Heathrow Trials & Aircraft Noise

Give us a wave!

Give us a wave!

Mucho upsettedness among many residents of south west London about trials being conducted by Heathrow airport on its easterly departure routes. Yep, them’s the ones when the planes bank round over Twickenham, Strawberry Hill and Teddington after take off, i.e. the ones that rattle your windows and have you reaching for the volume button on the remote control. The trial is officially called “Easterly departure trial 2”. It began on 28th July and runs through to 15th January 2015.

The purpose? According to Heathrow one objective is to “test the use of performance based navigation”.  This involves using new navigation technology to allow aircraft to follow routes more precisely and so place less reliance on air traffic controllers. The second objective of the trial is to test different departure routes “with the ultimate aim of reducing separation on departures”. Nope, we don’t know either. Something about reducing delays on departure and holding times on the ground, according to the airport blurb. Sounds a bit like facilitating more flights too maybe, doesn’t it. Perhaps it’s even also about testing scenarios linked to that third runway thingy.

The new routes being tested are similar to the current paths but some folk, especially those in sunny Teddington seem to have been experiencing lot more noise from a slight but very noticeable westward shift to some of the flight corridors. And of course, following routes more precisely can lead to more concentrated noise in certain areas.

But is there more noise over Twickenham? The planes certainly seem to have been very prevalent and very loud over central and western ‘Nam in recent weeks. Proof of evil intent by Heathrow? Not necessarily. The wind direction plays a key factor in determining the direction of take off and the airport has been running with its ‘easterly operations’ quite a bit recently as a result of the weather conditions so good luck in trying to unpick any impact of the trials compared to Heathrow’s normal operating procedures. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t comment or complain about noise and night flights if you experience  disruption or think things have changed as a result of the trials.

The mighty Teddington Town website has a lot of detail on the trials, complete with maps and all, which will give you a better understanding of what’s going on. And blimey O’Riley, they’ve even got a petition up and running to ask for the trials to be stopped. A good point well made is that many locals don’t feel they were sufficiently well informed about the trials and that this has made ‘before and after’ comparisons more difficult.  There’s also a fear that this could lead to the new routes being made permanent.  Needless to say, Heathrow say that they did contact local authorities, campaign groups and residents about the tests.

There’s plenty of discussion about it on Twitter (including the newly coined hashtag #planeintheass), but what’s your view? You’re saying you  didn’t quite hear that? WE SAID… WHAT’S… YOUR…. VIEW… ABOUT… PLANE… NOISE?

Vapour trails, Twickenham

Vapour trails, Twickenham   (not caused by take offs, obviously)

LINKS:

* Teddington Town

* Change.org petition to halt trials

* LBRuT Heathrow page

* Heathrow airspace modernisation trials

83 Comments

Filed under Heathrow, Local Issues & News

83 responses to “Heathrow Trials & Aircraft Noise

  1. In advance of a local public one, (LHR have said they are going to hold one soon) I have been invited to Heathrow this week for a meeting with the Head of Air Traffic Management and Flight Performance, also Head of Community Relations and Policy.

    So any questions or points people want to bring up, reply to this comment and I’ll do my best to ask!

    • Make sure you tell a grown up where you’re going and try to ensure the meeting is in a public place.

    • Sally

      Do they admit that flights have been lower/ more frequent /far noisier over the trial?I have read some pretty clear arguments here that they have indeed. I think several thousand residents would be ready to testify to that.So far I have not read a single admission from Heathrow that there are any more planes or any more noise.
      If they admit that, what in their view is an acceptable level of noise, measured by whom?
      What will it take for the trial to stop now? If residents’ possible objections was part of the trial can they take that as read? What would continuing be to prove?
      I am aware you will be up against Grand Masters of spin..

    • Thanks Sally,

      I have asked via Twitter, email and they always say planes aren’t lower or louder, this doesn’t match up to reality. Standard email blurb:
      “The height or number of aircraft using each route is not affected. ”

      The thing is, the number of aircraft might not have changed overall (duh), but anyone underneath the now combined paths will see a LOT more planes. Perhaps they will also have planes lower than before (if lower planes were more in the path not previously over them).

      I want to get to the bottom of the height/noise issue – how can we all be wrong?

    • Sally

      Thank you-and thank you very much for going to the meeting on all of our behalf.

