Aviation report ‘short-sighted and misleading'

Published: Friday 31st August 12

Wandsworth Council says a Parliamentary report on aviation policy is short-sighted and grossly understates the impacts of aircraft noise on millions of people living under the Heathrow flightpaths.

The document was published by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Aviation which does not hold any statutory powers.

It advocates expanding capacity at Heathrow which would severely increase the levels aircraft noise endured by millions of people living under the airports easterly and westerly flightpaths.

Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia and spokesman for the 2M Group of local authorities said: "The report is hopelessly short-sighted and Heathrow-centric. It's clear this group has fallen completely under the aviation lobby's spell and chosen to ignore the millions of ordinary people whose lives would be blighted by these ill-conceived recommendations.

"Any form of Heathrow expansion has been categorically ruled out by the three main political parties, and for very good reasons. The last time a government tried to expand the airport we took them to the High Court and had the scheme thrown out on environmental and noise impact grounds. Those issues are just as acute today and any attempt to reopen the case would be met by the same opposition."

The report also calls for a "full assessment made of the impact of mixed mode" operations. Cllr Govindia added: "I can't believe this group can have any appreciation of the impact of aircraft noise on people's lives and the value of the half-day's respite provided by runway alternation. All the councils under the flightpath are resolutely opposed to any attempt to introduce mixed mode which would bring to an end the current quiet periods of the day."

The report also fails to address the impact Heathrow expansion would have on CO2 levels around the airport which already exceed EU legal limits.



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Recent comments

Whilst I am lucky enough to have double glazing and am to an extent used to aircraft noise, as I live close to the flight path in Putney, I do NOT want Heathrow to expand any more, not just for myself but also for the thousands of people whose lives will be blighted and homes destroyed or devalued by any further expansion. I am not against flying per-se and understand the arguments for aviation expansion in the South East, but I do NOT believe Heathrow is the right place for it. Either expand Stansted or Gatwick or build a new airport elsewhere in the South East, but don't make the lives of thousands of South West London residents any worse by expanding Heathrow. I am therefore totally behind Cllr. Govindia's opposition to this report.

4 September 2012

At the moment I am being wakened at 04:30hrs every morning because of low flying and noisy aircrafts. How are residents suppose to do a full time job when they are being deprived of sleep. I have lived in Putney for nearly 30yrs and the noise level and volume of planes are increasing all the time. Please help this to stop. Than you.
Moira Sanders

3 September 2012

Why can't the council just get a budget to allow residents in Battersea to get better sound insulation. Where there are planes there will be noise. Technology is improving so sound level limits could be applied to planes landing, turning at chelsea wharf into Heathrow initially at particular early/late hours. Moving the airport just annoys other people it doesn't make the problem go away. Fewer people are disrupted if Heathrow is expanded. Stop consulting and start expanding Heathrow. I am a resident of Battersea directly under the flightpath.
James R

1 September 2012

I find it very difficult to understand Simon L's short-sighted comments when the quality of life of so many thousands of Battersea residents is constantly diminished by constant aircraft noise. I heartily agree with Cllr Govinda - the level of noise disturbance is unacceptable and the impact this has on everyone in the borough (but most especially the young and the elderly) cannot be underestimated. Everyone has the right to peace and quiet and, even though this may be harder to find in a busy major city, London has to be one of the few where a constant stream of aircraft are permitted to fly over the centre at unbelievably low altitudes, producing screaming, roaring aircraft noise pollution from 5am. Keep fighting for us Wandsworth!
David Nettle

31 August 2012

Simon, planes don't fly over Balham, their flight path is over Battersea and the noise is bad.
Peter P

31 August 2012

I hardly notice the planes - not sure why Wandsworth is taking on this battle when so many of its residents either use the airport or work there. Noise in our borough is minimal as not noticeable. Come on Wandsworth, grow up - just because Justine greening is a Putney MP, I wonder if that is the driver
Simon L

31 August 2012