Amid an ongoing investigation into drone sightings at Heathrow Airport, a future operations consultation has been launched.

The airport is asking for local communities to help shape the airports plans for its future airspace, both for the existing runways and as part of the proposed expansion.

The consultation will run until March 4 and focus on three key areas: Airspace change for an expanded Heathrow, airspace change to make better use of the current runways and future operations for an expanded Heathrow.

There will be over 30 consultation events across local boroughs throughout the consultation period, where members of the public will be able to ask questions and provide their feedback.

A full list of dates, times and locations can be found on our website here: The nearest local event is in Twickenham on the 13 February 2019 from 2-8pm in York House.

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director for Expansion, invites local people to participate in the consultation, she said: “Expansion at Heathrow is a unique opportunity to build a long term, sustainable legacy for those closest to the airport as well as for Britain.

"We want to work in partnership with our local communities to ensure we make the most of the opportunity that expansion brings, including the creation of thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships.

“We are committed to delivering expansion responsibly and putting the needs of local communities at the heart of our growth plans. This stage of open and transparent consultation is critical to developing the best outcomes from Heathrow’s future airspace and operations, and we encourage you to take part and help shape our plan for a fairer, future Heathrow.”

However, Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, has condemned the latest consultation – claiming 25,000 extra flights would be disastrous for the borough.

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Cllr Roberts, said: “We have always said that Heathrow needs to be better and not bigger. But clearly size is everything to the airport.

“Heathrow are proposing the biggest changes to its flight path since it opened. People living in Richmond and other areas of West London will find their respite from overhead noise cut under these proposals.

"Not to mention the additional 25,000 more flights a year – which will no doubt be crammed into the early morning schedules, delivering more misery for our residents. Let’s not forget, these extra flights will still require Planning consent.

“This kind of expansion would see an unacceptable rise in noise and air pollution, damaging the environment and posing a risk to people’s health - and all at a potential cost to tax payers of billions of pounds.

"It is extremely disappointing that only now we are seeing the proposed areas affected by additional planes, seven months after the Government made its decision to expand the airport.

"Making a decision before understanding the full impact of expansion is putting cart before horse… . again!"

Richmond Council is part of a coalition of councils and others – including the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Windsor and Maidenhead, and Hammersmith and Fulham, as well as the Mayor of London and Greenpeace – that are seeking a judicial review of the Government’s decision to give policy support in the Airports National Policy Statement (“NPS”) for a third Heathrow runway.