    • dellboy

      Is it possible that the all up weights of these planes at or slightly above their normal limits, have had to use more power to maintain their rate of climb out of heathrow?
      Did they previously have an initial high rate of climb then reduce power for a gentle rate of climb over the built up areas.
      Notwithstanding the prolonged easterly wind that has not helped with continual noise levels, rather than the change in wind direction that has helped before, It HAS been noisier.
      When BAA were told by the monopolies commission to sell off airports, they have been looking to recoup their profits. This is not done by making new routes into heathrow, it’s by pinching trade off of other hub airports. It’s all the through traffic outward bound from the UK.
      Remember all the hoohaa over terminal 3 and no more expansion?

    • I suppose it stands to reason that larger planes such as the A380 climb at a slower rate. Perhaps this is one disadvantage with bigger planes that hasn’t been widely advertised?

    • Alexis

      Yes R McD but the A380s were acceptable before this trial started – now they are quite intolerable.
      Also to tteditor. Please ask ask Heathrow to confirm in writing with verified data that their trial flight path is no lower and decibel rating no higher than on their original pre-trial flight paths? The big planes seem to fly lower and the smaller ones higher so please don’t let them fob you off with averages.
      My thanks for your efforts on our behalf.
      Alexis

    • physicist

      That’s great. Do let us know how it goes. Specific questions :
      (1) “Can I (tteditor) or a nominee join the HACC (Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee) to ensure continued representation from the Twickenham/Teddington area?”
      (2) “Can you confirm that westerly preference is still in operation, and there are no plans to change this ? Not only would abandoning westerly preference increase noise over Twickenham/Teddington but it would also go against the principle of predictable respite: currently when winds are due north or due south we know that the airport will be on westerly operations and we will not be overflown.”
      (3) “Can you give us a timetable for introducing easterly runway alternation, following the ending of the Cranford agreement? We understand that there are taxi-way modifications required to do this, which require planning permission – is this currently the main obstacle?”
      (4) “Are aircraft currently instructed to reduce take-off power shortly after leaving the airport perimeter in order to reduce noise in the immediate vicinity of the airport, and does this in turn mean that aircraft have attained a lower altitude over Twickenham/Teddington? Are decisions such as this made at the airport or individual airline level?”
      (5) “What is the feasibility of introducing departure route alternation, so that those affected by departure noise could have predictable periods of respite?”

    • illiad1

      I guess you are bringing a laptop with flightradar24, that will *show* them what the planes are doing ??? 😀

    • Thanks all, have made a note of all of these and via Twitter so will see what we’ll have time to talk about.

      PS does anyone know how to call LHR to action of specific plane noise? They have set limits over which airlines can be fined:
      http://www.heathrowairport.com/noise/heathrow-operations/departure-flight-paths

      Day (07:00-23:00) 94db
      Shoulder 89db
      Night (23:30-06:00) 87db

      Someone recorded over 100db in Teddington a few weeks ago, so to be that loud here, must be much louder nearer Heathrow? I wonder if a noise app is submissable as evidence, or they can only use Heathrow official noise monitors along east/west of runways?

  2. twickerman

    Not only are Heathrow conducting Easterly trials, but the also want to increase the number of Easterly takeoffs by ending ‘Westerly preference’ in light wind conditions.

    This will change the proportion of Easterly takeoffs from 30% to 35%. That equates to an increase in the annual number of Easterly takeoffs of 17%.

    Apparently this is because plane takeoffs are quiter these days. This may be true if you exclude the increasing number of 4 engined jumbos and superjumbos that rise very slowly and noisily over our homes!

    Here are some Heathrow Noise details and propaganda:
    http://www.heathrowairport.com/noise/heathrow-operations/impact-of-existing-agreements

  3. Sally

    Its a great relief the noise is better-but we are all jittering waiting for the next onslaught. I’m afraid we have no trust in Heathrow to even agree things are noisier when they are, and get fed up with the expansion being pushed while the execs go on about Listening to the Community.I don’t want an exec with a hand behind his/her ear and an empathic experssion, I want them to stop suggesting that there’s no extra noise, nor ever will be!

    • Sally

      Umm-there were some shockers yesterday. An Emirates plane went over so loud and low that all talk in the garden had to cease..
      Why do we feel experimented on? “Damn. They noticed there were more planes. OK, not as many but just as loud?”
      .

