The Brockley Noise Action Group

The Brockley Noise Action Group (BNAG) is a group set-up to address noise problems related to Heathrow Airport. They have already enjoyed some success in highlighting the problems night-flight trials created for this neck of the woods, but thanks to low flying aircraft, this is a group that never sleeps.

They are holding an open meeting at St John's Church Hall (St John’s Vale, SE8 4EA) on Tuesday 18th March at 7.30pm. They say:

The purpose of the meeting is to provide a forum for local residents to discuss the impact of increased noise from aircraft on the local area.  Rick Norman, Head of Noise, BAA has agreed to attend, and we will also have Councillor Darren Johnson, John Stewart from HACAN, and a representative from Joan Ruddock’s team present. 

Please join us. 

44 comments:

UB_Rogue said...

Surely it should be "Brockely Action on Noise Group"...or BANG, no?? O.k, technically it'd be BAoNG, but that's still catchier isn't it??

White Noise said...

I find cars/buses/lorries/the occasional over-exuberant pedestrian far louder than the white noise of aircraft, but surely background noise is one of the trade-offs you make when living in a major urban conurbation? Until Boeing and Airbus get round to producing VTOL passenger aircraft, the planes have to go somewhere...

Brockley Nick said...

This is a motion that must be tabled at the meeting.

Captain Birdseye said...

Presumably everyone will be boycotting flying at night from major London airports...

toomuchnoise said...

Aircraft noise in the area is pretty shocking. I've lived in a few other areas of London and they are nothing like this. I don't think the point is to boycott airports, more that Brockley is long way out from the airport so planes don't necessarily all need to fly over the same area of London. It's disturbing quite a lot of people. Noise annoyance is a pretty subjective thing, but there are a lot of people affected by this.

Emma said...

I moved to Nunhead about 6 months ago and was surprised to hear aircraft noise when I first moved in. Even more surprised to now learn these are planes heading to Heathrow as we aren't anywhere near the airport.

I had been wondering where exactly they were heading especially as the planes seemed too big for CIty Airport which I thought I might see the odd plane for, but Heathrow is so far from this area we really shouldn't be affected by noise from them.

Robert said...

I must say, apart from one fairly dull year, I have lived in big cities, and aircraft noise has always been present. I don't really mind it and it certainly doesn't keep me awake. I have to admit, I miss the occasional sonic boom from the concorde when it flew over Brockley - and I like looking up at the planes. It reminds that I am probably due a holiday soon.

Robert said...

I will also say. When I am on a plane flying into London - it is wonderful to look down at the city and try to pick out landmarks and roads. And a massive thrill when you fly over an area where you live.

Monkeyboy said...

geek alert... you will not have heard concords sonic boom, it was only allowed to go supersonic over the ocean. one reason why it was not taken up more airlines. Still a noisey beast though

plane stupid said...

The aircraft noise has got a lot worse in ladywell since last year. I've been awoken countless times with aircraft flying over or near our house from 4.30am onwards. Last summer sitting in the garden at the weekends we literally had aircraft flying over every 4 minutes. Before 2013 we only had the occassional plane noise but the routes have changed, there are a lot more and our neighbours are in agreement.

still_awake said...

Those that think it isn't that bad should remember that it varies a lot depending on exactly where you live. Even a few streets can make a big difference as the routes seem quite concentrated. We never remember being directly over-flown in our last flat but we moved to the other side of Hilly Fields and the planes regularly fly over our house in a relentless stream. Also people are different and some people are just more bothered by noise, particularly low-frequency noise from planes, than others. I don't think many people realistically expect no aircraft noise at all even this far from Heathrow but it does seem like Brockley/Lewisham is currently getting more than its fair share. All that said, the last few days of easterly breezes have meant long periods of silence except for the birdsong which have been lovely - no doubt the whine/rumble will start again before too long...

Crofty said...

I've succumbed to a Homedics brand white-noise machine at night - you can choose from sounds like rainfall, waterfall etc. Runs off the mains and combined with earplugs makes things way way better.

terrencetrentderby said...

Not Over My AirSpace - NOMAS

MalcolmB said...

I've no problems with the aircraft at all. Hardly notice them. Now buses are entirely different thing. In my view, If we could campaign (and get) for quiet, lighter, smaller electric-powered buses, rather than the huge, diesel-polluting, noisily air-conditioned Volvo monstrosities, life in London would be much pleasanter. Happily have a few more aeroplanes in exchange for that.

JPM said...

A few of my neighbours have mentioned this. It never really bothered me, until then actually.

I'm totally against early morning flights. I don't care about the economy, not when it versus the needs of residents who quite clearly have sleep issues due to these Asbo Airlines. Those that claim it harms the economy will be soon calling for 24-7-365 flights next.

The problem seems due to planes turning at low altitude, or following more than simple landing manoeuvres, or the warm weather, meeting that point in the sleep pattern where you are just between asleep and awake. That and Brockley's higher and open position into London.
Ultimately, the quality of life should outweigh the need to CHEAPLY leave and arrive at these shores.
BAN ASBO AIRLINES.

