Spelthorne has responded to Heathrow's 'Airspace and Future Operations' consultation, which ran from 8 January to 4 March 2019. The consultation looked at options for both the existing two runways and how an expanded Heathrow with three runways could operate in the future.

The Council's response includes the following points:

  • there should be no increase in flights before the final airspace design and third runway have been implemented
  • Independent Parallel Approaches (IPA) should be dropped as an interim measure because this will result in newly overflown areas with additional noise for our residents
  • the Compton route needs to be removed as soon as possible because it results in low flying planes across our borough
  • the ban on night-time flights needs to be an actual ban, not just on scheduled flights, with flights only permitted in emergency situations, because the 'scheduled' ban does not offer any reassurance that residents will be guaranteed a peaceful night's sleep
  • fines for breaches of the night-time ban need to be channelled to affected communities to ensure they are compensated

Cllr John Boughtflower, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Heathrow, said: "Changes to airspace will newly impact a lot of people, and those impacts could happen more quickly than people might think. The Council has looked very carefully at the consultation documentation to tease out the full implications and have put together a response that promotes our residents' best interests".

Cllr Ian Harvey, Leader of Spelthorne Borough Council, said: "We recognise the unique role that Heathrow plays in the local area and will hold them to their commitment to work closely with our communities as their plans take shape".

A further consultation, which will deal with physical aspects of the expansion, is expected to take place in June 2019.

Issued: March 2019