Heathrow trial gives flight path residents chance to opt for more sleep


Residents living under the Heathrow flight path are being given a say on whether they would swap an extra hour’s sleep for more flights later.


By Lucy Lordan

A Heathrow trial is giving residents living under the flight path the chance to say whether they would exchange an extra hour’s sleep for additional flights in the later hours of the morning.

Residents in Battersea, Wandsworth Town and Putney are among the worst affected by the early morning noise.

Presently, an average of 16 flights a day are allowed to land at Heathrow before 6am, meaning the first arrivals of the day can be heard over south and west London from around 4.30am.

The experimental period will start this November as part of the second phase of Heathrow’s Operation Freedom Trials.

“We know how much people resent being woken up by these early morning arrivals,” said Wandsworth Council Leader Ravi Govinda.

‘We want the Government to look very closely at the impact of the trials and the effect of putting these flights back on the quality of life of local people.”

During these trials, Heathrow would be permitted to allow an equivalent amount of flights currently due to arrive after 6am, to arrive in from 5.30am.

The alteration aims to improve resilience in the busy 6pm-7pm period and prevent delays building up throughout the day, according to Wandsworth Council.

Steve Mayner, of Wandsworth Council, and member the 2M Group who are campaigning against Heathrow expansion, explained: “The airport’s prime motive is to ease congestion in the 6am-7am period – delaying the pre-5am arrivals is a consequence of this – our campaign is designed to make any early morning benefits permanent. 

“This initiative is really coming from the councils.”

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