Noise Olympics - Heathrow wins gold!
Great Britain is near the top of the medals table at the Rio Olympics but we shouldn't be proud of the country's ranking in the Noise Olympics - Heathrow airport tops the noise table.
Campaigners and West London residents used the sporting theme in Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith on 18th August to demonstrate that while Heathrow repeatedly tell us it should be expanded, it already forces the greatest number of people to suffer from noise than any other European airport.
When the runners representing the European airports lined up there were no Usain Bolt-style golden spikes and it seemed unlikely any records would be broken. The favourite to win gold for noise would surely be the airport with the most runways. Heathrow always puts forward 6-runway Schiphol in the Netherlands as the airport to beat. Maybe 4-runway airports like Frankfurt in Germany or France's Charles de Gaulle could blast through to take the top prize.
On the day, way ahead of the rest, was two-runway Heathrow! (That's TWO runways, not the proposed THREE runways with up to 260,000 extra flights, which could ensure Heathrow has a bad record on noise that is tough to beat.) It was no surprise to us that Heathrow causes noise misery to the most people. After all, although it was built in fields 70 years ago, it is now in a densely-populated area with flightpaths that spread across London. Even the Queen has to tolerate huge jets flying low over Windsor.