Heathrow Noise Complaints

Meeting: 
MQT on 2014-12-17
Session date: 
December 17, 2014
Reference: 
2014/5020
Question By: 
Darren Johnson
Organisation: 
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

A significant number of residents have been contacting me with concerns about the way noise complaints are dealt with by Heathrow. Although the proposal for an Independent Noise Commissioner with statutory responsibilities on aircraft noise has been gaining cross-party support in London, in the meantime will you make firm representations to Heathrow to respond properly to complaints from members of the public and ensure a reasonable response to direct questions?

Answer

Answer for Heathrow Noise Complaints

Answer for Heathrow Noise Complaints

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I welcome moves towards an independent noise regulator for Heathrow, something I called for in 2012 in response to the Government consultation on its draft Aviation Policy Framework. But I maintain that, if it is to be effective, it needs to have real powers to engage airports and airlines and set and enforce limits.

The Airports Commission proposals are for a consultative body only. I fear this will have neither the ability to address noise infringements nor the credibility to reassure the public on this critical issue.

I have and will continue to press Heathrow airport to properly engage with members of the public and those who represent them. I am disappointed that my staff have not been included in recent activity of Heathrow airport's noise forum. It was also of concern that - despite the provisions of Section 371 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 - I was not consulted about the recent Heathrow flight path trial. In response I wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport to reiterate the importance of proper consultation and engagement in relation to amendments to flight paths over London. I will always make firm representations to Heathrow airport in relation to noise matters because the impacts on the public health and quality of life of hundreds of thousands of Londoners cannot be overstated.