Battersea Heliport and helicopter noise

Information and complaints

Get information or report complaints about helicopter movements or pilot activities by calling 020 7228 0181 (8am to 7pm). This service deals only with helicopters using the heliport.

All complaints are monitored and reported to the London Heliport Consultative Group (LHCG).

Military helicopters

For more information about military helicopters visit the Ministry of Defence website.

Police helicopters

You can report concerns about police helicopters by emailing NPAS@npas.pnn.police.uk. You can find out more about the Air Support Unit on the National Police Air Service website or receive updates via Twitter by following @NPAShq.

Should you need to contact police when it’s less urgent than a 999 call, phone 101 - the service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Other helicopter activity

Complaints or requests for information about helicopter activity not associated with the heliport can be made to the Directorate of Airspace Policy (Aviation-Related Environmental Enquiries)Civil Aviation Authority, CAA House K6, 45-59 Kingsway, London WC2B 6TE. You can phone on 020 7453 6524/5 or email aree@caa.co.uk.

You can also find figures on helicopter movements across London at the Civil Aviation Authority website.

Environmental impact and controls

The heliport's operations are known to adversely impact on the local environment in respect of noise. There is also a potential adverse effect in respect of air quality. The Government has to date not seen fit to introduce a legal instrument fixing maximum operational noise limits for helicopters. Wandsworth Council is only able to control noise to a limited extent through its town planning powers.

Environmental controls

On any one day the maximum number of movements allowed is 80. In addition there are five days when the limit is raised to 160. The heliport can accept up to 130 movements on other days provided the total for all these 'busy days' does not exceed 1,000. Helicopter activity is at its most intense during major sporting events.

A number of exemptions to the above are however permitted. For example all emergency services flights and those undertaken by Government VIPs are allowed on top of the 12,000 annual movements. In addition up to 1,000 armed forces flights may also take place outside the quota. A further exemption to the quota is given in respect of all flights made in connection with the Farnborough Air Show during the dates of the show.

The section 106 agreement also provides some theoretical limit on the numbers of the noisiest types of helicopters permitted to use Battersea. All civilian helicopters are required to pass international noise certification (ICAO) tests. The certification process for helicopters is similar to that adopted for fixed wing aircraft.

At Battersea Heliport, helicopters that are not able to meet a local noise standard of 81dB(A) at a distance of 150 metres from the take off position are restricted to a maximum of 1,500 movements within the annual 12,000 quota. Most commercial helicopters using Battersea however fall within an automatic approved "A" list which was drawn up by the former Greater London Council. In practice this control now does little to encourage the introduction of newer and less noisy types of helicopter.

Voluntary controls

The heliport operates a published "fly neighbourly" policy which requires pilots - so far as is possible -  to:

  • Always fly as high as possible subject to Air Traffic Control clearance
  • Maintain circuit height (1000ft) until final approach and on departure climb to circuit height as soon as possible
  • Make all approaches and departures over the river
  • Not to manoeuvre (other than approaches) below 500ft
  • Limit ground running of engines to a maximum of five minutes

Operating hours

Helicopter movements are permitted to occur seven days a week between the hours of 7am and 10.59pm. There is, however, an exemption for emergencies which permits movements outside these times. Such flights are limited strictly to those necessary for the purposes of national or medical emergency.

London Heliport Consultative Group

The London Heliport Consultative Group (LHCG) comprises Councillors and resident representatives from Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Kensington and Chelsea, as well as heliport users.

Meetings

LHCG meetings are open to the public. If you would like to attend a meeting or require further information, please contact Ian Millichap, group secretary.

Email: ian.millichap@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 8871 6488

View upcoming meeting dates.

Agendas and minutes

Noise studies