A NEIGHBOUR of RAF Northolt says he is dreading the increase in commercial flights at the airbase.
Doug Lewington has lived in Mahlon Avenue, South Ruislip, for 28 years, and before that in Ruislip Gardens, so he is no stranger to the comings and goings at the aerodrome.
Aircraft movements have always been close but not directly over his home, he says.
But all that changed in 2010, according to Mr Lewington. He and his neighbours set up a petition asking Hillingdon Council to help alleviate their plight when the flightpath was altered, with aircraft now taking off directly over his property.
They were unsuccessful in getting the flightpath moved and their campaign stalled.
The Ministry of Defence announced last month that commercial flights at RAF Northolt were to increase in the next year, and Mr Lewington was spurred into action again.
“I’m not stupid and I’m not blind,” he said. “They are saying they haven’t changed their flightpath since they started flying commercial planes decades ago, but I have seen them flying over my house.”
Squadron Leader Richard Willis, the spokesman for RAF Northolt, said: “There is no way that the runway will change without some major decision in government.
“There is also no change at all to flight times at RAF Northolt. The government has decided that the future of Northolt is secure but, as part of this, there must be an increase from 7,000 to 12,000 commercial movements, to make the base economically viable.
“We do understand that this will cause some nuisance to local people, but we have discussed this with residents and local councillors and, on the whole, although there are concerns, they are happy that it is staying as a military airfield.
But Mr Lewington says he is constantly disrupted by the low-flying aircraft as they take off and land.
“They fly very low and shake the whole house,” he said. “When somebody calls me and I’m in the living room and a plane flies over, you have to stop because you can’t hear them talking.”