HOUNSLOW residents whose lives are blighted by aircraft noise from Heathrow could receive compensation, if a new proposal is given the green light.
The idea was put forward by Feltham and Heston MP Seema Malhotra, who is currently sitting on the Civil Aviation Bill Committee, which is looking into a new regime for the UK's aviation regulation.
Ms Malhotra tabled an amendment to the bill to launch a compensation scheme as part of airport operator licences.
She told the committee: “Clearly we all recognise the needs of aviation to support our economy, and the vital importance of airports in also providing local employment.
“However one set of stakeholder needs that do not appear to be as well recognised or reflected on in the draft bill or the CAA’s useful environmental consultation document are the residents who live around the airport and who are exposed to aircraft and other noise that may arise from licenced activities and surface transport.”
The amendment, if adopted, would affect airports across the country, but Ms Malhotra highlighted the situation at Heathrow.
She said: “Heathrow as we know is a vitally important national economic asset, which also provides employment to many thousands of my constituents and those of neighbouring boroughs – over 110,000 jobs estimated.
“But for Hounslow’s quarter of a million residents the daily environmental impact of Heathrow involves flights overhead every 60 seconds.
“The majority of the borough is situated within the 55dB(A)Lden1 aircraft noise contour area [a measure of Decibels for Day Evening Night Sound Level].”
The proposed scheme would compensate local residents, businesses and community premises and would be based on geographic zones or noise levels.
The UK currently has a voluntary system of noise mitigation schemes and the amendment would also help local authorities negotiate with airport operators.
Ms Malhotra added: “This will also help with greater clarity and consistency of principles of noise mitigation schemes that vary – sometimes rightly – across the country, but where some minimum standards should be clear and local authorities given the tools and support to negotiate effectively for the needs of the local community.”