Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"A Sky Full of Noise" Flights over South/South East London Could Increase more than threefold to 17,000 a month

The words of John Stewart, Chairman of HACAN in the Evening Standard last week.

And where was he referring to this 'sky full of noise' being? None other than South and South East London. East London will also experience this.

If Heathrow expansion goes ahead you will see an extra 1000 Heathrow flights MONTHLY over this part of London that takes it up to about 1,600 MONTHLY.

Add London City Airport's contribution to this 'sky of noise' and we've worked out that if they get their 176,000 a year - this would amount to just under 15,000 flights in and out a month.

This adds up to nearly 17,000 flights flying over South and South East London. This is more than triple the amount that currently fly over. We are not even including the Stanstead and Luton flights in those figures.

While we are on the topic of noise and sleeping: the results from this sleep study into the effects of noise, released today,seem even more relevant:

Extract taken from the online article:

One resident who lives near Heathrow, Margaret Thorburn, told the BBC how noise due to the airport affected her.

There was "no point" trying to sleep before 11pm, she said.

"And that's standard because background noise has died down and any aircraft that goes over when everything else is quiet you notice an awful lot more and it's disturbing in a particular way," she said.

"If it's in the summer when the windows are open then you're going to wake up... and what's more you don't go back to sleep because you're waiting for the next one to come over."

If you live near or under the flight path to LCA you will know that trying to sleep before 10.30pm until LCA stops jets thundering over is hopeless. If you are a shift worker or are ill then we sympathise with you - the incessant roar at 90 second intervals on the busiest days gives you no peace at all. The prospect of having 176,000 flights a year from the current 76,000 and the reality of that is what makes people object.

It's about time that the councillors and MPs who have stayed so quiet realised this and spoke out.