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(Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise)

campaigning against aircraft noise

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In July 2011 Fight the Flights, the organisation which fought the expansion of City Airport, merged with HACAN. HACAN East will take up issues around City Airportread more


Fortnightly Update

It's a busy time. We are compiling some highlights of recent and forthcoming campaigning by HACAN and others on the major airport issues. Read the latest update here. (The previous update is here)

Third Runway Video Competition Launched

HACAN has teamed up with Zac Goldsmith MP to launch a nation-wide video competition to highlight opposition to the third runway at Heathrow. Entrants to the competition will be asked to submit a video, no more than 2 minutes in length, outlining the reasons why a third runway should not be built at Heathrow. The shortlisted entries will be judged by a celebrity panel, headed up by Hugh Grant, at a gala night in the Richmond Theatre in front of 800 guests on 18th June. There will be a £10,000 prize for the winner. The closing date for video entries is 1st June

More details about the competition can be found at

Protests Continue in Frankfurt

What respectable residents get up in Frankfurt every Monday evening in the airport terminal. For their 94th protest in the terminal they destroyed a mock up of the hated 4th runway. Spectacular and entertaining video. The 4th runway was opened in 2011. The new flight paths put in place to service it have generated weekly protests ever since with up to 5,000 residents occupying the terminal. The protests have succeeded in getting a ban on night flights.

New report: People affected by noise at lower levels than admitted

A new report from mvaconsultancy shows that people are affected by much lower levels of aircraft noise than the Government has admitted. It challenges the whole basis of aircraft noise policy.

Read the report

Reasons to oppose a 3rd runway

HACAN has published an easy-to-read guide outlining the social, environmental, economic and political objections to a 3rd runway.

Read the guide here

HACAN dismisses Heathrow 3rd runway consultation as 'a PR exercise'

HACAN has dismissed the six week consultation Heathrow Airport is embarking on on 3rd February as 'a PR exercise'. The consultation is not about whether or not people want a 3rd runway but on how they think Heathrow's plans for one can be improved!

See details in the HACAN press release

Coalition re-forms to oppose 3rd runway

A coalition has been formed to oppose any plans for a third runway at Heathrow. The Airports Commission, set up by the Government, is looking at two options for a 3rd runway at Heathrow, in addition to the option of a 2nd runway at Gatwick. Still on the table is the option of an Isle of Grain airport on the Kent Coast. The Commission is currently doing further work on all these shortlisted options. It will ask for further comments in the autumn. Its final report will be out in summer 2015 but, whatever its recommendation, the final decision will be up to the Government of the day.

Read about the options in more detail in the HACAN newsletter.

Keep checking this website for details of the emerging campaign against the third runway.

Below is a list of Public Meetings already organised:

4th March: Meeting on 3rd Runway at Langley, Langley Academy, Langley Rd, SL3 7EF, 7.30pm. Amongst the speakers are Heathrow and John Stewart, Chair HACAN.

11th March: 7.30pm at the Church Hall, rear of Cranford Baptist Church, 1 Firs Drive, Cranford, TW5 9TD.

HACAN End of Year Quiz

We look back - and look forward at the start of new campaigning year 2014. To start things off:

In what year did David Cameron first say "No ifs; no buts; no third runway"?

Have a go at the full HACAN Quiz to check your recollection of this and the rest ...

Davies options - campaigners vow to fight any expansion at Heathrow

Angry campaigners branded the Airport Commission's Interim Report, issued today (17/12/13) as 'the trigger to 18 months of intense campaigning against Heathrow expansion'. The Commission argues that there will be the need for one new runway in London and the South East by 2030, pointing to either Heathrow or Gatwick. The report sets out a short list of options. Although the Davies proposals focus less on Heathrow than had been rumoured, the expansion battle is back.

Read the HACAN Press Release with more details of the report

Sign a petition against 3rd runway

New night flight regime postponed until 2017

The Government announced today (11/11/13) that it is proposing no significant changes to the night flight regime at Heathrow until 2017. Originally, it planned changes next year but it argues it would be sensible to wait until after the Airports Commission, which is looking possible expansion on London and the South East, reports in Summer 2015.

Read the HACAN reaction

Read the details of the consultation

Read the HACAN Briefing that helps those wanting to respond to the consultation

Men behind 'Heathrow Hub' proposals unmasked

The men behind Heathrow Hub, which recently launched a national advertising blitz to promote its plans for a four runway airport, stand to make millions on land sales if its scheme goes ahead. It has been revealed that the scheme, fronted by a former Concorde pilot 'Jock' Lowe, would make the money through the creation of a new terminal and transport hub to be built on a 200-acre site north of Heathrow. Heathrow Airport has made it clear that it does not back the Heathrow Hub proposals.