    • Alexis

      Sally, probably inadvertently, raises a point that has always puzzled me. Why do a couple of airlines, Qatar and Emirates display their names in huge letters on the underbelly of their aircraft? After all, who can see it other than those of us who’s lives are blighted by the noise of their passage and those of us who have just discovered that we might live under a new flight path? Since they are far and away the noisiest and lowest, they must be the only businesses to actively try to discourage potential customers – how smart is that!
      Actually, they are not the first to show their indifference to the effect they have on local residents. British Airways, under Lord King, way back in the early ’80’s had a TV ad showing “Manhattan” coming in to land at Heathrow with a gaggle of local residents living under the flight path looking up in awe as it passed overhead – strangely it only emitted a low purr! Anyone else remember that? Probably not because it was quickly pulled.
      Yet another puzzle. I wonder why Heathrow is bombarding us with so much propaganda, adverts and biased questionnaires whilst concurrently conducting flight trials which have vastly increased the number of people who are adversely affected by aircraft noise, especially those who did their homework and bought homes away from the pre-existing flight paths and now find themselves blighted.
      Heaven help us if they get the 4th runway to the South – I bet its already in their long term plan.
      Alexis
      PS: A note to Mike Hine. I hope the park bench was OK, sorry you haven’t got any grandchildren and a minor correction – I think it is indeed a Panini and they aren’t terribly good at the Orleans Gardens cafe

    • Ex-Twickenham Resident

      Alex, Emirates and Qatar use Airbus A380’s which are actually very quiet. Notice the noise dissipates very quickly once they pass. They are also cleaner by their emissions. This is not to say I support the runway or condone aircraft flying over Twickenham, but to say they are the noisiest is wrong. Do you remember the the VC-10’s…now that was noise!

    • Alexis

      Nice try E-TR.
      perhaps if you still lived in Twickenham you would take a different view of how noisy the A380 is when taking off with a full load of passengers, baggage and fuel. When they used to take off at a steeper angle the noise was significantly less and acceptable. Since the Easterly trials started they have been flying noticeably lower and far noisier which has been intolerable – the dissipation factor is irrelevant since the approach noise of the next aircraft taking off drowns out the noise of the departing A380.
      Other smaller aircraft seem to fly significantly higher and are much less of a blight than they used to be. Why is that? Perhaps E-TR or Heathrow could let us know?
      As a bit of history, the BOAC version of the Vickers VC10 which E-TR refers to, last flew in commercial service over 30 years ago and was designed to fly in and out of hot and high airports in our, then, colonies in Africa etc – hence the extremely noisy engines. BOAC were “encouraged” by the government to buy this aircraft despite their preference for the Boeing 707, thankfully for those of us on the ground, few if any other airlines chose to do so so. That does’t say it was a bad aircraft – it wasn’t. Sadly it was a victim of politics vs design excellence.
      I repeat. Nice try E-TR
      Alexis

    • The A380 is the very loudest of the planes that fly over!

    • Ex-Twickenham Resident

      I shall stand corrected by Alex and Rufus. Hope it gets better.

    • twickerman

      Both B747s and A380s exceed 90db as they takeoff over Twickenham.
      They are both equally noisy (VERY).
      This clearly proves that new planes are not quiter than older ones (because they are invariably larger).
      I hope this dispells another of Heathrow’s pieces of fantasy fiction propaganda about how it’s so much quiter these days.
      It’s Not. Planes are bigger, lower, noisier and more frequent.

  4. Tangible

    Planes have been routed to OUTSIDE the existing corridor planes are now flying around a mile to the West of the existing corridor right over East Molesey at up to one every 2-3 minutes. Who is responsible and accountable for changing the flight path? This is not a spreading of flights within the existing flight path, this is a change in flight path dressed up as a test of satellite navigation which is clearly a red herring. Satellites could be used to keep planes to existing flight paths NOT change the flight paths.

    Surely UK airspace is controlled by the UK Government and if not why not?

  5. Rufus McDufus

    Relief at last! Westerlies from today until at least Friday.
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/se/se_forecast_wind.html

  6. Sylv

    The plane noise is definitely more frequent (less than a minute between them) and far lower and louder over Twickenham Green area, starting earlier (6am or earlier) and finishing later (after 11pm, sometimes up to midnight). My sleep is being severely disrupted and there is no point going to bed before they’ve stopped. It’s awful with the windows open, and even with the double glazing closed you can hear them through it and through the roof. I grew up with plane noise in Staines and have lived in Twickenham a decade so am well used to it, but this is something else entirely.