Olaf_Hansen said...

Live in New Cross Gate here, having moved from Camden last year. There's only distant aircraft noise in Camden so it's not in the slightest bit noticeable. Me and missus noticed it here when looking and decided we'd live with it ... like everyone else. She's not in the slightest bit bothered.

I don't mind or notice the low rumble of the bigger planes, but it's the mosquito-like high frequency whine of the Airbus A319/320s that I do hear.

However, help is at hand. Apparently this noise is caused by airflow over vents in the wing. Airbus have developed a vortex generator to disrupt this, eliminating the noise ....

http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckPostId=Blog:7a78f54e-b3dd-4fa6-ae6e-dff2ffd7bdbbPost:2478d72d-564e-4940-89ce-55f28df54adc

'The VGs on the A320 have a very specific purpose. They reduce noise on final approach by up to 2dB by eliminating two annoying tones caused by air flowing over circular fuel-tank pressure equalization vents under the wing - like blowing across the mouth of a bottle, Lufthansa says. The VG creates a vortex in front of the vent and prevent the noise. Quite clever, actually.'

Dec ibels said...

The planes are still quite high up over this end of London. It gets noisier and noisier as you go West and the planes descend towards Heathrow. Very noticeable in Clapham.


I suspect there are some folk who are very sensitive to aircraft noise because they like to sleep with the window open.

Noise Damaged said...

We get overflown from 4.30am and they are extremely low and noisy. Regularly wake at that time and then because they come over every few minute it is impossible to get back to sleep - knackering. I can't understand how they fly so low this far from Heathrow and I would never have expected it to be so noisy. They are so low they interfere with our freeview signal. In the summer, sitting outside, it seemed as if the plane was going to land in a neighbouring garden. It never used to be that bad but has been going on from the start of last year I guess as a result of the trial that they ran to divert from other areas. Sadly, although the report i read online acknowledged that the trial made things worse for people in Brockley, the volume of planes and level of noise seems to have got even worse recently. (PS I am not a Brockley noise campaigner - not organised enough - juggling too much - just someone whose quality of life has been really hit by this)

The Red Baron said...

I used to live on a flight path and landing approach for a reasonably busy airport and so I'm used to some very low air traffic. However the timing of the current traffic bothers me most. I'm woken in the early hours 3.30am onwards.
If I've worked late then I'm kept awake or have broken sleep.
I was under the impression that the planes on the south approach turn over Lewisham for Heathrow and follow the river for some of the way until Heathrow, where they can simultaneously land on both the north and south runways.

Lep Recorn said...

"Simultaneously land on the north and south runways" ??

That must be a really wide bodied aircraft - which would explain the noise issue.

Big Ears said...

Maybe the increased frequency of planes at Heathrow and whatever strategy is currently in place to deal with this demand is making the sky over Brockley more busier, thus more noise and therefore more noticeable to some in Brockley.

Loops said...

People moving to Brockley find the aircraft noise an unpleasant surprise (yes, I speak from experience), considering it is nowhere near an airport. You'd expect it if you were moving to west London, but it's not something we thought to look out for. We have a constant stream of low-flying planes whining over our house, which makes me pretty miserable. So thank you, BNAG, for trying to do something about it.

Monkeyboy said...

have we established if the frequency has increased or flight path moved? planes have always flown over se london on their approach to heathrow, ive tracked them using this http://planefinder.net for years. i thought the changes was that they now start earlier?

if heathrow is to remain where it is then whats the alternative? spread the pain around london or just blight one area?

i sleep like a log so really dont notice it but i accept others may be driven crazy

Big Ears said...

Some interesting reading.

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/Heathrow/Downloads/PDF/LHR_Sustainability_Noise.pdf

http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/flight.paths.report.pdf

http://hacan.org.uk/resources/briefings/The-Case-against-a-Third-Runway.pdf

Tuesday 18th March, Public Meeting, 7.30 to 9.30pm, Howell Hall,
upstairs at St. John's Church, Brockley, London SE8 4EA. This is right
next to St John's train station.

And a look back to 2007
http://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today/475000-takeoffs-and-landings-a-year-14159970/?no-ist

I would be interested to know the current vs estimated take off and landings a day / year for the last 10 years.

estimated Heathrow’s capacity at 275,000 takeoffs and landings a year


Read more: http://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today/475000-takeoffs-and-landings-a-year-14159970/#de0SqXgYpeBffHh0.99
Save 47% when you subscribe to Air & Space magazine http://bit.ly/NaSX4X
Follow us: @AirSpaceMag on Twitter
estimated Heathrow’s capacity at 275,000 takeoffs and landings a year


Read more: http://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today/475000-takeoffs-and-landings-a-year-14159970/#de0SqXgYpeBffHh0.99
Save 47% when you subscribe to Air & Space magazine http://bit.ly/NaSX4X
Follow us: @AirSpaceMag on Twitter

Big Ears said...

