South east St Albans residents claim Heathrow causes majority of airport noise disturbance
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Some St Albans residents believe that Heathrow Airport flights are causing greater noise disturbance over the district than flights to and from Luton Airport.
Multiple campaign groups have formed in response to an increase in noise pollution from Luton over the past three years, but other residents in south east St Albans believe Heathrow is the greater cause of the problem.
Resident Lawrence McCann said: "Don't assume the issue comes from Luton Airport. Our experience in south east St Albans is that most disturbance is coming from flights which have taken off from Heathrow.
"At busy times one can expect typically 13 per hour and peaking at one every three minutes. Given the plans to increase Heathrow capacity by adding another runway, it appears the issue will get worse.
"Residents should raise their concerns with local and national authorities to raise awareness of the creeping disruption, across a very wide area, caused by continuing to expand the existing Heathrow site to its extreme limits."
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All UK airports, including Heathrow, are currently redesigning their airspace as part of a modernisation programme which is being overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Heathrow's first airspace consultation took place in the first quarter of 2018, the second was in the first quarter of 2019 and the third and final consultation will be held in 2022 and will outline specific flight paths for the airport.
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A Heathrow spokesperson said: "These consultations have helped us outline a set of design principles and envelopes that will be used in our third consultation to help determine future flight paths for the airport - including those for an expanded Heathrow.
"While detailed flight paths are not yet available, our work so far shows that if future aircraft were to fly above St Albans they would be in excess of 4,000ft as they are today."
The airport states they are working closely with local community and the government to ensure they deliver expansion within legally required environmental targets, which includes noise pollution.
As part of their plans, they aim to offer guaranteed periods of respite and a 6.5-hour ban on scheduled night flights to reduce noise.