Night flight noise can cause serious health problems, says CAA
5:20pm Tuesday 5th February 2013 in News
A new report has concluded exposure to night-time aircraft noise can increase the risk of serious health problems.
The document, produced by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), states noise levels above 45 decibels can cause high blood pressure, which can lead to strokes and dementia.
According to the figures, the average night-time aircraft noise level in Putney and Wandsworth Town, which lie under the arrival flightpath at Heathrow, exceeds 45 decibels.
The CAA report also found noise levels above 55 decibels result in increased risk of heart attacks.
Under the existing night flight quota Heathrow is allowed to land an average of 16 flights between 11.30pm and 6am each night.
In practice almost all of these planes are brought in to land between 4.30am and 6am, waking Wandsworth residents on a daily basis.
The document is to be used as part of a Government consultation on the rules governing night flights at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports.
The existing night flights regime for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted comes to an end in October 2014 and the consultation, which ends on April 22, will help shape the new system.
A second stage consultation on more detailed proposals will follow.
The arrival flight paths for both Heathrow runways carve across parts of Battersea, Wandsworth Town and Putney.
Departing planes also cause noise disturbance in Tooting and Earlsfield.
View the consultation documents online at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/night-flights-consultation.