Heathrow easterly departure routes trial – update

NewsAfter details of Heathrow’s easterly departure trials were posted here, it has become increasingly obvious that very few local residents knew anything about the changes to flightpaths before noticing changes themselves. Heathrow have again stated that local groups, councils etc were informed but not provided any further detail than this.

Heathrow’s Community Communications Officer stated that: “Instead of spreading tracks over a wide area, aircraft following more precise routes. The height or number of aircraft using each route is not affected. For people living under these routes it’s likely you’ll experience a concentration of aircraft during periods that these particular routes are being used. They’ll also be people that have less aircraft over them.

Example maps of one day before & during the trial were also supplied that make the changes more clear: it appears as though the MID and SAM routes are now combined in a concentrated corridor over the west of Teddington.


New before/during map (one day of each) supplied 18/09/2014

Heathrow correspondence has confirmed that complaints from residents have been massively higher than expected – perhaps the flightpath changes had more of an effect than even the airport had anticipated. If you feel that the noise continues to be unacceptable, then it’s advisable to continue logging this by emailing
noise_complaints@heathrow.com including your name, address, postcode and phone number.

The trials are driven by the Governments Future Airspace Strategy to simplify and modernise UK airspace by 2020 by making more efficient ways of routing planes, whilst reducing delays for passengers – all made possible by modern navigation systems. What works and doesn’t will be determined by feedback during the trials and via public consultations (likely in 2016) with final decisions to be made by the Government.

[googlemaps https://mapsengine.google.com/map/u/1/embed?mid=z968r0CwbzM0.kNmk9WXxFMF0&w=500&h=500]
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It’s still not clear why areas that should in theory be experiencing less plane noise are seeing complaints lodged – feedback has been added to the map above after a Twitter survey, with many negative comments from areas between the centre of Teddington and the river, where it should now be quieter. One local resident using a phone app recorded a noise level of 100 decibels near Teddington Memorial Hospital at 11pm on Sunday night!

If you do feel that noise has remained the same, or improved then post your road/postcode in the comments section below and it will be added as a positive (green) marker on the map.

Following complaints and petitions such as City Airport and this one from Ascot residents to cease trials for Westerly departures, a petition has been created to create awareness of the noise created by these trials and to persuade Heathrow to cease them and not make the changes permanent. You can sign the petition here if you agree. Complaints are being lodged from Teddington, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, Hampton Hill, Molesey and Ham.

[Update 17/09/2014] The petition has amassed over 2,500 signatures in a few days and they have been added from many nearby towns also affected by the increased noise including Hampton Hill, Ham, Twickenham, Molesey and Kingston. First 3,000 responses mapped (click to enlarge):

The comments added to signatures are showing affect how much the flightpath changes are having to local residents:

The noise of the planes going over our house that we have lived in for less than one year causes significant distress, depression and have a massive impact on the quality of our lives – we are devastated that this has just happened as we have moved to the area and it genuinely affects my mental health. Please reconsider it is driving me mad”.

The increase in noise has destroyed our family life. My 2 year old struggles to sleep (as do we!), we have to interrupt conversations. The planes are so low we can count their windows! Please please stop”.

Because the planes are VERY loud over my house. It affects me & my family when we’re playing outside because my kids can’t hear me speaking when a plane goes by. I work from home & even with the windows closed I find it hard to hear when I’m on a business call”.

I personally moved from Richmond to Teddington to escape the excessive and constant noise from planes, which I found stressful and bad for my health. I now have an adopted daughter who suffers with sensory integration disorders, especially noise, and we are both finding this excessive and continuous plane noise over Teddington lately, extremely stressful and having a huge effect on our sleep, health and well-being. We love living in Teddington. I find it absolutely outrageous that we would have to move again if this noise continues, especially after all that my adopted daughter has already had to suffer in her life and now that she finally feels happy, settled and making friends in Teddington!”

We moved from TW7 area to KT12 a year ago to escape the noise of aircraft. I accept we live in the vicinity of an airport so can expect a certain amount of noise but recently it has been constant and irritating. I have never been contacted by any ‘body of authority” and only recently found out myself through searching our local forum and this website. I feel that this trial and has been conducted unfairly and behind our backs.”


Most popular words from signature comments

[Update 18/09/2014] From comments concerning the trial routes, some areas are indeed better off due to the changes – some residents of Isleworth, Bedfont and St Margarets have noted that it seems quieter now. An average of 350 complaints a day have been sent to Heathrow since the trials started.

Another before/during example map was released today (see above) and some figures too – route 4 (SAM) is normally the main route over Teddington usually gets 32 flights a day when on Easterly operations. This has been merged with route 5 (MID) which gets 110 per day. So that would mean 142 per day for this path now, an increase of 443% for those living underneath.

Heathrow have announced that a meeting will be held in Teddington, details to follow soon.

Matthew Gorman, Director for Sustainability and Environment for Heathrow has responded to trial feedback (original article deleted! Screenshot of this here: “I mean the first thing I would like to say is to apologise to residents who have experienced a bit more noise as a result of the flight trials that we’re doing“.

[Update 20/09/2014] Heathrow may bow to pressure and halt the trials early.

[Update 23/09/2014] There has been some respite from the noise after the wind direction changed at the start of the week – this is set to last a few days, (not determined by the reaction to he trials!).

