The wide-ranging consultation Heathrow launched this month signals the biggest change in flights paths for 70 years. Heathrow is planning the biggest changes to its flight paths since the airport opened in 1946. The prospect of a third runway dominates everything at Heathrow. The current consultation assumes a third runway will be built but, even if it remains a two-runway airport, Heathrow will change its flight paths significantly as it will need to introduce Performance Based Navigation (PBN) routes.
Probably the most significant aspect of the consultation for communities at other airports is its commitment to respite. Unlike the likes of Newcastle and London City which went for all-day concentrated flight paths over particular communities, Heathrow is offering multiple routes in order to be able to rotate them and give residents respite. Of course, everything is muddied by the third runway. It means that more new people will be overflown than would otherwise be the case and that the respite for some existing communities will be cut.
Full details of the Heathrow consultation, which closes on 4th March, can be found on the HACAN website.