Councils opposed to Heathrow expansion have called for a new study to be carried out into attitudes to aircraft noise.

Without an updated study, the councils fear the Airports Commission will be limited to basing their recommendations on sites for new airport capacity on surveys carried out more than 30 years ago.

The 2M Group- made up of Wandsworth, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Richmond, Windsor and Maidenhead, Southwark, Brent, Hammersmith and Fulham, and South Bucks councils, have also republished the ANASE study into attitudes to aircraft noise which was rejected by the last Government.

The study showed the official method for measuring community annoyance did not take account of the rising numbers of aircraft.

The councils say that, while adopting the ANASE findings would provide the commission with a more robust benchmark, the real answer is to order a brand new study that properly reflects current attitudes.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council said: “The problem with the noise measure produced by the original 1980s study is that it does not bear any relation to real-life experience.

“It is difficult for a measure to command public confidence when it effectively tells people living in places like Barnes, Fulham, Putney, Ealing, Chelsea, Stockwell and Windsor that they are not affected by noise because they live outside the 57 decibel (dB) area around Heathrow.

“Our own evidence as local councils responding every day to complaints on aircraft noise suggests that the true number affected by Heathrow operations is around 1m – four times the figure implied by the 57dB contour.”

The Commission’s consultation on aviation noise closes on September 6.