LBRUT (already opposed to a third Heathrow runway) are pursuing whether the trial is legal without first any consultation, and will then consider what action is available depending on this decision. They have also noted that although the flightpaths have moved, they still remain within the legally designated ‘noise preferential route’ 3km wide swathes.

The petition has amassed over 5,000 signatures in just one week, showing the numbers affected by the longer flight hours and increased noise due to the trials. Reading through the comments it’s clear the trial is having a dramatic effect on residents, their sleep, health, schooling and businesses, to the point that some have started they would move if the new trial routes are made permanent.

Comments are falling into some distinct categories – some examples of each are included in this document which will be presented to Heathrow.

Heathrow have updated their website to include more info and also this timeline that shows that this is actually one of many trials that are set to continue into 2016.

[Update 29/09/2014] In advance of a public one (TBC), an invite for a meeting with Heathrow has been sent to teddingtontown.co.uk along with some local representatives this week, if you have any specific questions/issues you wish to be put to Heathrow then reply below.

The article where LHR representative Matthew Gorman apologised for ‘a bit more noise as a result of the flight trials’ has been removed but we managed to keep a screenshot of it here for prosperity.

As well as potentially concentrating flight-paths as they are currently trialling, Heathrow stated last year that they also want to end the preference for running westerly departures when the wind isn’t strong enough to determine east or westerly departures. This would mean the current easterly departure times previously around 30% of the time would now have an additional 5% of flights. This doesn’t sounds like much but this is actually an increase of 17% of the times when planes take off to the east and over Teddington & surrounding areas. Coupled with the potential to be louder and longer hours, this is of great concern.

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Comments

67 thoughts on “Heathrow easterly departure routes trial – update

  • 15th September 2014 at 16:19
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    TW2 6NP planes noise absolutely terrible even with doors & windows shut. Never used to be this bad. Quality of life destroyed !

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  • 15th September 2014 at 18:12
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    TW11 0AA Park Road. The unceasing drone of flights both at home and at work in Central Teddington is beginning to wear everybody down. It has to stop and well done TT for all of the good work in alerting us to this underhand and unwelcome change. Let’s hope the petition pays off.

    It’s so bad we’re thinking of selling up and moving to Hounslow to get some peace and quiet.

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  • 15th September 2014 at 18:38
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    TW2 6NL, Lincoln avenue. Noise is much worse and much more frequent than previously. There just seems to be no respite, with flights after 11pm and starting shortly after 6am.

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  • 15th September 2014 at 22:39
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    TW2 6SN Hamilton Rd. Planes are flying incredibly low and the noise is unbearable and so frequent. Far far worse than before. They definitely go beyond 11pm and before 6am, keeping us awake, and waking us if we happen to fall asleep. We have to have all windows closed but you can still hear through the double glazing and through the roof.

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  • 16th September 2014 at 07:52
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    Tw1 4pu – increased flights noticed but not logged, as didn’t know about trials or possible permanent changes. Expect some air traffic noise, but not every day…

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  • 16th September 2014 at 08:20
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    TW107JB – I live in Ham and the increase in aircraft noise has been relentless for the past couple of months. Absolutely no knowledge of the trial here and well done Teddington for doing something about it. It might also help if all those who sign the petition also make an official complaint to Heathrow.I think there needs to be more publicity about what’s going on here. I will spread the word.

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  • 16th September 2014 at 10:35
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    TW11 0SR huge increase of aircraft noise compare to recent years
    we can’t here tv when u have window open

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  • 16th September 2014 at 10:41
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    TW118NG The late night enhanced (excessive) noise was probably due to altitude or type of aircraft (unless aircraft were not following their routes strictly).

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  • 16th September 2014 at 10:50
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    TW12 1JT – Hampton Hill has been hit massively. Where as before you heard it sometimes, it is every night and with windows shut, we are still getting up over 100 decibels.
    The sooner Gatwick win the runway saga the better.

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  • 16th September 2014 at 15:16
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    TW11 8UH – Noticed a lot more evening noise when my daughter is trying to sleep. The lights go into the red on her monitor when they go over. Looking at your map, they have been concentrated to go right over my house.

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  • 16th September 2014 at 21:14
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    By my calculations of the coordinates given in AIP Supplement 035/2014 (published by CAA NATS 4th September 2014) and GoogleMaps ability to find the location given by coordinates, I make the waypoint LLE08 used for the MID and SAM routes to be at 111 Waldegrave Road, TW11 8BB. I understand that this is a “fly by” rather than a “fly over” waypoint so that planes will aim for it, but will start to turn as they approach it to make a smooth curve to the next segment . It appears that this results in the new centre line being somewhere like Oxford Road.

    The same supplement also gives the waypoints for the CPT flightpath trial which has now apparently been “delayed until further notice”. The Heathrow document shows that this is also being pushed further east than previously.
    The Waypoint LLE07 appears to be at 3 Edward Close, Hampton Hill TW12 1LQ. Again I would not expect planes to overfly this, but if the displacement from the waypoint is similar to the MID/SAM routes, I might expect a concentrated flight path to overfly the Hampton School/LEH playing fields. This appears to be further east than the route shown in the Heathrow document which keeps the flightpath to the west of the A316 Twickenham Road roundabout. The CPT route is currently particularly dispersed over a wide area (largely because it interferes with arriving planes and has to cross their descent into the airport guided by air traffic controllers as opposed to following a standard departure). One of the aims of the re-design is to avoid conflicts and hence the desire to make a concentrated route south of the normal approach path. Unfortunately any concentrated path is likely to be very noticeable to those it impinges on.

