6. Topic B5 (part): Topic: ‘Managing the effects of expansion’. Sub-topic: ‘Noise’.

Guidance: Heathrow claim that the contour of their noise footprint has shrunk over the years, but the basic point remains that this is still defined as 57 decibels, which is very loud indeed. WHO regards 50 decibels as a stress level, 45 as a comfortable daytime level, and 35-40 as necessary for good sleep at night. (In planning consents Westminster Council require a noise level of 10 decibels below background at night, usually meaning 35 decibel or less.) The decibel scale is logarithmic, meaning (very roughly) that every 10 decibels is a doubling of noise. We are situated well outside the 57dB contour, but the previous consultation of this year stated that we in Bayswater could have aircraft overhead at 3,000 feet, possibly generating noise of up to 60 decibels.

The 57 dB threshold is traditional, is higher than at any other major airport in the world, and should be reduced.

In mitigation, Heathrow maintain that there would be some respite, from runway alternation, but this is inadequate, see above. Likewise, the 7 1/2 hour quiet period lasts only to 5.30am, meaning noise overhead even earlier. The effect of steeper descents remains to be evaluated.

Modern aircraft are becoming quieter, but seemingly there are no proposals to ban older more noisy aircraft early in the morning or late in the evening, even from 2026 when runway three is expected to be open. Such an improvement, requiring less than 57 decibels, seems eminently practical.

‘Have your Say’. We suggest that you strongly object to noise levels, over you, of more than, say, 45 decibels, especially early in the morning and late in the evening. You could say that you would like there to be a condition to this effect to any planning consent, failing which there should be financial assistance for noise insulation. Or you could say, if you so wish, that you do not expect such additional mitigation to be effective and are therefore opposed both to ‘early growth’, from 2002, and to the further expansion from a third runway after 2026

Link to question: https://aec.heathrowconsultation.com/topics/noise/ ( sample answer on page 11)

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