*Update May 2019*
Southwark Council have come out in opposition of a third runway at Heathrow Airport! The local government have publically recognised the importance of this issue to the community, and the impact noise pollution from overhead planes is having on the health and wellbeing of Southwark residents. This also comes just in time for the next statutory consultation that begins in June 2019 and will surely impact considerations for Heathrow’s future.
This is a fantastic feat of determination from the Plane Hell Action campaign, and everyone involved, who have been pursuing this agenda for several years. It is a testament to the value of human tenacity to affect change and shows that commitment and dedication pay off!
Bridget Bell, co-founder of the Plane Hell Action campaign, also wrote a letter to the editor of Southwark News and was published in the same issue. Read her letter here (page 13).
There’s still more work to do: we need Southwark MPs Harriet Harman and Neil Coyle to join Helen Hayes MP against the runway expansion plans too.
If you haven’t already, or you’re reading this for the first time (where have you been?), make sure you sign the petition!
Visit the Plane Hell website for more information: https://planehellaction.org.uk/
*Update January 2019*
Plane Hell have been featured in the Aviation Environment Foundation's latest campaign video. Over a million people are impacted by aircraft noise in the UK. Exposure to aircraft noise is linked to numerous health impacts, including heart disease and depression.
So... what's it like living under a flight path?
*Update September 2018*
Campaigners have been spending the summer months recovering from the vote in the House of Commons that saw a third runway agreed in principle - though it is a long way from becoming reality!
Here are a few tidbits to keep you in the loop:
It is highly recommended that you set aside 10 minutes to read through this report from Forest Hill resident Tim Walker. It is an excellent summary of how aircraft from London City and Heathrow airports combine to create community noise blackspots in south east London.
Plane Hell Action have recently become members of the Aviation Environment Federation, a UK-based organisation campaigning for aviation’s impacts on people and the environment to be brought within sustainable limits. The AEF receives more queries about aviation-related noise pollution than about any other issue, so becoming a member was a no-brainer!
To read more about the organisation click here.
To read their guide on noise pollution click here.
Grant Shapps Throws Down A Gauntlet!
If you would like to understand better why SE London is seeing more planes flying in ever-concentrated flight paths read this short commentary on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
It briefly states that the All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation (APPG) are concerned that the CAA's current procedure circumvents parliamentary and ministerial oversight, both in terms of policy direction and decision-making i.e. without consultation: http://www.generalaviationappg.uk/parliamentary-group-announces-inquiry-into-civil-aviation-authority-airspace-change-process/
This is a good opportunity to get London and the South East on the agenda!
Campaigners are suggesting that you write to Grant Shapps MP, Chair of the APPG: email@example.com asking the APPG to take into consideration what is happening in SE London where the CAA has acted in a similarly summary fashion as across wider SE England and Farnborough.
Although the APPG has yet to issue terms of reference (ToR) it is expected to address how airspace should be managed.
Therefore when writing to Grant Shapps you may like to draw attention to:
the noise pollution caused by aircraft, particularly where the same routes are used 4.30am - 11/11.30pm day after day on westerly winds and ask that this be included in the ToR;
keeping planes higher for longer and particularly 18 (statutory) miles from Heathrow where they do not need to be as low as c4000ft, with 6000ft a possibility;
stopping double overflight by planes coming in to more than one airport, for SE London these being Heathrow and London City.
*Update March 2018*
It's consultation time once again in the aviation world and the Plane Hell campaign team have made it as easy as they can for you to get your voice heard!
Is this the future for Heathrow?
*Update February 2018*
Southwark Council's excellent web content to complain about plane noise + Heathrow installs local noise monitor
Southwark Council's excellent content in relation to airplane noise is worth having at your fingertips if you are affected by planes arriving either for London City Airport or London Heathrow: https://www.southwark.gov.uk/…/enviro…/transportation-noise…
DO contact your MP via the easy link provided and HAVE YOUR SAY.
If you don't let your MP know there is no way they will know how much our borough is impacted 19 hours a day by overflying aircraft. We do not have to suffer concentrated flight paths: let your MP know how 19 hours, non-stop flights over or near you, affect you, your health, your ability to work, your enjoyment of life, and the impact on your family and friends.
Heathrow last week installed a noise monitor, sited at Ark All Saints Academy at 140 Wyndham Road SE5 0UB. If you want to know what is disturbing you check in here: https://webtrak52.bksv.com/lhr4
The Big Ask: To respond to the latest Consultation on airport expansion at Heathrow and/or Gatwick.
You can read about it in all its glory here.
Deadline 19 December 2017
This link gives some suggestions – it is a simple, short read:
A suggested response:
The omission of both the Department of Health and DEFRA from the list of organisations to be consulted by the Department of Transport skews any argument put forward for airport expansion anywhere in the UK; the effects on people's health and the environment in which we all live are of paramount importance and must be fully considered alongside any financial benefits. Both Departments should be included in aviation strategy policy as a matter of urgency.
You can send your response to: RunwayConsultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk or fill out the online consultation form here.
*Update - November*
This month, November 2017, Plane Hell are asking for your help:
Heathrow is consulting on the principle of flight paths early next year.
We want to remind Heathrow just how critical the situation is, particularly in S, SE & SW London - but we want to hear from anyone affected by flights to Heathrow.
We need to get an accurate number of planes going over SE London but will also log results from other areas too to reflect the wider picture
It will give an idea of any changes there have been since HACAN did counts in 2004, 2009 and 2011.
How you can help
choose your area/s, your date/s and your time/s
count the number of overhead and nearby planes
spend one hour in the morning
and one hour in the afternoon after 3pm
Send your totals, one for the morning and one for the afternoon (2 separate totals), along with the place, date and times to firstname.lastname@example.org
The results will be analysed by HACAN and Plane Hell who will be creating publicity round the findings.
Earlier this week one of our members counted 48 planes between 5.58 - 6.58am and the following morning 16 planes between 4.33 - 5am. This has been happening from September 2016 onwards. Heathrow and Government need to know.
Looking forward to hearing from you - thank you for your help.
*Update - October*
Plane Hell SE Launches!
The inaugural meeting of Plane Hell SE took place at Kennington Park Community Centre on Tuesday 26 September 2017.
Over 50 people from across SE London attended including Toby Eckersley of the Walworth Society, Caroline Pidgeon - vice chair of the GLA Transport Committee, Tracy Beresford of the Southwark Green Party and Harriet Harman MP for Camberwell represented by her Parliamentary Assistant Rachel Smethers who sent a note the following day.
If you want to join this growing band of active residents who are fed up with the blight of aircraft noise then get in touch!
There will be another meeting towards the end of October.
You can make contact by email: email@example.com
*Update - 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.
Why not relive the noise disturbance faced by many of London's residents by plugging in your headphones and watching the video?
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.
aircraft noise reduction must be a factor for all flights under 6000 feet.
A plane flying low over Bethwin Road
What Can You Do?
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
Other Campaign Groups
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.
Please take the opportunity to tell the CAA what you think they need to do to tackle aircraft noise in our area. Below we have provided a link to the online consultation you can complete (it takes 2 minutes). But if you’re in a rush, click here to download a template that you can use.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aviation Noise Impacts Consultation
Civil Aviation Authority
45-59 Kingsway, London WC2B 6TE
A plane flying low over John Ruskin Street
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.
Here is a snapshot of planes flying over Ruskin park in just one hour last November...