    Regarding councils etc. that Heathrow had informed of the trials, they have issued a list of “engagement activities” that the CAA has released as part of their response to my Environmental Information Regulations request :

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/221358/response/552737/attach/5/20140820Attachment2.pdf

    Information relating to the briefing meeting with DfT has been released at

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/heathrow_easterly_sid_trial_impa_2#incoming-541878

    It still surprises me that CAA did not insist that the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee was consulted in advance of the recent trials. An overview had been given at their Christmas Seminar meeting but details of the Ascot and Teddington trials were not shared at more recent HACC meetings.

    HACC meets again next week (Wednesday 24th September) at Heathrow and it will be interesting to see if the trials are on the meeting agenda when it is published at

    http://lhr-acc.org/minutes/

    Meetings are open to the public who may observe, but public attendance is usually small !

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    • 21st September 2014 at 13:29
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      Hello Tim,

      You appear to be a little more aware of the actualities than most. I live on Watts Lane off the High St, Teddington and am a little confused over the impact of these trials.

      Having looked at the TeddingtonTown update and Easterly Departure Trial 2 notes. It appears to me that Watts Lane should be getting ‘less’ noise than before as we are under Route 4. Now that routes 4 & 5 have been consolidated under the trial, there should be more flights over West Teddington and less over the East.

      As I have no understanding of the technicalities you speak of in your letter, could you advise me?

      Many thanks, Simon

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      • 21st September 2014 at 14:01
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        Hi Simon, this has confused me as well! Just to clarify, are you getting more noise since July?

        There have been complaints lodged from Ham, by the river and addresses from the middle of Teddington to the river all the way up to Hampton Wick. Could these be home addresses of residents who notice the noise when out and about in west Teddington, or they could be experiencing more noise over their homes too (not matching the expected effects!)

        I know of businesses on the High Street and towards the river that have noted more noise, a yoga teacher who has classes in the Landmark who has to shout over the noise of planes.

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        • 21st September 2014 at 15:00
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          More noise since July? To be honest, I can’t really say for certain. There definitely appears to be a greater frequency at night, up to 23.30. I’ve not noticed the planes overhead as before (route 4) but certainly they appear nearer than the Route 5 spread would suggest and noisier than I remember.

          From my own perspective, I could not conclude this is worse than July, nor have I noticed there being more early morning flights over us, if that is the case.

          As I write 14.50 Sun21Sept. The noise I am most aware of is from the Route 3 flying Twickenham-Richmond Pk. I understand Heathrow claim there is no change to these flights.

          Over the eastern side of Teddington we seem to be getting a lot of noise from the Route 3, perhaps many residents who are complaining over the current trial are in fact noticing this rather than the Route 4/5 noise.

          I expect the more residents/neighbours are made aware of the trial, the more they will be aware of the noise. Ergo, more complaints. Hence my query over the number of complaints from East Teddington in respect to the actualities of the frequency of flights and flightpaths. Is there not a risk that Heathrow will simply draw attention to this and conclude that if 50% of the complaints are from residents that are under the original Route 4, they should therefore be dismissed as misguided since (under the current trial) there should be less flights overhead and less noise? Following on from this, if 50% of the complaints are misguided – the other 50% might be exaggerated in the same vein and therefore filed under the NIMBY folder.

          If Heathrow claim that there has been no increased frequency in flights over the trial, can they prove this? In their ‘Easterly departure trial 2’ notes, they have provided a very clear illustration of “… a day of departing flights before the trial started” and “… a day of departing flights during the trial”. I’d like to see how this pans out on a day by day basis for routes 3, 4 and 5.

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          • 22nd September 2014 at 06:58
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            No, I’m sorry I don’t have an explanation for the apparent problems reported in East Teddington which is supposed to have benefited from the overhead flight path being moved a few hundred metres to the west (albeit combined with the increased flights from the other path being moved a few hundred metres to the east).

            I would like more info from Heathrow on plane heights and departure procedures and whether these have changed with the flight path . Allegedly one of the advantages of RNAV routes is they may permit planes to reach cruising altitude earlier by removing restrictions on holding planes low because of conflict with other landing planes. Continuous climb operations should be good for noise a bit away from the airport as planes are higher although close in things may be a touch worse as greater thrust is used to climb higher faster. I also wonder if the turns on route 4 are now tighter than they used to be and whether this has implications for thrust,altitude and noise.

            It would be handy for Heathrow to issue some more dated route plots to enable us to assess the typicality of those they have issued so far. It is also a shame that they have not got temporary noise monitors in position to give an objective measure of noise changes. The “Justine Greening” draft Aviation Policy included the desire to improve transparent airport noise monitoring in populated areas in addition to the existing arc that are sited close to the runways. Unfortunately this did not survive into the final Policy announced by her successor.

            I think Heathrow should also be telling us more clearly where it expects the RNAV CPT flights to be spread over Hanworth/Hampton when this “delayed” trial finally gets going.

    • 28th September 2015 at 09:13
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      Hi Tim,
      I live in TW12 Hampton Wordsworth Road and the “fly by” and “fly over” my house. Few minutes ago i noticed something different they are making a U turn on the other side of the road. They are flying very low and we are getting the worst noise we have ever experienced affecting my children (1yr and 4yrs old) when the flights starts as early as 6am in the morning and waking them up several times in the night.