Read the full revelations in the Guardian

Read the HACAN press release

20% more chance of dying of stress-related diseases under Heathrow flight path

A new study, to be published today (9/10/13), has found that deaths from stroke, heart and circulatory disease are 20% higher in areas with high levels of aircraft noise than in places with the least noise. Researchers at Imperial College London and King's College London compared data on day- and night-time aircraft noise with hospital admissions and mortality rates among a population of 3.6 million people living near Heathrow airport. The findings are published in the British Medical Journal. The study covered 12 London boroughs and nine districts outside of London where aircraft noise exceeds 50 decibels - about the volume of a normal conversation in a quiet room.

Link to the study

Link to the HACAN press release

'Back Heathrow' campaign sends newspaper to 500,000 homes

The new Heathrow Airport-inspired 'Back Heathrow' campaign has send a newspaper to half a million homes

Read HACAN’s rebuttal

Heathrow Airport offers to fund pro-3rd runway residents' groups

HACAN calls it "the actions of a desperate organisation."

Read our press release

South East London tops complaints chart in Summer 2013

HACAN has published a selection of the emails it received during Summer 2013. It showed that, by some distance the largest number of complaints came from South East London.

Read the report

Hundreds Attend European Aviation Campaigner's Conference

Over 250 people from six countries across Europe attended the European Aviation Campaigner's Conference in Attaching near Munich earlier this year. The campaigners pledged to work to together on Europe-wide campaigns to end night flights and the tax-breaks - such as tax-free fuel - which the aviation industry enjoys. You can read their full manifesto. The growing European campaigners movement has taken much of its inspiration from the successful campaign to stop a third runway at Heathrow.

HACAN's reponse to the Airport Commision's noise consultation

HACAN has submitted this response to the Commission

Mixed results from respite trial, but 100,000 benefit

The night time respite trial where HACAN worked with Heathrow Airport, NATS and British Airways produced mixed results but it did bring benefits to over 100,000 people and it did help put the need for respite firmly on the Government's agenda.

Read more about the trial

Airports Commission publishes the submissions it has received

In mid-August the Airports Commission published the submissions it received for new runways and new airports. It also published submissions on ways to improve the capacity of Heathrow in the short and medium term. It is inviting comments on them by 27th September.

You can read the submissions on its website

A 2 page aide for people who might want to respond produced by HACAN

Airports Commission asks for views on noise

The Airports Commission is asking for views on aircraft noise

Here is an easy-to-read guide which HACAN has produced

Heathrow submits 3rd runway proposals to Airports Commission

On 17th July Heathrow submitted its proposals for a 3rd runway to the Airports Commission.

Heathrow Airport revealed three possible sites for a new runway.

• A South West option which require demolition of the 850 properties in the Stanwell Moor area.

• A North West option in the Harmondsworth Moor involving demolition of 950 properties.

• A North option, very similar to the previous plans for a thirds runway, involving demolition of Sipson and parts of Harlington.

Heathrow is not wanting a fourth runway at the moment but have not ruled it out. A third runway would mean an extra 250,000 flights a year, bringing the total to 760,000. A 4th runway could mean 1 million flights a year. Heathrow argues expansion can place and the noise climate can be introduced through quieter planes, respite periods and improved operation practices.

HACAN, in its response, has recognized the efforts Heathrow has made to improve the noise climate but argues that this will be negated by the huge increase there will be in the number of planes using Heathrow if a third runway is given the go-ahead. HACAN has vowed to fight the proposals 'tooth and nail'.

To read Heathrow's submission

Third Runway would kill historic opportunity to improve noise climate for Heathrow residents

A short report released today by campaign group HACAN claims that a third runway at Heathrow would kill off an historic opportunity to improve the noise climate for residents.

Read the report

Read the HACAN press release

Heathrow now wants 3rd runway south west of the Airport

The London Evening Standard has revealed (6/6/13) that Heathrow Airport is now looking for a third runway south east of the airport, in the Stanwell Moor area

Read the HACAN press release

72% of residents against Heathrow Expansion

72% people in Richmond, Hillingdon and Hounslow have voted against expansion at Heathrow in polls conducted by the three London boroughs. Over the last few weeks people have voted in official referenda carried out by Hillingdon and Richmond and, in Hounslow, completed a questionnaire sent out to every household in the borough. Hounslow also asked about attitudes to night flights. 83% of people want them to be banned.

