PLANES will take off over Cranford for the first time next month as part of a controversial trial at Heathrow airport.
From November 1, planes will depart to the east from the northern runway at Heathrow for the first time since the historic Cranford Agreement was ended in January 2009.
The departures are part of a four-month trial, designed to reduce disruption at the airport, allowing planes to take-off or land on both runways at the same time.
Planes currently use one runway for take-offs and the other for landings, with operations switching at 3pm each day, to guarantee residents living either side of the runway some relief from the noise.
However, during the trial, details of which were published this week, Heathrow's owners BAA will be allowed to temporarily use both runways for arrivals or departures when there are significant delays.
Both runways can already be used for arrivals in special circumstances, with about 400 to 700 flights a month landing out of alternation, mainly during the busy morning period.
However, this is the first time both runways will be used for departures, meaning planes will take off over Cranford.
Since the Cranford Agreement ended, there have been a very limited number of take-offs over the area but only in what BAA described as 'extreme' circumstances, such as when the southern runway has been closed due to snow or other factors.
Scheduled take-offs over Cranford are still some way off. BAA has yet to apply for planning permission for the necessary work to taxiways, which is unlikely to be completed before 2015.
Cranford ward councillor John Chatt warned the move would have a major impact on residents and schools in the area. He urged residents to make their views known during the trial.
A spokeswoman for BAA was unable to say how many flights were expected to land or take off out of alternation during the trial.
But she said it would not lead to an increase in the total number of flights from the airport, which is capped at 480,000 a year.
Campaign group HACAN last month told how residents were 'very angry indeed' that their half day of peace would no longer be guaranteed.
However, BAA claims the changes will help cut delays and reduce the number of night flights needed.
A second trial is due to take place next summer, with both trials being monitored by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Should ministers choose to make the changes permanent, a full consultation has been promised before a final decision is made.
More details on the trial are available at www.heathrowairport.com and you can make your views known by calling 020 8745 5791 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.