There were 71,000 noise complaints about Europe’s busiest airport in 2023. Over 60,000 came from the same 10 people.

There were 71,000 noise complaints about Europe’s busiest airport in 2023. Over 60,000 came from the same 10 people.
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A Boeing 777-236(ER) comes in over the rooftops of residential houses, to land at Heathrow Airport in west London on April 29, 2024.
A British Airways Boeing 777 landing at Heathrow.

  • Over 60,000 noise complaints at London Heathrow Airport were filed by just 10 people.
  • 0.5% of complainants were responsible for 85% of all complaints.
  • Just five people complained more than 1,280 times.

Just 10 people were responsible for over 60,000 noise complaints at London Heathrow Airport last year.

Heathrow, which was also the busiest airport in Europe in 2023, releases such data every quarter.

In 2023, there were 71,041 complaints about noise from the airport, with monthly numbers ranging from around 4,000 to 9,000.

Of those complaints, 60,490 came from just 10 people, meaning that 0.5% of complainants were responsible for 85% of complaints.

An even smaller number of people appear to be responsible for the bulk of that 60,000. The airport notes that only five people complained more than 1,280 times.

About half of the complaints were in the category of loud aircraft, and a quarter were for low aircraft.

Similar statistics continued into the first quarter of 2024, when the top 10 complainers filed 15,062 complaints. One person appears to have complained over 6,000 times in those three months, an average of around 60 complaints per day, over two per hour.

Research compiled by the UK Civil Aviation Authority shows how noise pollution from planes can disrupt sleep quality, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and impede children’s performance in school.

To help people living nearby, Heathrow operates a “runway alternation” system, which says “provides predictable periods of noise relief.”

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It means one runway is used for takeoffs and the other for landings before switching around halfway through the day.

However, noise complaints from a small number of locals have still persisted.

Along with environmental activists, noise complaints have played a role in impeding controversial plans to build a third runway at Heathrow.

A similarly huge number of complaints was found in Australia. One person living under a flight path in Perth was responsible for almost half the country’s aircraft noise complaints.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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