Consultation Early Growth

Heathrow plan an additional 25,000 flights a year even before the proposed opening of the third runway. This will be achieved by introducing new flight paths, using new technology which would allow smaller intervals between landings.

The new flight paths have not been finalised, but Heathrow’s previous consultation on airspace changes strongly indicated that Ealing and other nearby areas of West London would be badly affected by the noise and pollution of low-flying arrival flights.

These new flight paths would mean that residents would experience up to 20 planes passing low overhead between 5.50 and 6.50 every morning.

Heathrow claim that this early growth would make a ‘negligible change’ to noise, and ‘no significant change’ to air quality. This obviously would not be the case, as residents of Brentford, Richmond and elsewhere will confirm.

These changes in airspace use have been very poorly communicated by Heathrow. Their Airspace Consultation held in Ealing in February 2019 was not well advertised. It was very poorly attended by only 234 people.

The new flight paths have not been tested, so residents who would be affected by these proposals have no idea of what they are likely to experience.

This early growth is very important to Heathrow as the sale of the new slots is critical to funding the third runway. It is also being sold as a ‘Brexit Boost’!


We therefore recommend that you strongly oppose early growth in your own words by pointing out

  • this consultation is deficient in not showing exactly where new flight paths are to be introduced
  • the previous consultation was poorly advertised, so Ealing residents are mostly unaware of the implications for their area
  • new flight paths will be noisy and polluting, with adverse effects for local residents
  • Heathrow have not properly communicated these proposals to those likely to be affected
  • any increase in the number of flights reduces our ability to meet our climate change targets

Click here to comment on the Early Growth section in Heathrow’s consultation.