Research carried out by the campaign group HACAN has confirmed that Waltham Forest is the third most overflown borough in London (1). Although Hounslow and Richmond occupy first and second place, the survey revealed that only three of the top 12 most overflown boroughs are in West London.
HACAN calculated the combined impact of Heathrow and London City aircraft on each borough. It didn’t factor in the heights of the planes; only the number flying over each borough. It follows up a similar study carried out in 2009. It also put Hounslow, Richmond and Waltham Forest in the top three positions.
HACAN chair John Stewart said, “Our survey once again shows that aircraft noise is not just confined to West London. It has become a London-wide problem. Somewhere like Waltham Forest is bombarded by planes from both Heathrow and London City airports.”
HACAN found that the most significant change from the 2009 survey was the reduction in the number of flights over some of the inner London boroughs such as Camden and Islington. This was matched by an increase in flights over the South East London boroughs of Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth. It put it down to the introduction of concentrated London City flight paths over these boroughs plus the fact that aircraft coming into land at Heathrow appear to be crossing the Thames further east than was previously the case.
The study comes out at the start of an important year for aviation. In a few weeks the Government is expected to release its consultation document on a Heathrow third runway as well as a consultation on future airspace strategy.