Heathrow press releases

02 February, 2015

Heathrow responds to calls for world - class noise insulation scheme

Aircraft blue sky 2
 
  • Meets public challenge to develop noise insulation scheme comparable to other European hub airports including Schiphol, Madrid, Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt
  • New offering shaped by feedback from local public consultation
  • Enhanced offer to cover all insulation costs for residents most affected by noise


Heathrow has today unveiled new plans to provide insulation to homes, if the Government gives planning approval for a third runway. The newly proposed scheme would cover a zone based on the 55 decibel noise contour[1], the preferred measure of noise used by the European Union and the Mayor of London.

 

This noise insulation offer goes above and beyond UK policy requirements, expands on Heathrow’s previous proposals and is comparable to those offered by other European hub airports. In total, Heathrow estimates that over £700 million could be spent through this insulation package, an increase of over £450 million from that previously offered by Heathrow in its May 2014 submission to the Airports Commission, and an increase of over £610 million from its previous proposals for a third runway.[2]

 

The scheme is based on two newly designated insulation zones, and residents would be eligible regardless of whether they experience noise under existing flight paths or will be newly affected by noise from a new runway. Under the proposed scheme, homes in the designated zone closest to the airport with higher levels of noise[3] stand to have the full costs of their noise insulation covered by the airport. In addition, up to £3,000 in noise insulation would be offered to homes further away from the airport.

A third party assessment, free of cost to homeowners, would be made to determine the extent of each home’s needs within the eligible insulation zones. Heathrow’s insulation package could include:

 

  • Acoustic double glazing in windows
  • Ceiling overboarding in bedrooms
  • Loft insulation and ventilation


In total, over 160,000 homes could be eligible for insulation in areas from Windsor in the west to Richmond in the east. Over 35,000 homes in Hounslow alone would be eligible for full costs of the noise insulation package, with all homes in Heston and Cranford eligible. Similarly, all homes within the towns and villages of Wraysbury, Datchet, Sipson, Harmondsworth, Harlington, Colnbrook, Brands Hill and Stanwell Moor would be covered by the scheme.[4]

 

The improved noise insulation package follows public consultations held between 21st July and 12th October in 2014, in which people said that:

 

  • The noise contours the airport uses should better reflect the actual noise levels experienced by local people
  • A new insulation approach should treat people equally, whether they are already exposed to noise or newly exposed to noise
  • The £250 million previously earmarked for noise and property compensation through expansion would not be sufficient


John Holland - Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow said:

 

“We designed the new approach to expanding Heathrow to minimise noise to local residents, but we also need to mitigate the impact on those who are still affected. Today’s announcement does that, and is based on the feedback we have received from local residents over the last few months; it will reduce the impact of noise, and treat local people fairly. Now we want to work with local communities to ensure that the opportunities from expansion – up to 40,000 new skilled jobs at Heathrow, 10,000 apprenticeships, tackling youth unemployment – benefit those who are most affected by expansion.”
This offer is subject to government policy support and regulatory approval by the CAA.

 

Notes to editors:

 

[1]This zone is for people experiencing average levels of 55 decibels Lden over a 24 hour period. Lden is the preferred European measure of noise, and stands for the level of noise during the day, evening, and night. This measurement includes an additional weighting for noise during the evening and at night when it can be more disturbing. This zone also takes into account those homes who experience noise greater than 57 dB Leq noise levels, as averaged during a typical 16 hour day (7 am -11pm) of easterly or westerly operations.

 

[2] Heathrow already operates a range of compensation schemes with more than 40,000 properties eligible for some form of noise insulation.

 

[3] Households experiencing greater 60 dB Leq noise levels, as averaged during a typical 16 hour day (7 am -11pm) of easterly or westerly operations.

 

[4] The final number and location of these homes would be dependent on the design of routes around an expanded Heathrow and actual level of noise measured.