A Sky of Sound over East London

Noise campaigners at City Airport

  • 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.

For detailed maps showing the Heathrow flight paths, Heathrow Airport’s site is worth visiting. You can view the flight paths here:



 You can also track the routes flights have taken here.

Unfortunately London City Airport does not yet provide the same information, however it will do in the future.

There is currently no map available that shows the combination of Heathrow and City aircraft.

Check out the Decibel Levels



There are two basic reasons:

  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), using London City Airport has required new and extended flight paths to allow the jets to land and take off safely. Certain areas of London have been particularly hard hit: those places which get both City and Heathrow aircraft; and the places where there has been an excessive concentration of aircraft. These include places like Bow, Leyton, Leytonstone, Wanstead.