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Directional preference

There are 3 questions in this topic

Please note the animation is provided to illustrate this part of the consultation topic and does not show where flight paths are today or will be in the future.

With expansion, we want to use directional preference to manage noise. We have been testing whether this means we should change the 'westerly preference' that is in place at Heathrow during the day today. Our current thinking is that we should adopt a managed preference which can adapt to circumstances over time.

Our work so far demonstrates that if we managed the preference with the objective of minimising the total number of people affected by noise, this would mean requiring aircraft to operate following on westerly operations during the day and easterly operations at night, where there is a choice.

However, we also acknowledge that people value breaks from a certain operating direction, and would like us to avoid extended periods where Heathrow flight paths overlap with routes from other airports. This is why we are considering a managed preference so that we could respond to extended periods of operations in one direction by intervening to operate in the other direction to provide relief.

For a further overview explanation please view the video above. Alternatively, read more about Directional preference .

Questions

3a. Should we continue to prefer westerly operations during the day and easterly operations at night to reduce the total number of people affected by noise?

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3c. Should we sometimes intervene to change the direction of arriving and departing aircraft to provide relief from prolonged periods of operating in one direction – even if that means slightly increasing the number of people affected by noise?

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