Apologies for the Save % links that injected themselves into my cut and paste. A preview / edit option would be greatly appreciated Nick... is there a plugin for that?

Broca said...

What aircraft noise? Why can't we have a campaign against motorbikes? The dawn chorus is pretty annoying too. Then there's the wind in winter . . .

dim wit said...

The surprise was the trial they did a year ago where they quadrupled the amount of air traffic over Brockley, causing an action group to be formed and people to realise that they could do something about it. Now, even though the previous (pre-2013) status quo has been reinstated there's people organised & up for a fight.

MalcolmB said...

I'll go with that. I've mentioned buses above but I'd happily add motorbikes to the banned list. Don't notice the aircraft at all. The background road noise is more noticeable than the aircraft and bikes and buses can certainly wake me up. Those police helicopters have as well. But an aeroplane passing overhead never has.


Whose for starting up a campaign to remove those Volvo buses, all large lorries and all motorbikes with ineffective silencers? Once they are gone, it might be quiet enough to hear the 'planes!

noisy wildthings said...

The dawn chorus is moderated by the excessive predation by the local cat population. Though I suspect they give those aggressive parakeets a wide berth.


What is a nusiance is those darned Brockely foxes.


At least the planes don't sound like a chicken being throttled.

Noise D said...

worth having a look at this http://www.bata.uk.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/10-Rick-Norman-Presentation-230113.pdf

Maggie said...

On bad days the aircraft noise is extremely severe and unabating. I have felt my flat shake from the impact. The whining boom of jet engines can be easily heard over loud TV or music. Why? The planes are flying far too low over my residential area. There is absolutely no need for them to fly this low when they are 20 miles from Heathrow. I have been told the reason they do this is because their noise pollution levels are measured close to the airport so if the planes start their descent a lot earlier the readings will not be as bad. This skews the readings in their favour and is done with complete disregard of residents who choose to live in areas like Brockley and Ladywell - eg. nowehere near the airport! Coupled with non-stop streams of planes on some days, very early and late night flights, this problem has a serious and detrimental effect on much of the community and I encourage everyone affected - and even those who aren't - to come along to this public meeting.

maisie_moo said...

Wow, hadn't seen planefinder.net before - very cool!

Monkeyboy said...

It's possibly the best thing in the world ever. You can track (or stalk) your loved ones when they are in transit.

Biggles said...

Think it's bad now, just wait till the third runway.

Danja said...

Quick, someone send the link to the Malaysians

Loops said...

If earplugs made a difference, I wouldn't have a problem with the planes. Wearing earplugs with the windows shut, I still get woken up by the whining. And that aint right.

maisie_moo said...

I've realised that just reading this thread is making me notice the near-constant aeroplane noise, which I normally don't notice at all. I'm hoping this is a temporary effect!

Maggie said...

I don't know how noise reading technology works but this reason has been given in many forums online and in print newspapers. Apparently when planes descend more sharply closer to the airport this creates a lot more noise (thus higher metre readings) than if they begin their descent many kilometres away and come in for landing at a lower altitude. The engines don't have to work as hard because there isn't a steep descent, so this isn't as impactful for noise readings. It's a self-serving exercise to try and make their noise pollution outputs look less severe.

Monkeyboy said...

Ok, I can see that.

joe said...

Has everyone else noticed that planes haven't been flying over Brockley all week so far? Does anyone know if BAA has changed it's flight path into Heathrow following last week's meeting?

Headhunter said...

Flights over Brockley have always come and gone. Some summer days I've been in the garden and it's literally been 1 after another, after another and on and on all day. Other days there's nothing. Not sure if it's something to do with wind direction or whether BAA simply tries to vary things for local residents

Headhunter said...

I agree re motorbikes and the police helicopters, far more disturbing than planes overhead. Some bloody idiots on their bikes speed along Wickham Rd between the humps - really annoying. Haven't heard the police helicopters for a while now but a couple of years ago they used to hover low over houses near us, often quite late in the evening....

planespotter said...

That planefinder app is great with its map plotting the flights over London. I shall have lots of fun playing with that. I wonder if there is any way of working out which flights were making the most noise at a particular time.

Brockley Noise said...

Hello. I'm Claire and I'm a member of the BNAG, I organised the Public Meeting. (Thanks to all those who came!). The reason that the plane noise has been much quieter the past week is because the wind is coming from the east. When this happens, planes land at Heathrow in the opposite direction to normal (so they land into the wind). When they do this, they take off the opposite direction too, over London, and we don't hear them.

Heathrow operates a westerly preference so 80% of the time planes will land from the east. This is when they fly over Brockley and make so much noise.


At the meeting Heathrow Airport said that they had no plans to change any of the flight paths over Brockley, despite the complaints, so we can expect more and more planes for some years to come.



Plug here: If you are affected - please contact us at brockleynoise@hotmail.co.uk or on twitter @Brockley Noise. We'd love to hear from you.

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