Gatwick, Heathrow, and City noise campaigners take their protest to Whitehall

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Fourteen action groups based near Gatwick, Heathrow, or London City Airport took their complaints to central Government on Monday June 1.

They say tens of thousands of people have been badly affected by noise from experimental changes to airline flightpaths.

Campaigners are calling for the Government to change its policies to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on residents, and to put residents’ health, wellbeing and family life before aviation industry profits.

A statement from the joint campaign group said: “The airspace changes are part of a Europe-wide programme to make more effective use of airspace and are now impacting the whole of the UK. They are designed to enable airlines to save fuel, to allow aircraft to land at and depart from airports more efficiently but give little, if any, consideration to the impact the changes have, and will have, on communities.

“In the UK Gatwick and London City have been earmarked as first in line for the changes. Heathrow is expected to have its changes in place by 2019 with national changes by 2020.

Residents fear that the changes will result in excessive concentration of aircraft along selected routes with no consideration for the impact the changes have on health and wellbeing of residents.”

Brendon Sewill, chairman of Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, said: “We can not see how any airport expansion can go forward with the anger that is being vented at all airport operators due to the current airspace changes. All the protest groups coming together should send a clear message to the Government that residents are fed up with being ignored and that they will not be disregarded.”

Helen Hansen, of Heathrow community group Communities Against Increased Aircraft Noise, said: “Many of us affected by Heathrow have already had our lives turned upside down by new flight procedures introduced without consultation, exposing us to periods of over 17 hours a day of unrelenting and intolerable concentrated flight noise. It’s time to put human health and wellbeing before profits for airlines and airports, by instituting proper regulatory safeguards to minimise aircraft noise over heavily populated areas.”

Copies of their joint statement, endorsed by groups representing communities of Kent, Mid Sussex, East Sussex, West Sussex, Middlesex, Berkshire, Surrey, and London boroughs, were handed to the Department for Transport and to the Prime Minister.

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