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      • 29th September 2015 at 18:50
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        Hi Emma,
        Just to say that here in TW11 8NJ the noise from the planes is also horrible. In response to my (many) complaints, I have received just standards responses from the Heathrow authorities telling me about the wind direction and how it changes the take off path!. I know this only too well as we have lived here for 30+ years (although the levels of noise pollution only became a problem about two years ago).
        What I don’t understand is why there are so many more planes ‘flying over’ our houses and also ‘flying by’ than in the recent past. Weren’t the trials stopped in autumn 2014 or is there some sneaky trialling still on-going? Whatever is happening, we still seem to be on two take off paths, as opposed to one in the recent past.
        I also fail to understand why the planes are so noisy and why they are flying so low – we can almost spot the passengers on some flights and the decibel count can go as high as 90! Double glazing throughout the house hardly helps at all.
        Noise pollution has been proved to be very bad for the physical and mental health of adults and children. I therefore can’t believe that this level of noise is permitted – and this is before we face the extra 250, 000 planes which Heathrow expansion will bring.
        Dr. J

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  • 16th September 2014 at 22:36
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    Dear Editor,

    This may be helpful to those suffering from the daily blight of increased aircraft noise. A response from the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee.

    Best wishes,
    Fraser Cullen
    Twickenham

    Dear Mr. Cullen

    Thank you for your e-mail.

    I have forwarded this to the appropriate members of Heathrow management who are dealing with the subject of aircraft noise for direct response.

    Regards

    HACC

    Dear Mr Cullen

    Thank you for your email which has been passed to me. We have received a number of complaints about the current airspace trials and I’m sorry for the impact they are having on you. The trials are part of the Government’s Future Airspace Policy which is testing more efficient ways of routing planes to reduce emissions and delays. The use of airspace around London was designed when aircraft navigation systems were less precise and has not been reviewed for many years. All London airports are affected by these changes.

    The trials are just that – trials, that are helping us learn more about the airspace around Heathrow and how we can use it to improve flight patterns. After the trial flight patterns will return to usual. The trials need to be run for a period of time to collect enough data to assess the positive and negative impacts. The trial in your area is currently planned to last for 6 months, but in the light of residents’ concerns, we are working with NATS and the CAA to see if they can get the data they need in a shorter time.

    All complaints we receive are being recorded. The increase in complaint numbers recently means the team may not be able to respond as quickly as we would like and I apologise for this. We’re looking to rectify it. Feedback from local residents is an important part of planning flight paths. Before we began the trials we briefed local organisations including neighbouring local authorities, residents’ groups, campaign groups and MPs near Heathrow. However this trial has generated significantly more complaints than the trials we held earlier this year, even in areas that have always been overflown by planes, so we know we need to do more to let people know what’s happening.

    I’ve attached some information about the trials and some maps showing the routes before and after.

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  • 17th September 2014 at 07:09
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    Never mind about the noise which is unreal WHAT about the toxic gases coming from these planes, pilots, cabin crew all dead due to these gases and we are living with this muck, on an hourly, base, coughing , short of breath thanks to these dam planes,

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  • 17th September 2014 at 07:25
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    Reblogged this on Action Against Apathy and commented:
    Is anyone in Ham or North Kingston experiencing increased noise?

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    • 17th September 2014 at 17:00
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      @Andree Frieze
      Hi, yes there has been quite a bit of noise recently in the Ham/Kingston area. However, there’s been an easterly wind for an unusually long period of time, which explains quite a lot of it. The forecast says we can expect easterlies for about another week, then back to some peace & quiet 🙂

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      • 21st September 2014 at 20:33
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        Yes, I have just moved to the area and it’s been quite a shock to have planes going overhead so frequently! Even if this is due to the “prolonged” easterly winds and not the current trial, I find it completely unacceptable that Heathrow do not seem to vary the flight path, so especially in the evenings we have a steady stream of jumbos disturbing the peace every minute or two until around 11.30-45 pm.

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  • 17th September 2014 at 07:48
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    Noise over Teddington has been unbearable the last month or so. We sleep in a recently converted loft which cost is a fortune and now debating moving back downstairs due to the noise. My children’s sleep has been seriously affected and we have started to close all the windows at night. This must be stopped. It’s become so bad we’re considering moving having just refurbished our family home over the last 24 months.

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  • 17th September 2014 at 08:00
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    TW1 4JF – flights do seem to be more frequent and noisier for the past couple of months. It wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact they are running well beyond 10 and 11pm making it much harder to sleep.

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  • 17th September 2014 at 08:43
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    Where is the location of the meeting of HACC for the 24 September 2014 and what are its start times as this information does not seem to appear on its site?

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    • 17th September 2014 at 09:11
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      When I enquired in April (after reading government comment that it was good practice for airport consultative c’tees to be held in public) I received the response :

      “The HACC meetings are open to the public who may sit in the public gallery, but are not permitted to speak.

      The HACC meeting to be held on 21st May 2014 will commence at 2.00 p.m. at the Heathrow Academy, Newall Road.

      Regards

      Carole Havercroft

      Committee Secretary

      HACC”

      I was the lone member of the public at the May meeting (the Chair prefaced the meeting by pointing out to members that it was a public meeting and if any member felt that an item should be discussed in private they should raise the matter and ask for the public to be excluded ! I think there were two of us in July.

