Still time to take part in helicopter noise survey

Published: Thursday 10th August 17

Residents living near from London’s only commercial heliport have three more weeks to respond to a survey on its noise impact.

The three boroughs of Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea, which are members of the London Heliport Consultative Group, are working with acoustic experts from London’s South Bank University (LBSU) to monitor and assess the noise impact caused by operations at the heliport, which is situated next to the Thames in Battersea.

The aim is to influence policy makers to introduce new rules to curb the noise impacts caused by helicopter movements.

Part of the study involves monitoring noise levels at the homes of volunteers in the three boroughs to show how local communities in this part of the capital are impacted by noise from the heliport.

Other residents can contribute to the study by answering an online questionnaire (available here) about the noise they experience from helicopter activity.

The information will help the LSBU team produce a report in the autumn which will be shared with the three boroughs, the GLA and the Civil Aviation Authority with the aim of assessing noise emissions and their impact on the local community. Once this information has been compiled, the intention is to work with all stakeholders to find a resolution to the problems caused by the loudest flights.

Wandsworth’s environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “The heliport is permitted to handle around 12,000 flights a year as a result of an historic planning agreement which cannot be overturned. Recently the number of movements has come close to the maximum permitted and we know some of the flights do cause noise disturbance for communities on both sides of the river.

“The three boroughs involved in this study are committed to exploring all possible avenues to limit noise nuisance and improve the quality of life of those living nearby who are affected by the sound of helicopters.

“This is this first time a heliport in the UK has been subject to such a detailed level of scrutiny. This initiative will reveal the scale and extent of the disturbance and provide objective, fact-based evidence that can help shape its future operations.”

Dr Stephen Dance, who is leading the LSBU team said: “London has only one commercial heliport, based at Battersea and built in 1959, since when the urban landscape has changed dramatically. The result is that this vertical gateway to the city is now surrounded by housing which presents us with a noise management challenge.”

Dr Luis Gomez-Agustina from the LSBU team added: “This is the first time since the heliport started operations that a complete objective and subjective study on the noise emissions and their impact is going to be undertaken. Results from the study will be crucial in shaping the future of the heliport operation and improving the wellbeing of local residents.”  

The online survey runs until August 31. To request a paper copy please email gomezagl@lsbu.ac.uk

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Recent comments

helicopters are a noisy nuisance. Flights should be reduced. certainly helicopters should be required to fly down the centre of the river; they do not and frequently cut off the corner and fly over or next to the flats along the river close to the heliport thereby increasing the nuisance. military and police helicopters more so but don't use the heliport I understand. Can their use be restricted except in case of emergency? A greater problem are early morning large planes but I guess this is outside this consultation
bruce westbrook

14 August 2017

I live west of the Heliport along the river. As a homeowner I am denied quiet enjoyment of my property by the frequency and aerial behaviour of the helicopters arriving and departing. Helicopters take off and land along the line of the river according to wind direction. No matter in which direction the wind is blowing, the noise level at peak times is intolerable, particularly - in my opinion - during take off. In all instances the sound reverberates and is seemingly amplified between the buildings on either side of the river. In my opinion this noise level could be reduced for most dwellings by mandating helicopters to rise or descend vertically from the heliport to and from a level well above the height of the surrounding buildings.
James Marment

14 August 2017

I like helicopters.
Derek

13 August 2017

I am noticing a lot of helicopter traffic and most of it is extremely noisy and very intrusive. Some of them seem to fly pretty low, also increasing the noise. Particularly noisy are the ones with two rotors which seem to make regular daily flights.
Gill

13 August 2017

Helicopters over Tooting going in and out of Battersea Heliport are much more frequent now than even a few years ago. They fly earlier in the mornings and later at night causing sever noise nuisance. This is inflamed by the Air Ambulances from all over South England using St Georges as well as the Police using Tooting as their late night regular training ground. Add to this Army noisy helicopters in and out of St Georges and life is noisy even very late at night. The increase in activity when major events such as Goodwood, Wimbledon Tennis, Ascot etc makes live pure hell with the noise over Brightwell Crescent. Often there are several helicopters arriving and leaving one after the other.
Tony Ashford

12 August 2017

Helicopters over Tooting going in and out of Battersea Heliport are much more frequent now than even a few years ago. They fly earlier in the mornings and later at night causing sever noise nuisance. This is inflamed by the Air Ambulances from all over South England using St Georges as well as the Police using Tooting as their late night regular training ground. Add to this Army noisy helicopters in and out of St Georges and life is noisy even very late at night. The increase in activity when major events such as Goodwood, Wimbledon Tennis, Ascot etc makes live pure hell with the noise over Brightwell Crescent. Often there are several helicopters arriving and leaving one after the other.
Tony Ashford

12 August 2017

I live close to the Helipad and never hear them when home and am not bothered by them when out along the river.
Robert Johnston

12 August 2017

The increase in noise from the heliport is an added burden on residents who already suffer so much from the aircraft noise from planes approaching Heathrow.
B J Stopford

11 August 2017

when i'm in Battersea Square the helicopter noise is unbearable. At home its very bad
vivienne johns

11 August 2017

One of the key things to bear in mind is that the heliport has been in existence and operating since well before any of the adjoining properties were built or occupied. The owners purchased their properties in the full knowledge of this and in my view, can not complain subsequently about noise that existed at the time of purchase. That is not to say that the operators of the heliport should not do everything in their power to minimise noise and pollution.
Goodrich

11 August 2017

Have done the survey - doubt anything will be done about it - have heard Wandsworth Councillors never read these replies. Bought my flat by the heliport 35 years back - but as out working - then out in the evening - never noticed much noise. Only now - that retired I notice all the noise - especially in the summer when it would be nice to be able to have open windows and sit out. Have noticed that flights are coming into land near or over riverside housing - and I thought they had to come into land over the river. Also hear landings at near midnight frequently. Can remember knowing something was wrong when I heard helicopters all night on the river - when that pleasure boat went down.
Liz D

11 August 2017

Noise from helicopters is a nuisance at night (after 10pm) and early morning (from 5am). Sometimes helicopters seem to be circling over and over again and during the Wimbledon Tennis this is particularly bad early morning. There should be time restrictions at the very least but ideally total number restrictions per hour during the day.
Louise Woodward

11 August 2017

Car manufacturers are under constant pressure to improve emissions, safety and emission standards. Do helicopter manufacturers face such constraints and if not why not? It's one thing for emergency services to use helicopters to quickly to attend to emergencies but an altogether different matter when private passengers use helicopters. Use should be restricted between certain hours - eg 8pm to 7am. Is this the case? London is increasingly noisy and polluted and helicopters only add to the noise and pollution.
Olivier Desbarres

11 August 2017

House shakes helicopters too low need silencers no thought for residents take a train, bus or car like everyone else
n baybutt

11 August 2017

There's only 1 thing I always love to do and that is filling in interesting Surveys either big or small ones. It depends on any topic at all I'm always eager to do.
Brigid Craig Admin Assistant/Office Support

11 August 2017