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HCNF will not address current noise issues
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With holiday season upon us, this may not be the best time to send an update but it is in response to increasing number of emails asking if anything is happening.    So here is a very brief update - all the Working Group discussions and notes can be read on HALs website.

Heathrow Community Noise Forum (HCNF)
At the most recent meeting, AN3V decided it was time to shake out the truth of the situation and insist HAL and its aviation buddies gave a straight answer as to how current noise issues will be addressed (rather than 'helping shape future airspace strategy').  We stated that Communities are pressing for evidence from the Aviation industry that it has a plan with some meat on the bones which will result in practical interventions to remedy the current situation, not simply discuss future actions.

It took some repetitive questioning before finally a clear answer was given.
  • lower altitudes of aircraft we now witness - Answer: the industry is adhering to industry guidelines
  • number of flights (bearing in mind the 50% increase in arrivals) - Answer: there is a quota which is being adhered to
  • concentration of flights - Answer: aviation industry is operating to DfT guidelines which favours concentration
After two years of meetings, a detailed analysis going back 5 years which clearly illustrated the changes (see Analysis summary)  the HCNF is not going to take action to reverse those changes.  We must therefore presume that this industry expects communities to accept the current noise levels as the norm and move forward!

I have written to Matt Gorman at HAL to give him our thoughts on that option and copied it to Michael Gove, Chris Greyling, the CEOs of NATS and HAL and our local and county Councillors who impotently stand by whilst this scandal deepens.  I have also written to MG on that matter too.
Read letter to Matt Gorman
Read Letter to Michael Gove

In addition, as an attendee of the Working Group 2 which is tasked with looking at the operational aspects, I requested that British Airways reviewed any changes in its standard operating procedures, particularly since 2014 (being a major noise increase year for most).    It has refused (it appears no-one can hold anyone to account in this industry!) and is instead using semantics as a defence.

Despite the question being put simply to BA - why are flights lower and more concentrated as evidenced by the independent data analysis?    The answer from BA representative is:   


"I am sorry but we have never offered to investigate all and any issues raised at WG2; we offered to investigate if it was found that we had not returned to the pre-trial routings in 2014. The trial routings were very different from the normal routings, we stopped flying those at the end of the trial period and have long since reverted to the routes previously loaded into our database."

So, it appears however we put the questions, nobody in the industry feels remotely compelled to give straight answers or indeed do anything to rectify the noise levels on newly blighted communities - probably because they understand they can bamboozle the DfT and Government Ministers by playing the safety and 'economic ruin if we don't' cards.
 
Where do we go from here?
According to the survey results, we know people are affected but very few are complaining.  

If that situation continues then no matter how hard the AN3V campaign works to try to represent our local communities (and bear in mind the 'group' consists of only 3 people trying to cover everything on local communities' behalf) - then the industry at large will be able to ride this storm out and hope that eventually, everyone simply gives up.

Our MP, Councillors, DfT, NATS and HALs postbags and mailboxes need to be overflowing with public complaint and demand for change - their life should be very uncomfortable.   The industry is simply not under sufficient pressure from either politicians or residents .

This final admission that they are not proposing to address current noise means that the HCNF has some limited use in shaping future noise impacts but now our sights must be turned on the DfT and Government Ministers to demand the Governance and legislation which allows this industry to apparently run amok is addressed.
We have not yet felt the full impact of Precision Based Navigation (PBN) and Concentrated flight paths will be our future unless we take action and make our voices heard
Protest and opposition take many forms and it occurs to me we can also shape things if we vote with our feet.  Considerate flying would have an enormous impact on the industry  

We all have first hand experience of the devastation to work and family life caused by aircraft noise. We must surely all be considerate to airport communities wherever they are and when we choose to fly, avoid early morning departures and late night arrivals - yes it's cheaper but we all know the misery of being woken by such flights!
This industry understands money! So if the industry won't change then we maybe we must change the industry!
Thank you to all those who are taking the time to keep up the pressure by writing and complaining.  I shall of course send out any responses I receive regarding the HCNF.

Best wishes
Rosalie

 
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