Heathrow�s Night Flight Noise Increasing
accused of concealing true scale of Heathrow noise
Wandsworth councillor has claimed that reports from the Government
stating the noise climate at Heathrow has been getting better
has been undermined by transport department figures. New research
shows that the true level of noise caused by early morning
arrivals is up to 75 per cent higher than that implied by
the Government's official method of classification.
have been repeated calls for noise limits to be set on the
basis of actual readings rather than the established desk-top
calculation. This method, known as the QC system, assigns
theoretical noise values to individual aircraft according
to the type of engine used. In its current consultation document
on night flights the Government repeats its claim that the
noise climate has improved and by pooling noise monitoring
data across all three London airports it is able to state
that most aircraft (60 per cent) operating at night are placed
in the appropriate QC category.
information, contained in a technical document published by
the transport department on April 8, is still not based on
live noise monitoring but does attempt to measure whether
the noise impact of each aircraft type is properly ranked
by its QC rating.
the document fails show is the accuracy of the QC ratings
for aircraft at each individual airport. Private studies reveal
that using the DfT's own data almost two out of three early
morning arrivals at Heathrow are incorrectly placed in a lower
(quieter) band. In general terms airlines can fly twice as
many QC2 aircraft as QC4s. In some cases a QC8 rating is now
appropriate which would actually mean the aircraft was banned
from flying at night.
Council leader Edward Lister believes that ministers should
now own up to the true scale of the noise misery caused by
night flights at Heathrow "The Government has known that
their noise figures were wrong for almost four years. yet
they continue to tell those of us under the flight path that
things are getting better.
fact that night noise has now been proved to have deteriorated
could open the floodgate to a wave of compensation claims
from people woken up by early morning arrivals.�
current consultation comes just as a decision is expected
from Strasbourg on the European Court of Human Rights case
challenging night flights.
campaigners fear that rather than reducing the number of noise
quota points ministers will simply allow the airlines to trade
their noisier B747-400s for quieter aircraft and enable them
to bring even more night flights into Heathrow.
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accused of moving the goal posts on air pollution