Heathrow flight paths

MQT on 2011-10-12
Session date: 
October 12, 2011
Question By: 
Darren Johnson
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Will you make representations to the Government and to BAA regarding their two trials for landing aircraft at Heathrow airport on both runways at the same time, which may lead to the airport being granted the ability to do this as standard practice? Will you specifically urge them: (a) not to grant any operational changes that would lead to an increase in the volume of flights, which will cause further suffering for residents across London; and (b) to ensure there is an independent means by which residents can feed back concerns such as about noise during the trials, so that we might properly assess the impact of the changes?


Answer for Heathrow flight paths

Answer for Heathrow flight paths

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Efficiency improvements in the way our airports operate are welcome, but exactly how these proposals will work and how effective they are will be subject to scrutiny, particularly if they turn out to worsen the lives of West Londoners living under the flight paths. I want to see aviation thrive in London and the south-east and expect the Government's trial to be fairly conducted and its consultation to be open-minded and responsive to the people in London who could be adversely affected by this experiment.

The trial will not increase the number of flights at Heathrow - Heathrow will remain capped at 480,000 aircraft movements a year. There will be no increase in the number of scheduled night movements and there will be no increase in the hourly scheduled capacity of the airport during the trials.

The Government has appointed the CAA to have oversight of the trial and they will review the data collected at the end of the trial. The frequency and detail to be contained in the data reports issued during the trial is subject to discussion with the local authorities. I have asked my officers to follow the trial closely and liaise with the local authorities whose communities will be directly affected.

This trial, if it were successful and made permanent, would only ever be a sticking-plaster. What I want is to see a long term solution to the UK's aviation problems and Heathrow can never be that. I want to see a new hub airport for the south-east that can keep London on the global necklace of megacities and maintain its, and the UK's, position as a strong economic force.