      I would presume the location and timing of the September meeting will be similar but expect an advance copy of the agenda to appear on the website in the next day or so.

      If hordes show up there may be difficulty (as the room could probably only fit a dozen or so extra bodies and there aren’t that number of spare seats.)
      On a related matter, you may have seen the appeal for people not to attend the Ascot Parish Council meeting last night as they reckoned that few of the people wanting to attend to hear the discussion on flight trials there would be allowed inside because of space restrictions.

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  • 17th September 2014 at 11:33
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    I used to live in Ham but have now moved to Berkshire (affected by landings on Easterly operations). I am reading these comments with interest and sympathy. Keep protesting. For all those who cannot sleep the wind direction is due to change at the weekend, so you should have some peace. This has been a long unbroken spell of Easterlies.

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  • 17th September 2014 at 12:38
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    TW10 7JB I have noticed a significant increase in noise over the last couple of months, both during the day and at night. Recent night flights have been disturbing the peace every couple of minutes which has been intolerable.

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  • 17th September 2014 at 13:03
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    We are at TW14QS. It is appalling. So noisy we have to turn up the TV when the planes go over-as they do, incessantly-in the garden we must SHOUT,the children can’t get to sleep at night. My small son is disabled and is terribly distressed by the noise and begs me to make it stop.
    We were not consulted about this.Given how low down the planes are I can’t subscribe to the comforting idea that when the wind changes we won’t notice. What is the trial? And what are its measures?

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  • 17th September 2014 at 13:45
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    SL4 1PD – Massively increased noise levels and frequency of aircraft over Windsor as well, unbearably so since this trial began. Living and working in Windsor is utterly unbearable. Just watch the tourist numbers plummet as a result of this!

    It cannot be coincidence that since this trial began, we have seen an increase in noise over Windsor. This is despite Heathrow’s noise complaints team denying this on the phone, whilst by coincidence, they admitted the increase in noise levels over Windsor are due to the trial!

    Disgusting that no consultation was made regarding the trial – lasting FIVE months!

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  • 17th September 2014 at 15:22
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    Hi,
    As a Teddington resident (annoyed by the increase in noise) and an ex-Heathrow employee (with a good understanding of the noise issue that Heathrow faces and tries to tackle) I thought it was worth posting on this forum.

    Fundamentally, I think it would be worth inviting the Heathrow community team to come to Teddington to inform us about the trial. No point in getting angry/ emotional about something until you have the full facts. In my experience the community team do a fantastic (and very tough) job and would welcome the opportunity to provide us with further insight into what the trial is, how best we can make our views known and how the trial might affect us in the future.

    Clearly the message about the trial didn’t get through to a large number of people (me included) so why not give them the opportunity to rectify this so that we know what we’re dealing with? Perhaps an evening event that allows those who work to attend (rather than the 2pm HACC event which has been mentioned elsewhere).

    This won’t be a popular view, but Heathrow isn’t wholly bad! It provides enormous employment in the area, is world leading on innovations in noise-reduction measures and provides those wishing to fly with incredible links across the world, right on our doorstep. I completely understand that noise and pollution issues come with that, but I for one appreciate the benefits that Heathrow brings as much as the downsides (and made a choice to accept that when moving into the area).

    So, in addition to the petition and logging complaints with Heathrow, why not invite Heathrow to come to Teddington and talk to us, so that we all have a much better understanding of what is a very complex issue?

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  • 17th September 2014 at 15:27
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    TW12 1SR noise is massively increased recently. Some evenings it feels like every thirty seconds or so. Have signed the petition and mailed the noise complaints. We shall see what happens. But in the long term this massively affects quality of life.

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  • 17th September 2014 at 22:47
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    I have a recording studio for voice work at my home for professional purposes and am finding it impossible to record anything over 15 – 20 ~SECONDS at a time. I cannot record books at the moment and am losing money because of it. The noise continues till 11.30pm at night and I have the choice to work through the night. That and noisy children in the school holidays has confirmed for me that I have to move house next year. Impossible situation. TW11 Cambridge Road Teddington

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  • 17th September 2014 at 23:20
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    As a pilot who lives in Teddington and flies from Heathrow I think an important point is being missed. The main reason for the increased noise over the last few weeks is wind direction. When the wind comes from the west, the planes take off in a westerly direction and there is no noise over Teddington. This is the case 75% of the time.

    When the wind comes from the east, some departing planes come over Teddington and the noise is much greater. This is the case 25% of the time. The last 3 weeks have been almost constantly easterly winds (hence the nice weather – Siberian high pressure) and that is why the noise is so bad. Soon, the wind will change back to the west and things will be back to normal.

    The easterly departures trial has really only ‘tweaked’ the existing routes and shouldn’t make much difference to the amount of noise we hear on the ground.

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    • 18th September 2014 at 00:26
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      Thanks for your input Peter, myself and hopefully most locals understand about Easterlies/Westerlies and the effect of weather systems causing long bouts of Easterly departures. This has happened frequently over the last few years, actually wasn’t there a long bout of high pressure this year before the July trial started and although this would have probably created more Easterly departures, there was not a barrage of complaints like we’re experiencing now.

      To say routes have been tweaked is an understatement – it seems as though two routes (SAM/MID) are now concentrated into one, as a pilot, is that correct? Residents have spoken of being woken up earlier and kept awake later in the day, also of noticing much lower planes, being able to see individual windows etc. Do the two routes operate at the same height? Are we just seeing more planes at the same height so noticing them more?

