HACAN, the campaign against noise which represents residents under the Heathrow flight paths, is to stage an eye-catching stunt on Richmond Green at 11am on July 1st to highlight the start of the noise trials at Heathrow. Ten judges will be on the Green, holding up the number which residents who may be troubled by the noise can ring to make a complaint. They will be surrounded by a large banner ‘Trial by Noise’.
For nine months, starting on Sunday, the Government is to allow BAA to operate aircraft during the half day’s respite from the noise residents have enjoyed since the 1970s. Normally planes landing over London switch planes at 3pm in order to give residents a half day’s break from the noise. During the trials planes will be allowed to fly in on the “wrong” runway in order to ease delays at the airport.
This is the second trial. The first lasted for three months last winter. If, as a result of the trials, the Government wants to make the scheme permanent, there will be public consultation on the proposals.
HACAN Chair John Stewart said: “Residents are worried by this trial by noise. Although the overall number of planes using Heathrow each day will not increase, they are losing their much-valued respite period. And there is always the concern that this might be the thin edge of the wedge.”