The Government sets noise controls at Heathrow Airport, including total noise limits and aircraft movement limits for night flights.
These controls, in conjunction with stricter aircraft noise standards negotiated by the UK at the international level, have resulted in a long-term reduction in the number of people affected by aircraft noise near the airport.
Following the designation of the Airports National Policy Statement, it is now down to an applicant for development consent for a Northwest runway scheme to undertake a detailed assessment of the environmental effects of their scheme, and to put forward an appropriate package of mitigation measures. The Airports National Policy Statement makes clear that the Government expects noise mitigation measures to limit, and where possible reduce, the effect of aircraft noise. It also sets out specific mitigations for aircraft noise which the Government expects to see delivered. These include the applicant putting forward plans for a noise envelope which is tailored to local priorities and includes noise performance targets; developing plans for a runway alternation scheme that provides communities affected with predictable periods of respite; and an expectation that the applicant will adopt a ban on scheduled night flights for a period of six and a half hours.
These supporting measures are subject to consultation and will be finalised through the planning process. The application will then be considered by the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State in determining any application for development consent.