Saturday, 21 July 2018

Changes denied despite increased aircraft noise

AVIATION chiefs have denied that any changes have taken place to increase aircraft noise over Henley

AVIATION chiefs have denied that any changes have taken place to increase aircraft noise over Henley.

The Civil Aviation Authority presented its findings at a public meeting at the Christ Church Centre last week.

It was a follow-up to a meeting called last year by Henley MP John Howell over complaints by residents that they were being woken up at night by aircraft noise as a result of a change in landing patterns at Heathrow airport.

Mr Howell raised the issue in the Commons, saying Henley was “very badly blighted” by noise pollution from aircraft, particularly those on easterly operations which apply when the wind blows from the east and flights arriving at Heathrow perform a 180 degree turn 4,000ft above the town.

Representatives from the airport, the CAA and NATS, which provides air traffic services, attended last week’s meeting together with about 20 residents.

They said nothing had changed in the last 18 months to cause more aircraft noise over Henley.

Stuart Lindsey, the CAA’s head of aircraft regulation, said that in October there were lots of easterly arrivals as a result of wind conditions, which was “slightly unusual” but this averaged out.

The aircraft did not come below 4,000ft, he said.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s sustainability and environment director, who lives in Henley, said he had noticed “no significant changes”.

He said there had been only one change to flight procedures and that would have had no “noticeable” effect on Henley.

Mr Gorman said Heathrow was looking at “respite periods” by alternating between routes, so there would no aircraft noise for communities on certain days.

A man in the audience responded: “We’re being told nothing’s changed but everybody knows something has.”

After the meeting, Mr Howell said it was clear that the density of aircraft over Henley had changed.

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