25th April 2016
The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP
Secretary of State for Transport Great Minster House 33 Horseferry Road London SW1P 4DR
London Heathrow's Flight Paths
As I understand it the Secretary of State gives permission for up to 550 landings a year at LHR between the hours of 0400 and 0600. It is unclear how long this permission lasts.
I wonder before I come to my main set of questions whether your office could supply me with the Statutory Instrument or its equivalent which enshrines this in law. Thank you.
I live under one of the flight paths in Westminster which was not the case when I first came to live here almost twenty years ago. I note that this path passes over Greenwich, Tower Bridge, City Hall, London Bridge, Waterloo, Parliament, Victoria, Buckingham Palace (close) and MI6. Please could you confirm that all of these organisations were consulted when the changes were made which I think was just after 9/11?
Whilst I accept planes must fly into LHR somehow, my concerns are twofold:
** Why has the western approach from Reading been overlooked or ditched since that flight path flies over less than 200,000 against the 1m over the River Thames?
** And why are any flights allowed to land before 0600? Notwithstanding the noise levels, kitting out LHR, organising overground and underground trains which do not start until after 0500 and sorting customs, policing and support staff is expensive for LHR's owners and actually as we all know, including ISIS or any other terrorist group, is always slight or non-existent. Besides why would any passenger want to land at LHR without public transport support?
I want though to come to the noise element. Planes take about 30-45 seconds to fly over my house. The noise builds as a plane descends and within five minutes (between 0400 and 0600) another plane can be heard beginning its descent. The noise is unusual given the stillness of the night and must wake hundreds of thousands of people, disturb dogs and cats and wildlife. It is simply unreasonable that any plane is allowed to land at LHR between these hours. Of course between 0600 and 0800 planes are arriving every two to three minutes and the noise is much worse.
I look forward to your response.
cc Mark Field MP