In the first of a series of special reports assessing the potential impact of Heathrow's expansion, Martin Elvery interviews the man who lives closer to the airport than anyone else.
Who better to talk to to find out how people really feel about the noise produced by Heathrow Airport than the man who lives closer to it than anybody else?
Harri Patel lives in a modest end-of-terrace suburban house at number 32 Myrtle Avenue - some 400 metres from the east end of Heathrow's southern runway - basically as close as you can get without actually being on it.
As I drive around the complex network of supply roads to his address, things don't look promising.
The planes fill up my windscreen, literally screaming overhead and I'm almost ducking as I'm driving.
Then I turn into Myrtle Avenue, and it seems as if planes coming westwards into land are almost touching the rooftops.
But then looking round I notice it's actually quite a nice street. 1930s suburban terraced houses run down to an unexpectedly green park area at the end, much like any other Metroland street.
Except of course that - looking into the distance - you can see the yellow poles of the runway lights and the shark-like tail fins of waiting aeroplanes parked up outside the terminal buildings.
I wander over to the huddles of plane spotters gathered in the park as they are every day. They tell me they come from all over Europe to spot the planes. On sunny days there are sometimes a hundred of them - all romancing in taking snaps of the aircraft and noting down numbers and details. They all seem happy enough.
Then I pluck up the courage to knock on the house at the very end of the street and Harri answers the door.
The first thing that surprises me about him is that he looks totally relaxed. A semi-retired former paint manufacturer, Harri opens the door calmly and leans casually against the door frame as I tell him why I'm here.
He shrugs his shoulders as I ask him what it's like living next to such a racket and looks thoughtfully over his moustache.
"I'm not too worried," he responds. "When I'm indoors it doesn't bother me, I can't hear anything. The airport did all the double glazing and its up to standard."
There is a pause. A plane roars overhead, touching down just metres away.
He continues: "When they are taking off in this direction it's noisier if you are outside, but when you go inside and close the windows it doesn't matter."
Unexpectedly he invites me into the house and he closes the kitchen window.
As he says, the noise is almost completely unnoticeable. Admittedly today the aircraft are landing over the house rather than taking off. But even when he opens the windows the noise is not as deafening as I might have expected.
And for someone who lives just a few hundred metres from the busiest airport in Europe, I can't believe how chilled Harri is and how normal his life seems.
He has a nice conservatory extension on the back of his house and a tidy garden. The windows are not blackened with aviation fuel and the foundations of the house don't shake.
His wife - who works at the airport - calmly prepares food in the kitchen and he shows me his caged African grey parrot Ziko who chatters away unperturbed - as if he was the only thing in the area with wings.
There are some tasteful landscape paintings on the wall and at one point Harri's son comes in, smiles openly and says hello.
I ask Harri whether he thinks building a third runway is a good idea. He says he doesn't think it will affect this side of the airport too much. He does, however, express sympathy for the people of Sipson on the north side who may have to move if the runway gets built.
He explains "It's not OK for the people of Sipson because they don't have a choice. They should have looked at this side of the airport because there are lots of fields around."
Then Harri makes an even more remarkable revelation. He claims most residents in the street are more worried about parking problems caused by the constant influx of plane spotters than they are about the hundreds of planes flying overhead.
"They park on the pavement and leave their cars all day. I even got a ticket once when I parked outside my house, and it's my house," he grumbles.
Again I am taken aback.
"Most of the people in the street have the same views as me because many of them work at the airport," he says.
Then pointing to the nearby park where some of the plane spotters are still wandering around, he says: "At night it's really spectacular. People come to take pictures and it's really quite beautiful."
I am almost gobsmacked. I thank him for his time and walk further down the street to speak to other residents expecting them to tell me Harri is bit mad and living next to the airport is a complete and utter nightmare.
But no. A young woman a few doors down, who does not wish to be named, tells me: "I like it. When I go and visit relatives in Leeds or Leicester, I find it too quiet. You get used to the noise. It's only when you're in the garden that it's bad."
"We are here by choice," she adds.
I ask her about the expansion plans.
She says: "I believe there will be more noise and pollution, but if it isn't done here it has to be somewhere else. It would be Gatwick which would be the same situation.
"It's not fair that the people of Sipson might have to move but if that's the land required then that's it. They should get double the value for their properties, though, so they can get through the situation.
"But I've lived here 13 years and a lot of people have lived here all their lives. I think it's at arm's length. In other areas people have other problems."
A few doors on, Medge Doffay, who worked at the airport before retiring, tells me her family have lived at the address for 30 years and although it's very noisy in the garden, you get used to it when the windows are closed.
She says she thinks it will be too much if the airport expands but says her family would have to wait and see if things get worse if the third runway is built. For now at least, home is home.
I watch a few more aircraft scream overhead. Then I drive away a little perplexed. I didn't find the aviation fuel-blackened, apocalyptic nightmare, the terrified, noise-tortured residents at the end of their tethers, or the complete sense of dispondency and desperation I was expecting.
Instead I found a suburban street of realistic home owners who are doing that very best of British thing - keeping calm and carrying on.
My next stop will be Sipson. I wonder if they will feel the same?