      Perhaps this is just psychological and plane heights are the same? A 100db reading at 11pm is I’m sure louder than we’re used to. If we knew about the trial before it began, we could have carried out some form of measurement but practically no residents knew about it. NPL have had a noise monitoring station in the past, they could have shown some before/after actual measurements.

      I know what planes sound like when they’re climbing over my house, but this last month it has been much louder (individually) as well as more frequent. See the comment above from Voyagersun – a professional recording artist who works from home and now finds it impossible to record for more than 20 seconds at a time – this is a big difference in noise levels.

      Even if noise levels were the same as pre-trial, we’re definitely getting a lot more planes – not sure about the numbers vs routes, do you know? At times there is only 30 seconds in between planes and we’re not used to that.

      If most of the reason for the noise is weather system related then I find it puzzling that none of the responses from the LHR Noise Complaint email address mentions this at all.

      Reply
  • 17th September 2014 at 23:29
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    23.o7.Flight oo–THE has just gone over my gaff at 1.625 feet at 179 knts I am just waiting for the next one, which one will crash and kill me this is INSANE

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  • 18th September 2014 at 10:53
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    KT7 0DG – I noticed the increase in noise levels recently and only seemed to notice it later at night in the last few months in Surbiton, having recently moved to Thames Ditton, the planes are so close and noisy it’s unbelievable, a long await for a property with a garden to relax in isn’t quite what I was hoping for, I have sent an email of complaint, thanks to this website for bringing this to my and hopefully others attention and helping make a change

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  • 18th September 2014 at 15:12
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    We are being driven mad by the increase in noise levels and frequency of planes over Somerset Road Teddington. At first I had assumed it was weather system related which we have learned to put up with for a few days or a week, but this has been going on for weeks and the planes are much louder and more frequent than we are used to. When is this “trial” due to stop?? The planes are waking me up at 0625 and go on until 11 at night, so that’s less than 8 hours without planes. Please please can we go back to how things were?!

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  • 18th September 2014 at 18:51
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    BBCSurrey had a couple of chats this morning on the flightpath trials on westerly departures.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0262src

    At ~1hr40mins in their had a reporter interview two residents in a Bagshot garden. (There was some mention that the trials had been developed to give relief to Richmond !!!)

    and at ~2:53 Heathrow Sustainability Director Matt Gorman talks about airspace modernisation and says that it is the government that is getting them to do these trials. Is that true, Vince ?

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  • 19th September 2014 at 08:52
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    The increased noise is impacting on the quality of life here in Teddington , Oxford road . I woke with a start last night after 11pm as a particularly noisy aircraft flew over . I thought they were meant to stop at 11pm , how do we protest further ? If it continues we will seriously think about moving.
    Harriet

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  • 19th September 2014 at 11:55
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    I live at 23 Alexander close, TW2 5TB.

    aircraft noise is horrendous to the point all T Vs in the block are set on high and tempers are fraying, due to the knock on affect of people trying to cope with aircraft noise.

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  • 19th September 2014 at 13:38
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    If you want to email your local Councillors and MP use the following site to look them up using your postcode and email them all in one go, directly from the site.
    http://www.writetothem.com
    The more they understand the depth of feeling in Teddington the better.

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  • 20th September 2014 at 09:02
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    TW11 0SB Royal Road
    We noticed a large increase in frequency in the mornings and evenings but only recently discovered why after the article in the local paper.

    We moved to the area last year and understood the level of noise and accepted it, enjoying a nice summer in the garden. However this year we’ve hardly used the garden thanks to the noise and don’t understand why it needs to be changed when there isn’t any additional capacity at the airport anyway unless it’s part of a plan to get approval for the runway by reducing noise for people currently objecting to it.

    The worst part is the extra early and evening flights. Talk about moving the goalposts!

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  • 20th September 2014 at 20:28
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    Cannot believe the aircraft noise that we are now getting in West Molesey. A disaster for me as I work from home and chose this area as it had little or no aircraft noise. WTF?

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  • 21st September 2014 at 16:42
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    I live in Ham TW10 area and the noise of aircraft is louder and far more frequent especially late in the evening and today its been all day one after another. Its been like it for a while now. Not a very relaxing atmosphere. Never noticed it like this ever before and I have lived in this area for years.It is usually the noise of helicopters that break the silence.

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  • 21st September 2014 at 18:04
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    TW11 9HW. Whatever anyone is saying, something has changed. This week, it has been the noisiest week I have experienced in my 50+ years of living in this area, the planes have woken me up and stopped me dozing. I grew up in TW1 just to the side of a main landing flight path. Planes there are intense for a period then stop, and never all day. You can learn to filter out a consistent pattern of noise. I moved to Teddington 25 years ago. The noise this week has been far more disruptive to me than ever before, it has started earlier before 6am and been all day without a break, then finishing later. There is little pattern to the noise; time intervals between planes, plane direction and pitch and nature of noise all vary – makes filtering out the noise difficult. The last plane I heard last night was 11.35pm (then fell asleep – years of practise at that from living in TW11!), so much for the 11pm cut off.

    If the wind is in the east today and has been this week, perhaps it is that HAA has made changes to the volume of planes over us during easterlies? The noise is much worse at the moment than any time I can remember during periods of easterly winds. When was it acceptable to have planes all day every weekday and weekend without a break?

