Plans for a third runway at Heathrow should be scrapped and airspace in London improved drastically, a new report recommends.
The report produced by the Greater London Assembly Environment Committee, says that its “most urgent” recommendation is to oppose the expansion of Heathrow because of the impact of the increased numbers of flights would have on Londoners.
The report cites guidelines by the World Health Organisation who that frequent exposure to noise above 45 decibels is associated with adverse health effects. Yet the threshold set in the Government’s guidelines is 54 decibels.
As well as opposing a third runway, the Committee also propose a series of drastic improvements to the airspace in London, which, with Heathrow expansion, means up to 2.2 million people right across London will be impacted by the plans, in addition to up to 747,300 people impacted by noise from London City Airport.
Flight paths should also be less concentrated and more evenly dispersed so specific communities are not impacted overwhelmingly more than others close by, with more weight given to communities in south and east London who are impacted from overflying from both Heathrow and London City Airports. Altitude of planes should also be increased, to bring less noise emissions to those on the ground, in densely populated boroughs of London such as Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.