  7. Dr Paul

    I lived in Richmond right through the 1960s, and know exactly how loud aeroplanes could be then compared to nowadays. The noise that modern airliners make compared with then is a lot less, and many of them are much bigger machines today. Are we just more sensitive these days? Besides, if one is in Twickenham or Teddington, one gets planes coming over on only certain departure routes, and then only when the wind is in the east. Planes approaching from the east, as they do most of the time, do not even touch Twickenham’s air-space, let alone Teddington’s. A third runway at Heathrow to the north of the A4 will make very little difference in Twickenham or Teddington.

    • illiad1

      I don’t think we are talking about *approaching* planes.. It is those lifting off from heathrow that are the worst.. have a look at
      http://www.flightradar24.com/51.44,-0.4/12
      you will see many are straight over richmond green, and the noise carries right up to the station!

    • Richmond??? I meant Twickenham green!! Not enough coffee LOL… 😀

    • sweeneyted

      It seems you haven’t read any of the comments here, looked at the Teddington Town petition site or indeed spoken to anyone who lives in the affected areas. Also (judging by your post) you are unaware that Heathrow is concentrating flight paths into a single corridor over Twickenham/Teddington and this is the cause of the (in your opinion non-existing) problem. Apart from those minor points it was a good post. Keep it up.

    • Dr Paul

      I did notice the bit about the plan to concentrating departure routes and I have been keeping a look here and elsewhere for comments on this topic. Nevertheless, the fact remains that aeroplanes are a good deal quieter these days than they were in the past, and when I’ve been in Twickenham and Teddington during times of an east wind, such as last week, I barely notice them. Perhaps we all have differing levels and types of aural intolerance.

    • Nikki hambi

      I think unless you are currently living under this corridor, (we are around Twickenham Green) you are in no position to pass comment on how bad you are noticing it. If you think that it is acceptable to have planes from 6 ish in the morning, up until 11.30 ish at night, at one minute intervals, at 92 Decibels( I timed and recorded it, once I was at my wits end), then I would be amazed. There would be no question that we would have to move, if this became a permanent change, you could not live like that. Every neighbour and resident I know affected by this, and I have spoken to a great number, is genuinely going slightly mad. I don’t think we can all be wrong or have low aural tolerance levels. We are having a few days of respite, due to the wind change, but fearing the next onslaught. Maybe then you can come and spend some time at my house and I challenge you to still stick with your current comments.

    • Joy P

      The point is, the majority are adversely affected by this plane lark. That’s just not on. All you’ll be left with by saying that it is not that bad, is residents praying for bad weather so there are no easterlies to disrupt the day – and that really is no way to live.

  8. Angelina Jolly

    I regularly wave at one particular pilot and he waves back as his wheels lightly scrape the roof during fly-bys.

    Jus’ kidding; but it sure feels like it when you have to stop chatting to friends n family in your garden every 90 seconds or so during lunch because the planes are so loud, low and often. My M-I-L was shocked by the noise level in Twickenham, and says she doesn’t hear planes particularly where they are, which is only in Reading.

  9. A few people, including R&T Times have asked Vince for a quote, I think he’s anti-Heathrow expansion so hopefully he might get involved.

    Heathrow have just tweeted a few things about the trials – nothing new but at least they’re reacting to complaints. They have been receiving an average of 350 a day since the trials began!

    They have just said there will be a public meeting in Teddington to address concerns – details to follow.

    I’m still puzzled why Heathrow, aviation types and a local pilot all say that planes are definitely not lower (or louder). Most local residents seem to think they are. How can we find out for sure?

  10. Nikki

    Last night I was timing the planes, and they were every minute, reaching 92 decibels, ( download the app), until at least 11.15 pm. We have emailed, signed petitions, telephoned the complaints team, (she could hear every plane too, and kindly told us what planes they were from her radar!!!) We finished work on our house this year, where we practically rebuilt it, with new double glazed windows and thick insulated walls, and still it’s intolerable. How about Vince Cable getting involved…..

  11. Jodie

    Has anyone else received a Back Heathrow questionnaire to fill in? This is the second one I have received but I didn’t realise before that it was conducted by a real market research company as it is so poorly written. The options are basically ‘do you want a third runway or do you want loads of people to be out of a job and starve to death’. This is why they are getting much more favourable results than more independent surveys. The noise at the moment is unbearable.

