Heathrow night flight trial will end in March

Cllr Darren Johnson writes:

I am writing to update you on the issue of early morning flights over Brockley following the public meeting on aircraft noise in New Cross on Friday. I attended this along with a number of local residents and we heard from representatives of both Heathrow Airport and HACAN, the campaign group on aircraft noise.

Heathrow have confirmed that the so-called “Respite Trial” that has inconvenienced so many local; residents in recent months WILL come to an end on 31st March. The original thinking behind the trial was to give respite from noise to certain communities on alternate weeks. However, the Heathrow representative confirmed it had caused particular problems for areas like Brockley and Greenwich which have been getting disturbed from all 16 of Heathrow’s early morning flights between 4.30am and 6am throughout the trial, without any respite.

On behalf of residents, should any future “Respite Trials” be held, I sought assurances from Heathrow on the following:

- Firstly, that proper modelling be undertaken beforehand so Heathrow and Air Traffic Control have a clear indication of the likely impact on different communities,  and there aren’t “unintended consequences” as there have been for the people of Brockley and Greenwich

- Secondly, that there should be proper engagement with local community groups, residents and elected representatives in the areas likely to be affected prior to any trail being adopted.

I am pleased to say in that the Heathrow representative assured me that both of these points would be taken on board should there be any future trials. I would also like to reiterate my complete opposition to night flights and my support for HACAN’s goal of a complete ban on flights before 6am. In the meantime the early morning flight patterns will revert to the way they were at the end of this month so Brockley residents should be experiencing far less disruption from 31 March.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any further queries.