Heathrow Airport flight pattern trials underway
5:50pm Tuesday 23rd October 2012 in News
Heathrow airport is now conducting flight pattern trials meaning more planes can descend over Wandsworth during "respite periods" when residents would normally expect a break from aircraft noise.
The operational freedoms tests, set to continue until March next year, are designed to try to improve the effectiveness of the airport without increasing the total number of planes landing or taking-off.
Under established rules, Heathrow is only permitted to use one runway for take-offs and one for landings but they are switched everyday at 3pm to give residents under the flightpath a regular break from overhead planes.
But during the trial BAA is allowed to use both runways at the same time for arrivals, but only when incoming flights face a delay of ten minutes or more.
This can mean more flights landing over central London during half-day respite periods when Wandsworth residents would normally get an eight hour break from aircraft noise.
The tests were approved by the Government but local councils were not given a say in the planning process.
Wandsworth Council is scrutinising the trial closely to ensure the noise impacts are properly considered before any of the test procedures are made permanent.
Residents with views on the trials or any increase in noise can provide feedback on the local authority's website.
The evidence collected from people living under the flightpath will be central to the council's case.
Visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/heathrowsurvey to enter your comments or contact BAA direct using freephone number 0800 344 844 or by emailing email@example.com.