Aircraft Noise – HACAN Inaugural Local Meeting Report 06;08;2018

From : John Stewart <>

Dear All,

We had a very useful first meeting in Eltham last night.  There were people from New Eltham, Sidcup and Mottingham and a number of other people sent their apologies.

Key points to come out of the meeting:

The big problem for people was the concentration of London City flights over our heads when an east wind is blowing.

The CAA report into the first year of the operation of the concentrated flight paths is now expected in early September.  The airport will need to carry out any recommendations it makes.  If it recommends more sharing out of the noise, that is what the airport will need to do in conjunction with the air traffic controllers.  If it recommends the flight paths remain the same, we will mount a major campaign with local meetings in different areas of London and possibly a bigger meeting in Central London involving the many politicians who are onside.

Most people at the meeting also reported hearing Heathrow aircraft though, on the whole, they were higher and less disturbing.  Some of the noise is likely to be coming from the Biggin Hill “stack”, one of the 4 stacks around London where Heathrow planes are held before they are directed into land.

There were also reports of other planes, particularly over New Eltham.  Agreed we would check out where they came from but it was likely that at least some of them were from Biggin Hill.

Over the next few years Heathrow will be reorganizing its flight paths.  It has begun to work alongside London City.  It could be that, even if the CAA allows London City’s concentrated flight paths to continue for now, they may need to change in a few years time in order to fit in with Heathrow’s new flight paths.  Unlike London City, Heathrow is committee to giving communities some respite from the noise by varying the flight path used if at all possible.  Flight paths across the world are changing as planes are being guided by a satellite-based system rather than a ground-based system.  It will mean that planes can be guided more precisely.  The disadvantage is that they will be concentrated.  The advantage for us is that a number of precise flights paths can be created and rotated in order to give everybody some respite 

We spoke about the heights of the planes.  The City Airport planes need to be below the Heathrow aircraft but they seem lower than they need be.  It is one of the points HACAN East is asking London City to include in its Noise Action Plan – see below.

 Every few years airports need to draw up Noise Actions Plans.  London City’s, covering up to 2023, is currently out for consultation (closing date for comments 5th September):  Here is HACAN East’s response:

And here is a summary of what we are calling for:

London City Airport:

  • Works on the basis that the  54 and 51 decibel contours are now regarded by Government as ‘the onset of community annoyance’
  • Produces annual 51 and 54 decibel contours
  • Extends the mitigation measures currently on offer to residents within the 57 contour to those within the 54 contour
  • Commits to informing all residents within the 51 and 54 contour areas – and their elected representatives – of the latest airport developments on a regular basis
  • Confirms whether London City can commit to the retention of the existing cap and operating hours through the years 2018 to 2023
  • Looks again at the concentrated flight paths, with a view to providing respite for communities
  • Commits to doubling the number of noise monitors
  • Gives more prominence to TraVis2on the airport website
  • Explores the possibility of London City aircraft flying higher
  • Spells out cooperative working with Heathrow 

If you felt to make the same points (in your own words) it would be helpful.

We talked about the various systems which can be used to track the planes:  For London City planes, the airport has TraVis2 –  Heathrow has Webtrak for its planes:   For all planes you can use,-2.86/14 , though some of its height information is not always 100% accurate.

We agreed it would be useful to have another meeting in September when we would form a local group and that it would send representatives to the HACAN East Meeting, where people from different areas come together, and which is held about every two months and usually in Stratford.

Have a quiet August!