    • Sally

      No-but it really does look shoddy from the picture.The Expand Heathrow advertising on the other hand is very much in evidence and very slick indeed-a full page spread in the Guardian yesterday, illustrated by a little girl at a desk with her hand up, clearly bright and clever-gosh, an extra runway will make the children do better at school! Their point was it was going to be very good for the UK economy, and we should be proud people want to fly here and delighted to be so close to such a big airport…something along those lines.
      I am not sure who on earth the expansion lobby feel they need to convince.Surely this will be decided between politicians and the strongest big business lobby group? I don’t feel those who are or will be affected are actually going to be considered:
      “Do you want thousands more planes going over?”
      “No”.
      “It won’t be noisy, and anyway we can soundproof your home/school so you won’t notice, if you stay indoors.”
      “No.”
      “Terrible things will happen if you don’t want this.”
      “No.”
      “We’ll ask again:Do you want more…”
      What is the point?

    • twickerati

      Great timing from LHR to be sending out ‘back Heathrow’ letters to Twickenham during a long period of easterly operations! Top PR.

  12. illiad1

    heh, a friend of mine recently bought a new flat in east bedfont… I said ” right next to the airport?? what??? :/
    have a look at this pic from the blog..

    twickers is hidden under that big green line.. and guess what!!! *nothing* over bedfont!!! 😥

  13. Paul

    I’ve sneaked in here from ‘sunny’ Teddington, where all the trees have almond croissants hanging from their branches and fine china bowls of houmous are placed every 20 yards atop marble pillars for hungry locals.

    No need to snap the offending planes as proof.
    Just go to the wonderful (and slighly frightening) Flight Radar site
    http://www.flightradar24.com/FIN5PA/45a5875
    Focus on our locality, hover over the yellow plane from LHR that’s passing overhead and rattling your windows – and all details are revealed.

    Paul

    • illiad1

      great link!! 🙂 all I can say, Is I am lucky am not near twick green.. 😦 sorry, residents… I am 60 yards away from twick station, and the noise carries all the way here..

    • Walkinthepark

      Looking at that site reminded me of watching the monitor when I was in labour. It’s coming, it’s getting louder, louder, it’s here, aaagh!

    • mike hine

      This came as a shock, Walk. Read your stuff on Gloriana and thought you were a bloke.

    • Walkinthepark

      It’s the way I walk……

  14. I have lived in Twickenham for 10 years, when the planes take off in an easterly direction it is always like this, cant say I notice an increase in noise at all, in fact I think the traffic noise on the A316 is far worse and more constant. Cant see what all the fuss is about, live in a major city and deal with noise, it comes with the territory.

    • Sally

      I have lived here for 12 years, and really find it much noisier so can’t agree. My kids-who have grown up with the noise, are all not sleeping because of the levels which again points to an unusual increase.
      I agree that is you live near Heathrow you need to expect noise-but this argument can be used to justify any increase of noise. Cue third runway!

  15. twickerman

    It looks like Heathrow only intend to compensate homes directly affected by the predominant Westerly flightpaths.

    However, both last year and this we have experienced lengthy periods of Easterlies which have been the cause of all the noisy take-offs over Twickenham over the last few weeks.

    Obviously, a third and then a fourth runway will significantly increase the number of flights and noise over Twickenham and Teddington.

    We need to:
    1. Object to Heathrow’s third runway…..and support Gatwick expansion.
    2. Campaign for compensation for being on the Easterly take-off flightpath, in case the third runway is approved.
    3. Lobby the Council who don’t appear to have advised us or commented on the Easterly trials that are impacting us.

    #planesintheass

    • physicist

      Current compensation schemes, I believe, use average noise contours which take into account the long-term average split (roughly 70:30) between westerly and easterly operations. By taking an average like this, the size of the area that qualifies for compensation is presumably significantly reduced since relatively few people are affected by both westerly *and* easterly operations.

      It would be much fairer to offer compensation if noise rises above a threshold on *either* westerly *or* easterly operations, rather than taking an average. If you are seriously disturbed for 3 weeks during easterly weather conditions, there is little sense in which this is balanced out by the next 6 weeks of relatively peaceful westerly conditions. The sleep/health/educational damage has been done.

