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One will not be amused: Heathrow planning 1,700 extra night flights over Windsor CastleRude royal awakening from four o'clock in the morning as 110,000 sleepless residents in west London may see flights diverted over BerkshireWindsor MP urges residents to fight the proposals
16:52 GMT, 10 March 2013
07:54 GMT, 11 March 2013
As the home of the Royal Family for almost a thousand years Windsor Castle has become a symbol of peace and harmony.
But now the tranquility of the Queen's Berkshire home is set to be shattered by sound of an extra 1,700 night flights which will give royal residents a rude awakening from four o'clock in the morning.
Plans drawn up by the Department of
Transport could see hundreds of night flights diverted away from the
homes of 110,000 residents of the west London.
Queen's home: There could be an extra 1,700 night flights over Windsor Castle which will begin at 4am
But the price of quieter nights in Richmond, Kew and Hounslow will be more noise for the 15,000 people living in the Windsor area, including the Queen.
Disruption: The planes flying overhead are a 'private matter' for the Queen
And considering 90 per cent of arrivals land between 4.30am and 6.00am the plans look set to disrupt the Queen's peace.
Windsor MP Adam Afriyie, has called on residents to resist.
The Conservative MP told the Sunday Times: 'I am particularly concerned by this latest proposal, which could have a truly detrimental impact on the quality of life of Windsor residents, and I would urge residents to make their views known.'
The Queen spends most of her private weekends at Windsor Castle as well as taking up official residence there for a month over Easter.
She also spends a week there in June, when she attends Royal Ascot and the service of the Order of the Garter.
But a Royal spokesman told the Daily Mail the issue of night-time disruption at Windsor Castle was a 'private matter for the Queen'.
The Department of Transport (DfT) hopes to divert 1,670 flights away from approaching over London and passing over Windsor Castle instead.
Under existing rules Heathrow is allowed 5,256 incoming scheduled night flights a year. There are also a small number of unscheduled departures which means Londoners have to put up with nearly 16 planes passing overhead every night.
The majority of incoming night flights – 72 per cent – approach Heathrow over the built-up boroughs of west London, with the remaining 28 per cent passing the Windsor area.
Night flights: More planes used by British Airways and other airlines will fly over Windsor under the proposals
But the (DfT) is now considering ordering pilots to approach from the west thereby avoiding the more heavily populated area, unless a tailwind of five knots or more makes this impractical.
This would increase the flights passing over Windsor from about 1,470 to about 3,150 every year.
The potential winners of this strategy are the 245,000 Londoners who claim they are affected by the noise.
John Stewart, chairman of the Hacan Clear-Skies group, which campaigns against aircraft noise, yesterday told the Daily Mail: 'Many people in west London will clearly benefit if this change went ahead but it would be at the expense of many more sleepless nights for the people of Windsor.'
A (DfT) spokeswoman told the Daily Mail diverting the approach path for night flights was 'just one option' being examined.
She said: 'The government recognises that noise disturbance from aircraft flying at night is the least acceptable impact of airport operation on local residents.
'At this stage we are gathering evidence on what might be feasible and have taken no decisions yet on our preferences. We will be consulting on specific proposals later this year once we have assessed the evidence received from this consultation.'