Many residents of Feltham, east London, are wondering, “Is Feltham noisy?” The answer isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. You’ll be happy to know that you’re not the only one. The Parliamentary Secretary for Transport has personally visited the airport, and the minister has visited the borough in question. Residents complain that noise from the airport impacts their quality of life. Feltham residents aren’t immune to noise from the airport, but you can avoid these problems by choosing a different neighborhood.
It’s no secret that Heathrow airport is noisy. With 11 million passengers passing through its gates every year, the airport is notoriously loud. Those living near the airport are almost guaranteed to hear noise levels over 65 decibels. A recent report by Greenpeace UK found that 11 million people live in areas where flights exceed 65 decibels. But why is the airport so noisy? And what can be done about it?
The noise is caused by plane engines roaring overhead. Heathrow is also close to dozens of schools, including Pippins Primary School. It’s several hundred feet above the school and almost directly under its flight path. The noise from the airport impacts the lives of students and teachers in the surrounding area. One teacher says she and her students are affected by the noise, even if it’s “only” one plane.
Residents in communities around Heathrow have complained about the noise caused by low-flying passenger planes. Heathrow commissioned a study by PA Consulting to examine the impact of the airport on local residents. After residents complained about the increased noise, the airport began trialling new flight paths and reducing the planes’ altitude. The study shows that low-flying planes have more noise and disturb residents.
There are many ways residents can get help if they feel the airport is too noisy. Heathrow has a complaint system that allows people to make a formal complaint. The process is free, and the airport provides tools to inform its constituents about the flight paths, schedules, and rules and regulations. Residents can also contact their local MP to request a meeting with Heathrow’s officials. The airport will continue to work with airlines and the government to understand how the noise from low-flying aircraft affects their neighbourhood.
Noise regulation at Heathrow has not changed in over 50 years, and the current metric is based on an outdated metric, called community annoyance. This metric, devised in 1982, was derived from interviews with 2,097 residents, who were asked to rate the noise levels they experienced. The responses were then compared to sound pressure measurements. It is clear that the current metric is not very effective in assessing noise.
The Department for Transport has ruled out a publicity campaign promoting the airport’s plans for a third runway. The government argues that the publicity campaign will only stir up unnecessary controversy. In the meantime, an ICM poll shows that residents of the capital are divided on the issue. The vast majority of Conservative voters support the third runway, while those from other political parties oppose it. Residents of the area most affected by noise are living in areas beneath the flight paths.
The noise produced by the airport is so intense that it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Heathrow airport has been the subject of much debate regarding expansion. Even though the third runway is unlikely to change the noise levels, residents of the surrounding area are still facing the consequences of the airport’s noise pollution. It’s important to note that the public’s concerns are a reflection of a wider issue affecting the lives of millions of people.