for good health, and ban all flights between 11pm - 6am (better still 7am).
  • Ensure any remaining night routes avoid populated areas to mitigate the impact of aircraft noise.
  • Keep aircraft higher for longer by utilising Continuous Descent Approaches which reduce noise because they require less engine thrust and keep planes above 6000 feet.
  • Stop aircraft concentrating over residential areas.
  • Stop the impact on mental and physical health caused by aircraft noise and aircraft pollution flying low over residential areas and keep planes above 6000 feet.
  • Take the whine out of arriving aircraft.



A plane flying low over Bethwin Road 

What Can You Do?

Online Petition

Click here to sign the online petition addressed to the Minister for Aviation.

Some responses collected so far:

  • "It is an injustice to have so many planes flying over such densely populated areas. It's a blight on the lives of many people across London."
  • "I live under the flight path it starts at 04:30 and goes on until around 22:00 80 planes an hour. It's intolerable so we are moving."
  • "I'm signing because since the last 10 years the noise of the planes above my garden it's becoming increasingly unbearable! You cannot even have a conversation on the phone!"
  • "Partner woken at 4am by a plane so low he thought it was crashing- pretty sure they've been getting lower and lower over the years I have lived in SE5! Great to see Camberwell coming together to do something about this!" 


Follow the Campaign on Social Media

Twitter.png @Planehell

Facebook_Logo.png     Like our Facebook Page

Other Campaign Groups

HACAN - Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise

HACAN is a campaign group made up of local residents who are opposed to Heathrow expansion and want to reduce the amount of night flights over the skies of London and the South East.


HACAN East is a residents’ group set up in 2011 to represent the views of people affected by both noise and pollution from London City Airport. A number of areas are also impacted by Heathrow flights.

Write to your MP

Individuals, countrywide, have been encouraged to write to their MPs to underline the negative impact night flights and lack of respite from daytime flights have on the health and welfare of their constituents, with the added effect on the environment.

You can download a template letter here – please feel free to make any changes or add your own text.

To find out who your local MP is click here. 


The Government has recently finished consulting on two aspects of airspace/aviation policy. We will update this page when they publish their responses (hopefully this Autumn). Below are details of the points that campaigners wanted those who have been affected by noise pollution to raise.

1. A consultation on a 3rd runway at Heathrow entitled the National Policy Statement

Key points made in response:

• A third runway would bring many more people under new flight paths.

• The half day’s break from the planes which many communities currently enjoy would probably be cut to a third.

• A 7-hour night ban should be the very minimum, with no flights under any circumstances apart from mayday emergencies before 6.30am.

• Noise should be the key issue up until at least 7,000ft for any planes flying below this.

• The consultation should have included information as to where the new flight paths should be.

• Heathrow will struggle to comply with air pollution limits if a third runway is built.

• A third runway would require the destruction of at least 783 homes.

• Billions of pounds of taxpayers money would be needed for new rail and road infrastructure.


A plane flying low over John Ruskin Street

2. Airspace Policy Consultation

This does not just cover Heathrow. It is a national consultation. It deals with 5 key issues:

  • the principles that should be used when flight paths are introduced
  • the concentration of flight paths
  • the key areas where noise should be given priority over other issues
  • an Independent Noise Authority
  • and revised metrics to assess noise annoyance. 


Key points made in response:

• Support the proposal for much more public engagement before new flight paths are introduced or changes are made to existing flight paths.

• Support multiple routes to avoid concentration over particular communities.

• Underline that noise should be the key issue up until at least 7,000ft for any planes flying below this.

• Support the setting up of an Independent Noise Authority but will require guarantees that it will be truly independent and will have teeth.

• Support new metrics to replace the current 57 decibel noise contour as ‘the onset of community annoyance’ by a  less-than 46 decibel noise contour which will reflect more accurately the areas where noise is a problem.

Noise Diary

Campaigners are currently looking to gather as much evidence as possible to strengthen their case. This includes encouraging those who live under flight paths, and experience the adverse effects of plane noise, to record a diary of all of the incidents in which they are disturbed.

Get in touch

If you are experiencing issues with planes flying overhead then please do get in touch and offer your support to the campaign.


A visual representation of aircraft movement linked to Heathrow - Green represent arrivals resulting from westerlywinds (30% of the time), Red represent easterly (70% of the time).

Campaign so far


Through SE5 Forum's stand at the Camberwell Saturday's Farmers Market almost 400 signatures in two months have been collected for a petition headed 'Too low, too noisy, too early, too late - too many' and have been sent with the petition letter to Lord Ahmad, Minister for Aviation, and Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London.

Local Politicians

Harriet Harman, Helen Hayes, Neil Coyle and Kate Hoey have been asked to work together to help  have a debate or least ensure that residents' responses to the recent night flights consultation are not ignored. Additionally, with regard to flights arriving at Heathrow, campaigners are looking for flight paths to be no lower than 6000 feet in the approaches over SE5 and more widely across Southwark.


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