      Interestingly, in the current Heathrow consultation, there are some questions related to this. In particular Q4 seems to give respondents the option of supporting something along the lines of what I suggest above. I am however a little reluctant to even fill out any survey from Heathrow for fear of it being mis-represented as implicit support for a third runway. Anyway, here it is:

      http://your.heathrow.com/consultation/survey/

      One final point : my impression is that the larger number of londoners overflown during westerly approaches over central & west london tend to dominate the politics of this. We need to make sure our local representatives are aware how badly parts of the area are affected by easterly departures. It could have serious implications for us if, for example, westerly preference is abandoned as an operational principle at Heathrow, as has been suggested in fact.

  16. I was really wondering if it was me. The planes have been so totally intolerable flying so low over my home in Twickenham recently it has been difficult to cope. With two sudden bereavements in our family to deal with the exceptional noise has pushed us all to our emotional limits..even my deaf old dad who has lived with us for almost six years has found it too much. If he can hear it and lose sleep over the noise what hope is there for those of us with normal hearing ?
    I have signed every petition I know of and feel so very tired…Twickenham is such a fabulous place to live but lately it is as if we are constantly under siege and cannot maintain our normal family and work life…..

  17. illiad1

    I am near twick station, and the noise starts about 6:30 in the morning… Is this normal?? I seem to remember it did not seem to start until a bit after 7 ???
    Winds / high cloud not helping the noise level??
    Oh yes the continuous planes seem to go on past 10 30pm … 😦

  18. Anonymous

    For those of us that work from home there is an obvious increase in local noise levels which will obviously get worse once there is a third runway (and Howard Davies is shown as the destroyer of education for an entire generation of West London children living under the flight paths – whither EU court of human rights – The right to education guaranteed by the first sentence of Article 2 of the Protocol (P1-2). – It goes without saying that such regulation must never injure the substance of the right to education nor conflict with other rights enshrined in the Convention.)
    However, back to noise pollution, maybe all those affected should take pictures of the undersides of passing aircraft (including GPS positioning in all pictures together with time and date) to use as proof that those areas affected are indeed under the flight path and therefore qualify for the BAA Day noise reduction scheme. (http://www.heathrowairport.com/noise/our-schemes-to-help-you/check-your-eligibility and also http://www.heathrowairport.com/noise/our-schemes-to-help-you/night-noise-insulation).
    Boris Island would have been great for those of us under the flight path but would not have suited the vested interests of the major shareholders in!!! a Spanish Company).

  19. Anonymous

    I am sure that for those of us who work from home the increased noise levels are a nuisance. The answer surely is to get Heathrow to recognise that the areas affected are on the flight path and therefore qualify for the subsidy that they provide for noise reduction (double/triple-glazing) for affected areas. Last time I spoke to BAA they insisted that twickenham was not under the flight path. A few direct photos of planes overhead (with GPS information) might prove for some interesting discussions

    • Joy P

      Do you have a record of them saying Twickenham is not under the flightpath? If so, post it, please.
      We had to have our windows re-done due to the rattling and shaking when planes thundered overhead (TW1). Hmm.

    • illiad1

      That BAA guy is most likely stuck in his office, without any clue about what really goes on, only told things by the press office.. … their HQ is nearer to Victoria station!

    • illiad1

      even better you can download a history from flightradar24.com..
      quote from the FAQ..
      “Is it possible to see history of flights on Flightradar24.com?
      Yes, press ‘Playback’ in sidebar to view global flight history from the last 7 days (free version). You can also find history about individual flights and aircraft from the last 7 days (free version) in our aviation database.”

  20. David

    How come Heathrow are so adamant that there was a programme of information before the trial but won’t say who was told what when?

  21. We live in College Close off Meadway and when the flight path is our way we have about 25% of planes directly over our house (it darkens the conservatory for example) and about 50% more are very nearby. Noise is horrible of course too as much lower

  22. Joy P

    Please note that while this is all due to easterly winds at the moment, this is a warning of what you could have ALL the time if there is an extra runway.
    I think you Twickerpeople need to get on the case big style – to MPs and make a fuss where possible. If you don’t, you’ll find that the runway is built and you’ll want to scream every time a) you hear a plane thundering overhead and b) hear people say, “well, you shouldn’t have bought anywhere under the flight path”
    Twickenham is a wonderful place, and since I moved, I miss aspects of it – namely the riverside and parks, which have a tranquility that will be obliterated if another runway is built.
    Don’t let it happen!

  23. Diane

    There seems to be so many. At time of writing as soon as one passes, another starts to fly over.