Read the story in the Standard

The Airport Commission sets off a flurry of reports

The Airports Commission, set up last year, to examine whether more airport capacity is needed and, if so, where will come up with a short-list of possible sites in its Interim Report at the end of the year. It will examine these sites in more detail before producing its final report in Summer 2015, two months after the next General Election.

Details of the Airports Commission

A number of reports have been produced trying to influence the Airports Commission and the Government. Amongst them are:

The Transport Select Committee - predictably - comes out in favour of Heathrow expansion

Read the HACAN press release in response

The London Assembly comes out against expansion

and Heathrow Airport rejects mixed-mode and endorses the principle of respite periods for residents

From HACAN: the case against mixed mode and an easy-to-read explanation of mixed mode

And also from HACAN: 'The Case against the Expansion of Heathrow'

A timely new report - short and illustrated - from HACAN outlines the economic, environmental and social case against the expansion of Heathrow.

Read the report

Major new report casts doubts on benefits of Heathrow expansion

A new report, commissioned by HACAN, WWF and the RSPB, launched on 22nd April from the Dutch consultants CE Delft casts doubt on the benefits of Heathrow expansion. In particular it argues that the 'claims about the economic benefits of connectivity are not founded on solid evidence.'

Read the press release

Read the full report

Short Haul Flights: still clogging Heathrow's runways

A new study from HACAN reveals that nine out the ten top destinations served by Heathrow are short haul. Only one, New York, is long haul. The rest are European or British destinations. New York, with 61 flights a day, tops the table. It is followed by Dublin, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and Edinburgh. The study comes seven years after a similar one published by HACAN in 2006. That study placed Paris top of the league. However flights to the French capital have fallen dramatically since Eurostar has taken off - down from 60 a day to 35. And Brussels flights have decreased from 30 to 19.

To read the full report

To read the press release

The Horror of a Four Runway Heathrow

2M, which represents local authorities across London and the Home Counties, has produced maps of what the flight paths of a 4 runway Heathrow - if it was ever built - would look like.

Click here for more maps

The Evening Standard broke the story

Heathrow Airport will not press for mixed mode

In a hugely significant development Heathrow Airport (BAA as was) has said it will not be pressing for mixed-mode (planes landing on both runways throughout the day). A Heathrow source told The Times (4/2/13):" It would be a lot of pain for not much gain," said a Heathrow source. Heathrow confirmed its position when appearing before the Transport Committee of the London Assembly (13/2/13) It is highly unlikely that any Government would recommend mixed-mode without the support of Heathrow Airport.

For an easy-to-read explanation of mixed mode

MPs and local authorities call for Davies Commission to be speeded up

MPs, peers and campaign groups have joined with the leaders of nine local authorities to call on the Government to bring forward the publication date of the final report of the Airports Commission, headed by Sir Howard Davies. They have written a joint letter to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin asking for the report to be published well before the 2015 General Election. The scheduled date for publication is currently July 2015, two months after the Election. They are also calling on Sir Howard Davies in his interim report, due by the end of this year, to "lay out very clearly the direction of his thinking."

Read the letter

Resurfacing work at Heathrow will affect night flights operations

For details

The Case against the Expansion of Heathrow

A timely new report - short and illustrated - from HACAN outlines the economic, environmental and social case against the expansion of Heathrow.

Read the report

A Pub-Style Debate

Transport Secretary Justine Greening dismissed the lobbying efforts of the aviation industry as "a pub-style debate"

To disentangle the myths from the facts in the Heathrow debate, read our latest 4-pager: Heathrow Expansion Myths and Facts

Willie Walsh accepts there will be No Third Runway

Speaking at the debate organized by the Evening Standard (27th June) BAA chief Willie Walsh said that, much as he would like to have seen a 3rd runway at Heathrow, he no accepts the reality that it will not happen and is planning his business accordingly. He also said that mixed-mode at Heathrow would makes worse at the airport and opposes it.

The Evening Standard, still pushing expansion under its new editor Sarah Sands, chose to report things differently....and incorrectly.

Read the HACAN Blog: In Praise of Willie Walsh

Read the HACAN Press Release

No Economic Case to Expand Heathrow

There has been a high-profile campaign recently by the aviation industry arguing the UK economic will suffer if airport expansion does not take place, particularly at Heathrow. It has been heavily featured in the Evening Standard since Sarah Sands became editor. HACAN does not believe the case stands up. This two page document summarises why.

Economic costs of sleep deprivation to be included in night flights review

In a Lord's debate (28/5/12) the Government announced it would consider the economic loss due to sleep loss when it reviews night flights later this year. This will be the first time this has been done.  The issue was first raised in a CE Delft Report published by HACAN. Welcome move.

More details of the announcement 

Read the HACAN report

London: Too Dirty for Business?

