Aircraft Noise – note from David Dowdeswell

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  • May 24, 2014

Dear Residents,

It has been drawn to my attention that we may have been experiencing more than usual take off noise and I show below extracts from an e.mail received by a resident from the Heathrow authorities:

“Looking at the location of your property, it is located near an area that will experience over flight from departing aircraft when the airport is on what is known as ‘westerly operations’.
The reason you may currently be hearing more noise than usual might be to do with a trial that started on Monday 16th December. The trial is part of an on-going programme of trials that are taking place over the next couple of years which are being carried out to inform airspace modernisation in the UK. Let me give you some background.
There is a move across Europe to modernise airspace including UK airspace. You may have heard about the Government’s Future Airspace Strategy. This is the Government’s plan to modernise UK airspace by 2020. This will mean changes for London airspace.
For Heathrow, these changes are some years away. However for the first time in decades, the redesign of airspace presents real opportunities to improve the situation for communities around Heathrow impacted by noise. Modern technology and precision navigation will allow Heathrow and NATS to explore ways to provide respite from aircraft noise for people who live and work under departure routes as well as arrival routes.
To inform thinking about Heathrow’s future airspace changes, Heathrow will be running a series of joint trials with NATS over the next few years. These will test future potential scenarios such as alternating departure routes.
The first two trials are running between 16 December 2013 – 15 June 2014. These are testing the use of precision-based navigation (which enables aircraft to use satellite navigation to follow very defined routes), and the concept of providing predictable respite on departures – so within each departure routes, there are two or more routes that can be alternated from one week to another.
The westerly route being used as part of the current trial is the route that affects your area (the Midhurst route). We would really value your feedback on how this changes the location of aircraft and whether this makes things better or worse for you. Essentially there are four different routes being used depending on which runway aircraft depart from (the north or the south) and which route is being used for that particular week.
Feedback from residents on the trials will be crucial in helping to shape the future airspace around Heathrow. We should reassure you that no formal changes can be made to airspace until after the public consultation in 2016.
This information can be found on our website www.heathrow.com/noise/airspace-modernisation ”

Should you wish to give your feedback on this matter please e.mail noise_complaints@heathrow.com or tel: 0800 344844

Regards
David