Heathrow Airport: Noise

Department for Transport written question – answered on 4th March 2019.

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Photo of Jonathan Lord Jonathan Lord Conservative, Woking

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the addition of a third runway at Heathrow Airport on noise pollution levels in the Woking constituency.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The Appraisal of Sustainability[1] that accompanies the Airports National Policy Statement provides a strategic level assessment of the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts of expansion, including on noise, based on indicative flight paths.

At this stage, it is not possible to identify the exact noise impacts on specific communities, such as Woking, if expansion proceeds. These will depend on changes to flight paths, which in the UK must be approved through the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) Airspace Change Process. This is a seven-stage process, often taking a number of years between an airport alerting the CAA to a potential change, and the CAA making a decision on whether that change can be implemented.

This regulatory process will provide further opportunities for people from local communities, such as Woking, to comment on the detailed proposals for new flightpaths.

Heathrow Airport Limited are currently at the second stage of the Airspace Change Process. This stage is known as ‘Option Development’, and requires the airport to design a number of options for new flight paths which will then be published for public consultation.

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