The Proposed Expansion of Heathrow Airport: Heathrow's Public Consultation: 17 January - 28 March 2018
Heathrow is promoting two consultations simultaneously, one in relation to Airport Expansion (new runway and terminal infrastructure); the other in respect of Airspace Principles (changes to airspace and flight paths to accommodate the new runway).
The consultation documents can be found at www.heathrowconsultation.com
The deadline for responses is Wednesday 28 March 2018.
Many people say these consultations are premature:
Parliament has yet to vote on the National Policy Statement (NPS) issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) that would be a precursor to Heathrow expansion. It will not consider the NPS until later this year – and crucially after the parliamentary Transport Select Committee (TSC) issues its report following detailed examination of the proposals and having heard evidence from many, including the Transport Minister and his officials. The TSC will then commence writing its report.
The timing of the consultations is widely regarded to be part of a publicity initiative by Heathrow to give the impression that approval of a third runway is a formality. Whilst this is currently the Government’s preferred option, approval is not a foregone conclusion. The TSC has found many holes in the DfT’s evidence base for a third runway and Heathrow’s proposals (which now seem to differ from each other in a number of respects). And it is not clear where the third runway will be, nor the intended flight paths.
We recommend that you read the West London Friends of the Earth briefing: 'Economic Benefits Of A New Northwest Runway at Heathrow'.
For both parts of the consultation you can respond online, by email or by letter. You do not need to follow a particular format. You can simply write what is important to you in terms of expansion and/or flight paths. Of vital importance: copy your replies to your MP and your local Council (Southwark): the Leader and the Environment Department. This is the only way they will know what you feel about concentrated flight paths, and shortened nights.
Consultation on Airport Expansion
This deals with the physical aspects of the third runway proposals. It is non- statutory and voluntary on the part of the airport and communities. It is recommended that if you oppose expansion of the airport that you base your response on this, making your opposition clear but otherwise not spending much time on it.
Write: Freepost LHR Expansion Consultation
The future of Heathrow?
Consultation on Airspace Principles
This consultation could have more serious and far reaching implications for SE London. Although Heathrow’s documentation states it applies to a third runway, actually it applies to airspace modernisation, which is something the Government has signed up to introducing across the UK – whether or not Heathrow is expanded.
Many of us in SE London have experienced the hell of newly-concentrated flight paths or near-enough PBN - performance based navigation – satnav technology (despite our being told that this has not yet been introduced over London). PBN involves extreme concentration of flights – making normal life for those living under flight paths impossible.
The consultation alludes to this ‘divide and rule’ approach which until recently has been official government policy (minimising the number of people ‘significantly affected’ using discredited average sound level bases of measurement). Some of us would argue that this is also the policy of Southwark Council.
As the Airspace Principles consultation has legal status under the DfT’s new airspace change processes Plane Hell considers it is very important that the public respond to this consultation.
In responding to the consultation your comments could include:
No to extreme concentration
Increase heights of arrivals to reduce noise on the ground
There should be a ‘fair and equitable distribution’ of flights over our heads.
Existing flight paths should not be intensified (the Government may see this as an easy option). The aviation industry should be placed under an obligation to devise an action plan to comply with World Health Organisation noise standards.
Focussing flight paths over major open spaces is unacceptable. Places like Burgess Park and Ruskin Park are key recreational resources for local residents, as well as being assets of national importance. As well as destroying their amenity, the communities overflown around the parks will be decimated by aviation noise.
The 'increase' in the night period for those under arrivals from 11.00 pm to 5.30 am, as proposed with Heathrow expansion is totally unacceptable and should be extended to operate between 10pm - 7am, mayday flights excepted
There should be much more stringent controls over late evening and early morning flights –in terms of numbers and the loudness of the planes that are permissible and varying the flight paths
'envelopes' where noise becomes unbearable must be extended from the existing Leq57 to at least Lden55 (which still excludes Southwark, Greenwich and Lewisham, and parts of Lambeth)
noise insulation compensation must be extended to include all postcodes in the boroughs of Southwark, Greenwich, Lambeth and Lewisham
PBN must not be introduced unless/until curved approaches can be stored in the databoxes in all aircraft to enable multiple and tighter approaches to Heathrow (not the currently suggested 4 existing routes rotated to provide periods of 'respite')
Write: Freepost LHR Airspace Consultation
You may have other points you would like to raise in your responses. Of vital importance: copy your replies to your MP and your local Council (Southwark): the Leader and the Environment Department. This is the only way they will know what you feel about concentrated flight paths, and shortened nights.