Cautious Welcome to Heathrow Noise Action Plan

But Hounslow Council says “much more needs to be done”


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Hounslow Council has given a cautious welcome to BAA’s Noise Action Plan for London Heathrow Airport.

The plan sets out how Heathrow is working with airlines to ensure that where possible less noisy planes will use the airport in the future. Negotiations will seek to phase out the older, noisier aircraft and landing charges will be reviewed to ensure that airlines are rewarded financially for using quieter planes. Tougher new noise targets will also be considered for night flights.

However Hounslow Council will be lobbying for further action to improve conditions for the local community including a total ban on night flights.

Cllr Ruth Cadbury, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council said “This is a step in the right direction that may help reduce the effect aircraft noise has on Hounslow residents, but much more needs to be done if we are to bring our local environment up to the standards required by the European noise directive.

“Our priority is to get more homes properly insulated and ventilated and to put a stop to night flights.

We also believe that it is not in the interests of the community that the responsibility for developing the noise action plan has been given to the airport.  We will continue to press BAA to improve the Plan, and ask the Government to give local councils responsibility for future Noise Action Plans.”

  • Hounslow Council will put forward further recommendations to Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers including:
  • a permanent ban on night flights;
  • ensuring that proposals for a third runway and Mixed Mode operation (simultaneous take-offs and landings on the same runways) are taken off the agenda permanently.
  • a full Health Impact Assessment on aviation noise from Heathrow to be used to inform future Noise Action Plans;
  • a ban on additional flights at Heathrow beyond the current cap;
  • introduction of schemes to accelerate technological advances towards quieter aircraft;
  • mitigation schemes to ensures that all homes, schools, registered care homes, social care/day care centres/facilities, all other buildings that offer community facilities and public buildings affected by noise can meet international standards for noise and associated ventilation; and
  • proper consideration of the noise impact from the ending of the Cranford Agreement.

The reaction comes after a cross-party delegation including Mary Macleod MP, along with Hounslow Council’s Deputy Leader Cllr Ruth Cadbury and Cllr Barbara Reid, the Conservative's lead member on Heathrow issues, put forward a series of proposals for an improved climate around Heathrow Airport today after a first meeting with the minister earlier in June.

The proposals will form part of a detailed consultation on the current night flight regime at Heathrow due early next year, announced in May by Theresa Villiers at Westminster Hall.

June 30, 2011