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Heathrow Airport bids to change flight paths

A lot of west London will be ‘badly hit’ by the proposals, campaigners warned.

Heathrow is proposing the biggest changes to its flight paths since the airport opened in 1946.

People living in parts of west London will find their respite cut under the plans being put to a public consultation, according to analysis by anti-expansion group Hacan.

These communities are currently given half a day’s break from noise as the direction of take offs and landings is alternated at 3pm.

This will be reduced to one third of a day as part of measures to be implemented if a third runway is built, Hacan stated.

But the proposals mean vast swathes of London and the Home Counties could enjoy a predictable break from aircraft noise for the first time, as the principle of providing respite is extended to more areas.

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(PA Graphics)

Heathrow is also proposing to accommodate 25,000 more flights a year before a new runway opens.

This would require a cap of 480,000 annual flights – imposed as a condition of Terminal 5 opening – to be eased.

The consultation will run until March 4.

Heathrow’s executive director for expansion Emma Gilthorpe said: “Heathrow’s aim is to design a sustainable, fair and more efficient future airport while connecting the UK to global growth.

“It is crucial that our plans maximise the benefits of expansion across the country, including for the communities closest to us, and working in partnership with our neighbours is just one way of ensuring they do so.

“We are committed to delivering expansion responsibly and we encourage everyone to have their say and take part.”

Hacan chairman John Stewart said: “A lot of west London will be badly hit by these proposals, but there will be many other communities who will be relieved at the prospect of all-day flying coming to an end.

“It amounts to a near-revolution to Heathrow’s flight paths.”

Heathrow’s bid to build a third runway moved a step closer in June 2018 when the Government easily won a Commons’ vote on the plan.

A group of councils and campaigners against the £14 billion project have launched legal action in an attempt to block it.

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