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News & Advice

Open jaw special: Readers write back – about Heathrow


When you write about Heathrow, please stop referring to the people disturbed by aircraft noise as "local" residents. I live miles from the airport, in Clapham, south London, and my life has been made a misery by aircraft noise for at least 10 years. Referring only to "local" residents misrepresents the size of the problem and plays into the hands of the industry's spin doctors.

Colin Shearman

Why doesn't Baroness Jo Valentine, London First CEO, try living under the Heathrow flight path for a month so she can get a better idea of what life is like for thousands?


"Mixed mode" [which increases the capacity at Heathrow by de-segregating runways] would be political suicide for most of the MPs in west London. Ditto more night flights. During the recent mixed mode trials, complaints increased by more than 20 times! Intelligent short-term solutions would be: (a) use larger quieter aircraft in each slot; (b) stop sending lots of half-empty flights to the same place – 30 flights a day to New York; and (c) increase the inbound flight angle.


Better use of landing slots may be a good idea, but the airlines would take you to court for eternity to fight it. Heathrow doesn't have the right to force them to use larger, quieter planes. Airlines fight to keep slots, even running empty planes to avoid losing them.

David John James

Heathrow is full of people from the rest of the United Kingdom who have had to travel miles by impossible public transport to get to an airport that's in utterly the wrong place. We should expand airports in the North and Midlands, not give yet more public transport subsidy to the South-east of England.


Life doesn't exist outside of Heathrow for these people wanting the impossible. I've long suggested moving flights to Southampton and Bournemouth which both have good rail and road links.

Ian Watson