Our Health and Environment Committee welcomed the Government’s commitment to establishing a framework that more strongly incentivises reducing the impact of noise reduction and mitigation. However, Members of the Committee suggested an independent body should administer the airport mitigation and compensation schemes, which could help to rebuild the trust that has been lost by local communities.
Murad Qureshi AM, Chair of the Health and Environment Committee:
The response said noise measurement should be consistent, the detrimental impact on local residents should be reduced, and suggested airports work together to organise flight times to help reduce noise. The Committee made the case for developing combined noise maps for Heathrow and London City Airport, as residents are increasingly affected by the combined impact of aircraft noise from both airports.
The response concluded runway alternation is a valuable way of providing relief from aircraft noise, and does not back changes that would be detrimental to local residents’ health.
In a bid to meet the national target to reduce emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050, the Committee called for a phased approach with short, medium and long term milestones, and these should be legally binding. The response also welcomed the Committee on Climate Change’s advice to Government earlier this year that aviation should be included in the five-yearly carbon budget system.
The London Assembly reaffirmed its position on Heathrow this year, unanimously opposing expansion at Heathrow. To tackle the environmental impacts of aviation, the consultation response also makes recommendations on research into developing cleaner aircraft and fuel technology.
Following publication of the new policy framework, on 7 May 2013 the Committee wrote a letter to the Transport Secretary expressing its disappointment, saying the policy had failed to respond to environmental concerns on air quality and noise.