• Waltham Forest is the 3rd most overflown borough in London:

  • Six of the twelve most overflown boroughs are in East London.

  • 84 planes were recorded flying over Poplar in a two hour period - 45 from Heathrow and 26 from City. The noise levels of the Heathrow aircraft ranged from 60 – 69 decibels and the City aircraft from 64 – 82 decibels.

  • In some areas of East London noise levels are comparable to those in parts of West London.

Noise campaigners at City Airport

Noise campaigners at City Airport

Check out the Decibel Levels


There are four basic reasons for why it has become so noisy:

  1. The steady increase in the number of planes using Heathrow has meant that many of them are held over London before starting their approach to the airport. No longer do they take a direct route to join their final approach path over West London. Instead, they make detours over London, including many areas of East and South East London. 

  2. The increase in the number of jet aircraft (replacing the smaller and quieter turbo-props) at London City Airport has required new and extended flight paths to allow the jets to land and take off safely.

  3. The concentration of London City’s flight paths in 2016. It did take noise away from certain communities but at the expense of make it significantly worse in other places. London City is looking again at this concentration but any changes wouldn’t come in before about 2024 (to coordinate with changes to flight paths at other airports in London and the South East).

  4. Many areas now get a lot of aircraft from both Heathrow and London City. It means that in many places City planes on both arrival and departure are lower than they otherwise would be as they need to fly below the Heathrow airspace. For example, arrivals right across South London from Sidcup to Stockwell and beyond cannot fly above 2,000ft.