Its third runway has not been built, but it has been reported that LHR has unveiled plans that will see flights to the facility increase by 25,000 before the extra runway is constructed. Some local resident groups, however, are protesting the impact that the increase will have on their communities.
London Heathrow Airport’s (LHR) third runway has not yet been built, but the BBC reports that LHR has unveiled plans that will see flights to the facility increase by 25,000 before this extra runway is constructed. In part, by allowing simultaneous take off and landings on its two runways which will allow for 68 extra flights a day.
This increase has been announced as part of the latest round of consultation at LHR, which begins on January 8th and will run until March 4th.
The outlet reports that, as part of this, the flight paths over the communities surrounding the airport will be altered to accommodate these extra flights. Certain residential districts, it says, will receive a respite from flight noise while other western parts of the city could seen an increase in noise.
Explaining the current situation in terms of flight path patterns, the BBC reports that, “Communities living near Heathrow airport are currently given half a day’s break from noise as the direction of take offs and landings is alternated during the afternoon.”
The plans to alter LHR’s flight path and increase flights has been met with opposition from some local residents and community groups within the western part of London.
In a tweet, John Stewart, the chair of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN), said, “Heathrow is planning a near-revolution of its flight paths. Although runway alternation will be cut in West London (due to the proposed 3rd runway), it will be extended to vast swathes of London…”.
In an official statement, the airport has urged participation by local residents in the expansion process.
Offering her comments on the consultation, Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director for Expansion, stated, “Heathrow’s aim is to design a sustainable, fair and more efficient future airport while connecting the UK to global growth. It is crucial that our plans maximize the benefits of expansion across the country, including for the communities closest to us—and working in partnership with our neighbors is just one way of ensuring they do so.”
“We are committed to delivering expansion responsibly, and we encourage everyone to have their say and take part,” she added.