Saturday, July 11, 2009

Noisy Aircraft over Barkingside

take off The second post on this blog, back in June 2006, was about noisy aircraft over Barkingside. Click on the “Noise” label below to see that and subsequent posts.

This summer, 3 years later, I have been getting queries from residents asking if I know anything about an increase in large low flying and noisy aircraft over our genteel suburban community. I have asked the office of our MP, Lee Scott, and this is the reply:

Lee asked me to look into the issue of the increase in aircraft flying over and near the constituency.
The initial enquiries indicated that there had not been an increase in the number of fights but there had been a small reduction in charter fights.
The next possibility is that there had been a change in aircraft routing. Lee wrote to the National Air Traffic services to ask if this is the case. They have now replied and inform us that there has been no change to airspace or procedures over Ilford.
However, NATS point out that air traffic flows occur in accordance with changes to the direction of take off and landings at airports. This is dependent on the strength and direction of surface winds. Aircraft are also more visible and audible in clear weather.
I would think that the better 'summer' weather is the reason we are seeing more aircraft.
As one resident put it, “these planes are not a figment of my imagination” and I have certainly noticed them too. OK, it’s summer and the patio doors are open, but apparently there is a new service operating from London City Airport.

And on that subject, last Thursday Newham Council gave the thumbs up to an increase of 50,000 flights per year at London City Airport. That’s an increase of over 70% from the present 70,000 flights per year.

So, let’s open it up wider. Have you noticed an increase in noisy aeroplanes? Please let us know in the comments. If you are concerned about this issue and the impact it will have on your quality of life, then please write to Lee Scott, click on name for email. If you live in a neighbouring constituency you can find your MPs contact details here. Please let us know if you get a reply.


  1. I have certainly noticed that quite a lot of larger airplanes seem to be hovering over the area. (Enough noise to look for them hoping their are not aiming for the ground!) The noise does not bother me. ( I know I complained bitterly about the 'dog next door' but then we were talking serious decibels! Still got the tape if you don't believe me!)
    What concerned me a bit in the official reply to us, the plebs, is that fight and flight seem interchangeable!
    Whoever answered was in a hurry to get that out of the way.

  2. Ooh! I didn't notice that. That's copy and paste for you!

  3. 'Im Indoors keeps saying this year that planes in local skies are flying lower and in different directions(?).

    I have recently noticed some that appear to be following Clayhall Ave from Woodford Ave up to Fremantle Rd. I assume they are practicing avoiding the forthcoming roadworks at Gants Hill.

  4. At least they are not doing U-turns before the width restriction?

  5. I have not noticed (yet) any increase, but given Newham's customary obedience to government policy (pursuant, no doubt, to the eventual ennoblement of Robin Wales) it can be only a matter of time. I do just wonder, however, how many of the complainants travel to their holiday destinations by air.....

  6. Roger Backhouse2:48 pm, July 12, 2009

    I've noticed planes that usually follow the Lea Valley southwards before turning west to Heathrow have been coming further east before turning. This may have been for a short period - it's not the case today (Sunday 12th)

    It's the London City stuff that makes the serious noise nuisance so I do not welcome expansion there (nor at Heathrow). Much as I enjoy flying (honestly, I do) I have given up flying because of the environmental damage. It's not just the noise and carbon burnup it is also the high level cloud formation (skytrails) that contributes to global warming. What is disturbing is the way politicans - all parties - seem to be in such utter thrall to the aviation industry.

  7. 1. The problem is triple whammy. London City Airport are replacing their smaller 30 seater propeller planes with bigger regional sized jets!

    2. In addition, the airport applied for planning permission to expand to 120,000 (about same number of flights as Luton airport!).

    3. So residents can expect flights 1 every 3 minutes during peak times!

    4. Thirdly, you have Heathrow aircraft starting their approach.

    5. Residents who complain about the noise, are fobbed off and told it is Heathrow jets.

    6. The scandal is that London City Airport does not have any reliable noise monitoring figures for the last 8 years. Our of the 4 monitoring points. One does not even exist!. So you have to ask does the airport take noise issues seriously?

    7. The airport is breaking the law. But residents are at the mercy of London Borough of Newham, who have decided to take no action. And have instead decide to reward the airport with more expansion!.

    8. Also, much of the noise and pollution issues do not get into the local paper such as the Newham Recorder (owned by Archant), because the airport takes out advertising etc... so would you want to offend you customer?

    9. As claims in the newspaper about good for jobs and regeneration. Well they should look at Building 1000, which stood empty for 5 years failing to attract the client. The main problem is that it was opposite the runway. So who wants their corporate offices overlooking a noisy and smelly runway?? The building costs £100m - the airport costs more jobs then it creates!

    10. For tax reasons, many the British airlines are register their pilots in Ireland and get paid in Euros - so they tax there rather then UK!.

    11. Airlines pay no VAT and no fuel duty!

    12. And to top it all, London taxpayers are paying £7m for the London City Airport policing. Given that it is a business why shoudl tax papers be subsidising costs. Explain that to the granny that gets mugged?

  8. I'm sure this area is a 'Banking' area for Heathrow or Gatwick ( or both) I have watched aircraft sometimes going round twice before continuing their approach to land. Maybe this 'banking' is giving the impression that air traffic is more.
    Ron King

  9. These planes would not go in circles just to make us accept that more runways are necessary and that allowing more terminals to be to be built would in fact cut air and noise pollution?

  10. In addition to London City Airport the report in the times

    indicates we are getting more flights.

    Also you can see how many flight paths go near you by entering your postcode at


  11. Many thanks to Tony for the link.
    If what is planned is new routes rather than additional ones, we in Clayhall should see a reduction in the noise of airplanes both from Heathrow and City. Some less lucky people are in for a shock.
    What is puzzling me, however, is that what I think I am observing now is not what is supposed to be happening. (Big planes, far too big for City and too low according to the information given.) Of course observations from a non-trained member of the public are not that reliable. All the same,...!
    Nothing in the link mentions more flights?

  12. This is a YouTube video of an Embrarer 190 taking off from London City Airport. This is the new fleet that will be there.....

  13. Rudely awoken by low flying jet at 6am this morning, a further 5 in the next 20 mins and then I stopped counting but they did not stop all day and are currently every few mins.
    A noticeable increase in the past few weeks/months and certainly an issue when they are waking me up!