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  • 21st September 2014 at 19:59
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    We have lived here in Teddington for over 30 years and have never experienced anything like the constant barrage of aircraft noise we have had to endure here in TW11 this summer.
    Today has been a very bad day indeed. The weather has been lovely but there is just plane after plane, low flying and super noisy, going over our heads at 3/4 minute intervals. The barrage of noise started early and has continued without break until now (20.00 hours). Relaxing in the garden or having windows and doors open is just not possible.
    Monday and Tuesday of the last week were also appalling in terms of noise pollution. I was working from home and the noise was so bad at points that I could not hear myself speak on the phone! On both evenings planes were still thundering over our house later than 23.00 hours.
    This level of noise pollution is bad for both physical and mental health. Just as medical trials are ended prematurely if it is clear that the test processes are detrimental to participants’ health, this trial of the easterly take off routes should be stopped with immediate effect.
    I did not move to this area to live under a flight path followed by 142 planes a day, all day, every day that the easterly route is in use.
    A message to those in charge at Heathrow: please act ethically and humanely and STOP this trial NOW.

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  • 22nd September 2014 at 09:06
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    TW11 8NB Teddington Park Road – we have also noticed an increase in frequency and volume of aircraft noise. Went on till well after 11pm last night!

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  • 22nd September 2014 at 10:36
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    Hooray (for us) A bit of peace and quite. Heathrow have tweeted –

    11:00 PM – 21 Sep 2014 Good morning, due to a change in wind direction we are now on westerlies. Landing on the northern (27R) & departing off the southern (27L) https://twitter.com/HeathrowNoise/status/513930755790356480

    Ascot are not so happy though.

    Isn’t all this about a study for the 3rd runway? Let’s put it into perspective. If you’re pro the 3rd runway, we’ll have to get used to all this disruption while Heathrow get their act together. If you’re anti, this is only going to get worse.

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  • 22nd September 2014 at 12:59
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    TW2 5JS – Noise (both volume and frequency) is significantly worse than it used to be. The limited amount of plane noise is (was) one of the reasons I live here!

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  • 22nd September 2014 at 14:41
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    We moved to Teddington (Hampton road) last year to escape the dreadful plane noise in Brentford- we looked at and dismissed other areas (Kew/ Richmond/ Sheen) etc precisely becuase we did not want to live under the flight path- we are beyond devastated that this trial started- if it is a pemanenent change we will need to move as we cannot cope with the noise level or the frequency (every 3 mins). It is horrendous.

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  • 23rd September 2014 at 11:31
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    We recently moved to TW1 3DG (Twickenham Riverside) in order to escape the airplane noise only to find out about the recent trials earlier this month. The noise levels that we have been experiencing are extreme – an airplane in every 60 seconds running from 6am until midnight (and sometimes past midnight), including weekends. Flights are lower and much louder. With this frequency and noise level, our family’s lives have been chattered…turned upside down – sleep deprivation, inability to enjoy quiet moments at any time during the day (also with windows closed), not to mention increased stress levels, general exhaustion, migraines, nervousness – due to at least ten-fold increase in aircraft noise levels.

    We chose the location for our home on the basis of limited aircraft noise. We did not chose to live under a flight path. It is unfair on all Twickenham and Tedditngton residents that a private company like BAA (acting with the government) is allowed to abuse its power and violate people’s well-being in such a large-scale grossly negligent manner.

    THIS MUST BE STOPPED!

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  • 23rd September 2014 at 16:28
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    We live in Fulwell Park Ave, Twickenham. On Sunday morning from about 6:30am there was NO respite from planes for at least half an hour. As one flew off another could be heard coming. What a marvellous way to usher in a day of rest.
    Please give me the address of the people who decided this so I can perhaps introduce them to Motorhead’s greatest hits at 6am cranked up to 11.

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  • 25th September 2014 at 10:04
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    I live in East Molesey, and didn’t intend live under a direct flight path. But some nights feel as though I am now living at the end of a runway. I expect some aircraft noise, but this feels like a bombardment. ‘Modernisation of air traffic control excuse is’ a complete red herring, there is no good reason not to spread out these flights across a much wider area which would be reasonable.

    I’m sure that the narrowing of the flight paths is part of the Back Heathrow campaign for the third runway to reduce the number of people under flight paths to reduce potential opposition and compensation demands by concentrating flights over the unlucky few. So imagine what it will be like if the third runway is approved. Back Heathrow is funded by the Heathrow operator, BTW trying to win over local support with scare tactics about Heathrow folding if it’s not successful in getting a third runway, this is not true. Back Heathrow is promising that no new residential areas will be effected by aircraft noise, if a third runway goes ahead. How can this be achieved without further bombardment of current flight paths?

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  • 27th September 2014 at 15:10
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    tw119dn – A lot more noise and planes now passing over house and north end Bushy Park which didnt happen previously. Given Busy Park has just been awarded SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) status by Natural England, it seem bad form. Royal parks might have strong views on this as well.

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  • 9th October 2014 at 21:12
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    The incessant drone every minute or 2 is enough to tip me into a state of feeling helpless frustration and despair. The noise grinds into the brain in such a painful manner – well, like having a mosquitoe in your bedroom – but just a bit louder. Is noise not a form of torture? It is inhumane to expect people to live with this unbearable and relentless level of noise, and surely there must be a legal decibel upper limit?