  24. Maddy

    Agreed, the noise in TW2 has been pretty horrendous over the past few weeks. However I had noticed a massive improvement in noise prior to that, to the point where I filled in the Heathrow Trial Survey with positive comments. I genuinely believe the weather is causing this new noise; according to the BBC Weather we have a “blocking anticyclone” over the UK currently which hopefully will diminish next week so perhaps it will quieten down again. Fingers crossed.

  25. Chris N

    We just moved to TW2 so I can’t say if the aircraft noise is worse but I can say it’s brutal and constant. We have lived in TW1 and on the A316 at different times – so we are used to noise of one kind or another. But this is something else – severely impacts on quality of life. We feel like we have moved to Heathrow Airport. Its as if they have combined several different flight-paths into one.

  26. The planes over Twickenham at the moment will be because of the easterly winds that have been around for a few weeks. Nothing new about that, so don’t panic. Not that any of it’s acceptable over such a heavily populated urban area. And a third runway will make things much worse.

  27. We do seem to be having a higher-than-usual amount of easterly winds this summer too which isn’t helping. Even before these trials I noticed the noise seemed particularly bad. I didn’t realise until recently that alternation is suspended when the winds are easterly which compounds the problem.
    I noticed last year that the A380s in particularly seem incredibly noisy too. I remember Heathrow telling us back in the 90s that aircraft would be whisper-quiet by now. Reality is the planes are noisier than ever (Concorde excepted, though that was only a few times a day).

    • physicist

      The lack of any kind of easterly alternation is a huge problem. The Cranford agreement which prevents alternating the runways on easterlies was supposed to end, but I’ve heard nothing about that recently. Some other communities of course would suffer if this happened.

      They could also do some kind of departure route alternation – using different noise preferential routes in the mornings and afternoons. This would require aircraft to keep much closer to their designated routes which, somewhat ironically, is one of the goals of the current trial I think.

      You are dead right about the A380. Very disappointing that despite all the hype, an A380 passing overhead is no less intrusive a noise event than a 25 year old B747. Have you noticed the Dreamliners though ? Now they really are quite remarkably quiet.

  28. Definitely more planes and much noisier over TW2. Worryingly, it is also possible to read the carrier name on the undercarriage of Emirates planes, so surely they must be lower?

  29. twickerman

    We could do with some simple facts:

    1. Are more planes taking-off over Twickers & Tedders than usual during these Easterly trials?

    2. Are the planes at the same height as before?

    3. Has anything else changed other than the flight corridor shift?

    4. Who did Heathrow allegedly advise about the trials, and why did they keep quiet? Did El Brute know?

    • Well now… I have asked Heathrow several times these sort of questions and they are answering, but using general stats, so not really answering! I have asked these in relation to Teddington and answers have been:

      1. Are more planes taking-off over Twickers & Tedders than usual during these Easterly trials?
      No, the normal amount.
      [Thing is, two flight paths have been merged over Teddington, one wasn’t quite over Teddington previously so from our point of view, yes there are more planes. PS there are definitely more planes, we can hear them!]

      2. Are the planes at the same height as before?
      Yes.
      [See above answer – planes are definitely lower, residents can see individual windows, livery etc and couldn’t before. Could also be one previous flightpath (that was lower) now over us.]

      3. Has anything else changed other than the flight corridor shift?
      According to them, nope.
      According to residents, lots! More frequent planes, lower, earlier in the morning and later at night.

      4. Who did Heathrow allegedly advise about the trials, and why did they keep quiet? Did El Brute know
      Heathrow won’t say who or when. I have asked contacts at LBRUT, waiting to hear back.

      The most worrying aspect of all of this, is that LHR seem not quite prepared for the number of complaints, as if they didn’t themselves realise what affect the changes would make. Does that make anyone else nervous that they might also not have a clue what a third or fourth runway might do?

    • sweeneyted

      To the person who gave a ‘thumbs down’ to tteditor’s comments, I would suggest you seek help immediately. You are either a stranger to reason or to the Borough of Richmond. Stop it.

  30. Sally

    We sure have noticed. Life has become unbearable with all the extra noise. Its not just having to SHOUT in the garden when the planes go over , or having to turn up the TV, my children-none of them light sleepers-are being kept awake. My youngest keep asking me at night when the planes will stop.I do not remember being asked about this.
    Until January next year? We can’t hang on that long. What to do?