A new report by HACAN released today (31/1/12) claims that it is not a lack of airport capacity which threatens London’s position as the top city in Europe to do business but its poor environment. Too Dirty for Business? concludes that London's excellent transport links to the rest of the world make it Europe's premier business city. However, that position is under threat because many of its rivals score more highly on quality of life, pollution and a lack of traffic congestion, all key considerations for businesses when deciding where to locate. The report is published on the same day as London First's Connectivity Commission is launching its findings. It is expected to call for more airport capacity in the South East.

Read the HACAN press release

Read the full report

HACAN calls on Government to ditch for good outdated way of measuring aircraft noise

HACAN is calling on the Government to include plans to change the way it measures aircraft noise in its draft aviation policy, expected to go out to public consultation before the end of March. The current method the Government uses varies from the one recommended by the European Union. It also contradicts the guidelines for noise annoyance recommended by the World Health Organisation. The EU estimates that around 720,000 people are disturbed by noise from Heathrow aircraft. The UK Government puts it much lower at less than 300,000. HACAN Chair John Stewart said: "The way UK governments have traditionally measured noise no longer tallies with reality. Using its method, aircraft noise ceases to be a problem around Barnes. It defies reality to say that people in places like Putney, Fulham, Battersea and Clapham are not disturbed by aircraft noise. We are calling on the Government to ditch this outdated way of measuring aircraft noise."

Read the HACAN press release

CAA Report: 28% of people in Europe affected by aircraft noise live under the Heathrow flight paths

A major new report published yesterday (19/12/11) by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reveals that 28% of the people in Europe affected by aircraft noise live under the Heathrow flight paths. A total of over 700,000 people are affected by Heathrow aircraft. The report calls for measures, such as steeper descents by aircraft, to mitigate the impact of noise on residents. It also urges airport owners to "engage constructively" with residents.

Read the CAA report

Read the HACAN Press Release

Air Passenger Duty.

"We hear a lot of ritualistic grumbling from the aviation industry about levels of Air Passenger Duty but they conveniently forget to mention the £11 billion a year subsidy they enjoy from paying no fuel duty and no VAT"- read more

The campaign against the spread of aircraft noise

Aircraft Noise: no longer just a West London problem

Vauxhall: almost 20 miles from Heathrow. Up to 40 planes an hour

A briefing by HACAN on why was launched at a meeting hosted by London Assembly member Val Shawcross at City Hall.

Read the HACAN briefing.

New Report reveals how aircraft noise has spread

"The plane traffic continues unabatedly. Strange as it sounds, but we are dreading the idea of living with open windows when summer approaches". And they live over 15 miles from Heathrow.

Read more of the residents' stories

Night Flights

Major New Night Flight's Report finds night flight ban at Heathrow could benefit the economy

A major report launched in the House of Commons on 27th January 2011 at a meeting hosted by Zac Goldsmith MP shows that a ban on night flights at Heathrow before 6am could be expected to have overall benefits for the wider economy. The new report, commissioned by HACAN from the respected Dutch economists CE Delft, has found that a night flight ban before 6am could benefit the national economy by as much as £860 million over a 10 year period. The big savings would be in the monetary costs associated with sleep deprivation. Because of the huge number of people living under the Heathrow night flight path, these savings could be expected to outweigh any loss of income to the aviation industry. CE Delft argues that the national economy would only be harmed if none of the passengers who currently arrive on the flights before 6am failed to transfer to flights arriving at other times. If that were to take place, the national economy could lose up to £35 million over a 10 year period, but the report states that the chances of that happening are "highly unlikely". John Stewart, Chair of HACAN, said, "We commissioned this report to test out the claims that a night flight ban would damage the economy. Its dramatic findings destroy the last remaining argument for night flights".

The launch of the report marks the start of a campaign by HACAN to get a ban on night flights between 11pm and 6am when the new night flight regime is introduced in 2014. Later this year the Government is expected to consult on a new night flight regime at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick. The current agreement with the airlines comes to an end in October 2014.

Read the full report

Join our night flight campaign

Read the basic information on night flights

Find out how night flights damage our health

Read peoples' stories

Heathrow Airport challenged the report we commissioned from CE Delft in a report it submitted to the Department for Transport. Here you can read CE Delft's rebuttal of the CE Delft Report.

High-Speed Rail News

The HACAN Position

HACAN supports a high-speed rail scheme that takes planes out of the air and cars off the road. The interests of the people of the West Midlands, the Chilterns and other areas through which it passes must be fully taken into consideration but this Government should be applauded as being the first one for over 50 years as seeing rail rather than road or air as the way to transport people the length of Britain.

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