Heathrow Hub : 1/4 M People Out Of Noise Footprint

Heathrow Hub : 1/4 M People Out Of Noise Footprint

Heathrow Hub, the independent proposal to expand Heathrow by extending the northern runway, has made recent environmental submissions to the Airports Commission on noise and air quality which it believes puts it in a strong position as an environmentally acceptable proposal for Heathrow expansion.

Jock Lowe, director of Heathrow Hub, said: “The Airports Commission and indeed ministers and regulators are likely to impose strict environmental limits on airport expansion. This would seem very sensible to us as we have been in the forefront of advocating such limits in the first place.”


Heathrow Hub has commissioned noise modelling from the CAA, which estimates that under our proposal the current number of people exposed to the standard 54 dB LAeq, 16hr noise measure will fall from 632,600 now by 242,600  to 390,000 by 2040. The number affected according to the other standard 55dB Lden measure, will drop from 766,100 by 319,800 to 446,300. Population exposure figures in 2040 account for forecast population increases.

The new estimates are based on the implementation of our unique in-series runway and advanced noise mitigation plan, which includes curved approaches, optimised flight paths, and displaced landing thresholds. These versatile options can be varied during the day to provide noise respite. Additional respite options and operational improvements are possible and not reflected in the contours.

The noise footprint is based on indicative flight paths that would be subject to formal consultation. The final decision on flight paths is up to NATS/CAA and not Heathrow Hub or the Airports Commission. Apart from the chosen flight paths, the assumptions for the 2040 contours are consistent with the results published by the Airports Commission.

In addition, we have suggested the abolition of night quota flights.

Air quality

The full Heathrow Hub proposal takes air quality seriously. The Commission has already indicated Heathrow can be expanded while meeting air quality objectives and we support Heathrow Airport’s own air quality programme, which includes a modal shift towards public transport, the use of electric vehicles at the airport and the creation of an ultra-low emission zone.

Our additional option of a large passenger transit centre, including potential rail and car parking facilities, would see a further modal shift towards public transport and dispersal of traffic away from the airport.


Heathrow Hub’s runway extension plan is simpler and cheaper to build than Heathrow’s own third runway plan. This means new capacity can be brought on in phases and slots only released by regulators when noise, air quality and other targets have been met. We believe this gives our proposal further attraction to the Commission, the Government and local communities.

Executive summaries of our submissions are on our website, the full versions will be released by the Airports Commission in due course.

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