The ‘Quieter Homes Initiative’ has been developed following a consultation about the existing noise insulation schemes on offer and research into schemes offered by other major airports around the world.
Under the pilot, residents will be offered customised noise insulation plans based on an assessment by an independent noise appraisal expert. They will also be offered a wider range of products and suppliers as well as up to 100% of the installation costs.
The scheme is being piloted in three zones around Heathrow, chosen according to the level of noise from the overflight of aircraft. The overall principle is one of equity and fairness: the more a property is affected by Heathrow’s operations, the more help will be available. Those in the zones closest to the runways will receive up to 100% of the costs, and those further away will receive up to 50% or 25% of costs.
Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Sustainability Director, says: ‘We know aircraft noise can disturb people living under the flight path so we are pleased to be launching this pilot, which has been developed following feedback from local communities. Our aim is to develop a simple, fair and effective scheme to help those that are most affected by aircraft noise.’
Those eligible to take part in the pilot have already been contacted. Once the participants have been selected, independent assessors will start to visit homes from April and works will be completed over the next year. At the end of the pilot, participants will be invited to feedback about what works and what doesn’t, to inform the launch of a new scheme in 2014.
Areas covered by the pilot include Horton, Colnbrook, Stanwell North, Syon, Isleworth, Feltham North and Windsor.
Heathrow currently operates a range of measures to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local communities. These include the existing noise insulation schemes which will continue to operate during the pilot, encouraging airlines to fly only their quietest aircraft into Heathrow by charging airlines more for noisier aircraft, and working with noise campaigners to give people predictable periods of respite from aircraft noise.
Source/Photo: Heathrow Airport