Heathrow Noise

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 12th July 2019.

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Photo of Tony Devenish Tony Devenish Conservative

Does the Mayor agree with recent analysis showing that up to 1.6 million people could be affected by Heathrow noise of over 65 decibels if the third runway goes ahead and some residents could be overflown by 47 planes an hour? If so, how will you seek to increase awareness of these figures?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

I have consistently raised concerns about the unacceptable noise exposure that will result from a third runway at Heathrow and the negative consequences for public health. I have already communicated, and encouraged Londoners to respond to, Heathrow’s airspace and future operations consultation, highlighting the potential significant noise impacts that thousands of Londoners would experience as a result of the proposals. I also communicated Heathrow’s Development Consent Order consultation, again highlighting the significant environmental impacts that may result and encouraging Londoner’s to participate.

This recent latest analysis, based on documents published by Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL), only serves to reinforce those concerns. The Government’s own analysis found that 2.2 million people will be exposed to a significant increase in aircraft noise as a result of expansion.

The threat of severe noise exposure is compounded by the lack of clarity as to where exactly the flightpaths will go. HAL’s decision to prolong the airspace change process means that the actual flightpath options - which would allow local communities to understand the specific nature of the noise they will be exposed to - will only be published in 2022 at the earliest. This would be long after a decision has been made on HAL’s Development Consent Order (DCO) planning application and does a great disservice to Londoners as they seek to fully understand the impacts of Heathrow expansion as part of the DCO process.

I understand that HAL has rejected these findings – but it has no credibility in doing so, so long as it continues to hide behind process and fails to publish the actual flightpath options, which would allow for a full understanding of the noise impacts. I will continue to stand up for all Londoners by opposing expansion at Heathrow.