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  • 21st November 2014 at 12:20
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    The incessant noise from aeroplanes over TW1 in the last week has driven me to despair. I thought the Heathrow trials had finished on November 12th but this relentless noise is as bad as it was in September. I have lost so much sleep because of it. It’s torture and there seems to be no-one to tell me when it’s going to stop.

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    • 21st November 2014 at 13:21
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      We are in Ham and feel the same way. It is apparently down to Heathrow’s new policy for narrower flight path corridors, rather than spreading the noise. As one previous post suggested, this is most likely an attempt to get less complaints over a wider area, but it’s making our life a misery!

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  • 30th November 2014 at 10:08
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    As we have respite today, I have checked flight radar24 app. Please note that westerly departures leave Heathrow climbing over the reservoir before following the line of the M25. Now what a very sensible plan that is. Planes take off into wind ie westerly, which is the safest way for planes to take off. They then follow a road which is by it’s very nature noises, thereby causing least noise to residents. So why would they insist on reverting to easterly take off so regularly now? It has to be that they want to try and demonstrate to Government or CAA or whoever! that following the easterly trials ended on 12 nov, they have continued with easterlies and the number of complaint has dropped like a stone. Therefore with a 3rd runway they are able to show that they can send flights easterly with very limited residents complaints.
    The short answer is that we must all keep complaining when we notice loud noise above us!!

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    • 30th November 2014 at 18:59
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      Hi Jeremy, the east/west direction of take off is determined by the wind direction, not Heathrow’s choice – we have had another long stint of wind blowing towards the west so planes have been landing/taking off towards the east more than average lately.

      The trials were testing concentrating and combining the flightpaths, whether to the west and east of Heathrow.

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  • 4th April 2015 at 21:57
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    Am I dreaming or has this ‘trial’ recommenced? – much more noise noticeable since approx. 2 April.

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    • 5th April 2015 at 18:05
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      Hi Alan, EASTER-ly winds unfortunately. Should change over the next couple of days, but in the mean time I just sent an email to the Noise Complaints dept at Heathrow.

      Dear Sir/Madam

      I am writing to complain about the frequency of planes over Ham this weekend. Whereas I appreciate that there has been a prolonged period of easterly winds, I cannot understand why the departure flights are concentrated along such a narrow path. We have had planes every couple of minutes passing over our house, day and night.

      I should be grateful if you would kindly explain why they cannot be spread out over a wider radius? It seems completely unreasonable to expect residents in this area to tolerate such incessant noise levels, especially as the weather improves and windows are opened.

      Regards

      Cliff

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  • 23rd April 2015 at 13:25
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    Tw25rp April 2015 – 15 years Twickenham resident, I am now writing for the first time as I feel the current aeroplane noises are destroying the pleasures left in our lives where we are to work so hard. Little time to sit in the sun and enjoy the birds singing. This is no longer possible. Constant noise plane. On top of that, the plane are flying right over our heads very low, I dread to think how much pollution we are are inhaling and is deposited on our skins. Children’s asthma is out of control. Why do this to us residents who pay a massive premium for houses and council tax to live in what used to be a desirable and pleasantly quiet area??? Sylvie from twickenham

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  • 23rd April 2015 at 22:19
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    Sylvie I entirely agree with you. I’m going out of my mind and Heathrow are having a joke – or more likely already know the result of the Davies Commission report? Worrying. I live in Teddington, signed the petition during the trials last year, and have complained like fury. During the trials I averaged about 2 hours sleep a night for weeks – having to be up for work at 6am each morning and not getting home until around 7pm I was completely sleep deprived and on the edge. Then it stopped. Now it seems to be really picking up pace again. The planes are so low I can see the windows. And the constant roar and whining! Torture. No point even trying to go to bed before 11-12pm. Just turn up the sound on the tv and wait for it to stop – until it starts up again around 6am.

    But more seriously, you are absolutely right – if this continues Richmond must reduce our council tax to zero.

    And the impact this must be having on the health and well-being of our children who are living with this bombardment is paramount – tender young ears (ear plugs for adults are no defence against these thunderous monsters) – and the sleep deprivation of our school children must surely have an impact on their performance in school, education and mental health. And to also never grow up with nature because it has been driven away by bullying corporate greed is an absolute travesty.

    As for these easterly winds and westerly winds – tosh. It does not accord with the Met Office. Don’t tell me there have been no easterlies or westerlies over this area for the past 30 years?

    And what if one of these things falls out of the sky? As we know they do. Who’s house and family does it fall on?

    Something has to be done before it’s too late. But how? Do we have yet another petition? Where do I sign? Will it be ignored again?

    Not one political party seems to be against a Heathrow third runway – I may be wrong.

    Sylvie you’re right – the impact on people’s live is indisputable – they are being destroyed – and Heathrow really don’t give a monkeys. These bullies will make money whatever it takes. And we the public are the hostages.

    And to those Heathrow employees who are reading this – please do come round for the weekend and find out first hand what living under a flight path actually feels like. Because you have no grounds for disputing the fact that people’s lives are being shattered because of your activities.

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  • 5th June 2015 at 18:05
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    Hi,

    So still finding the noise ridiculous in Molesey. And the planes are still so low.
    Is anyone else feeling the same?
    What happened with the petition from last year? I can’t seem to find an update online or on my emails.
    Many thanks

    Reply

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