Theresa meets BAA to consider impact of Heathrow changes on the Maidenhead area
28 June 2012
Theresa May has met representatives of BAA to discuss changes to operations at Heathrow Airport that could help to reduce very early morning noise disturbance as well as cutting emissions. The Operational Freedoms trial resumes on 1st July and will allow Heathrow to test a number of operational changes designed to reduce delays and improve the environmental impact of flights. The trials build upon the first phase of the Operational Freedoms programme which ran between November 2011 and February 2012 and allowed a more flexible approach to the operation of different runway modes at the airport.
The second phase will last until March 2013 and hopes to continue the mostly positive results of the first phase, which saw reductions in the ‘stacking’ of aircraft prior to landing and a consequent reduction in the emissions of pollutants including carbon dioxide. Among the ‘freedoms’ being trialled as part of the second phase are measures allowing Heathrow to reduce the number of flights landing before 5am, in return for a proportionate increase between 5:30am and 6am. This would help reduce the number of very early morning flights which cause the most disturbance to local residents.
Commenting, Theresa said: “It is sensible to trial measures that could help to tackle delays at Heathrow and reduce emissions, particularly from planes being ‘stacked’ over local communities while they wait to land. I am also pleased that these measures might result in the very earliest flights being pushed back. It is often the first flight of the day that can cause the greatest disturbance to local residents, so things will be moving in the right direction even if these flights can be delayed by half an hour or so. If local residents notice any changes during the trial period, either for good or bad, then I would encourage them to get in contact with BAA or with me.”