I have noticed that a lot more planes are now flying over Greenwich, which wake up my girlfriend and I at 6 in the morning. I know there was a trial that London Heathrow ran a few months ago, but it does seem that the number of flights over Greenwich have risen over time.
Has anyone else noticed this to be case? Do you know of a group that is currently organising protests against this?
The Phantom replies:
Perhaps a little – and I guess as the weather gets warmer and we keep our windows open at night it’s going to get more intrusive. Certainly there are a load of helicopters that hang over us, circling in the holding pattern waiting for permission to enter London-proper. Occasionally when they hover directly overhead I panic and assume an escaped serial killer is hiding in the back yard. And those Chinooks can be damn loud.
Thing is, I find it really hard to get worked up about this one. We live in a city and cities create noise. Yeah, I get woken up occasionally by a plane, and quite a lot by helicopters. But I also get woken up by neighbours’ parties, tipper trucks, dust carts, the ex-mysterious siren, police cars, teenage boy-racers and the warehouse depot near Phantom Towers where the trucks seem to be in permanent reverse mode. They are all irritating, even rage-inducing, but when we live cheek-by-jowl with each other I don’t really see any real way round it.
It’s not like Greenwich used to be a quiet haven of tranquility. It’s always been noisy – whether you’re looking at dinosaurs crashing their way through the primordial jungle, the glassworks, the armour workshops, the factories, the trams, the aggregates yards or the constant foghorns of the ships that have been replaced by the aircraft.
Our government is convinced that the only way ahead for Great Britain PLC is to increase airport capacity – and frankly they are not going to stop until they get their way. As a vaguely green-leaning enviro-Phantom I detest the idea of a fourth runway/new airport – I don’t believe that if we aren’t the giantest air-hub in the universe people will forget we exist and stop trading with us.
So, personally I do actually oppose extra flights/ runways/ airports, but more as a general thing – and not because of the noise. While the Chicago Convention of 1944 remains in place and the world continues to subsidise aviation fuel, air travel will continue to fly asparagus from Peru in September and French beans from Kenya in January, and I find that difficult to deal with, not the noise.
I know I am alone here and that many are getting really angry with the aircraft noise, but it’s a Monday morning, I’m in a right old mood and it’s my blog.
In the interests of balance, however – and to acknowlege the fact that I’m on me tod here, yes, there is a pressure group – HACAN Clear Skies who campaign across the South East against aircraft noise in general and especially around Heathrow.
I guess I’ll get a lot of flack from this one – let the turkey shoot begin…