The London Assembly is calling for a halt to all air traffic growth at Heathrow and London City airports due to “unacceptable” levels of noise nuisance.

A report by the assembly’s environment committee details the impact of altitude, flight paths and out-of-hours flights on the noise landscape.

The publication yesterday comes amidst Heathrow latest consultation on plans for a third runway including 25,00 extra flights a year and expansion plans for London City.

The ‘Aircraft Noise ‘ report builds on evidence given by residents who told the committee of a ‘dawn chorus of disruption’ that continued well after their children’s bedtime.

Recommendations include:
• The Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise should use lower thresholds for disturbance, allowing residents to leave their windows open when they need to.
• Air traffic at Heathrow and London City should not increase and Heathrow’s third runway should not go ahead.
• Air traffic controllers should minimise continuous stacking and maximise descent and ascent to keep aircraft further from the ground for longer. They should also minimise overlap between City and Heathrow flight paths.
• There should be no night flights, and restrictions on early morning flights should be strengthened. All London airports should provide predictable periods of respite.

Environment committee chair Caroline Russell said: “The experiences of residents living with the daily nightmare of overhead noise are deeply worrying. There are significant health impacts that follow from an inability to sleep, relax and concentrate.

“This drive towards filling airspace capacity must be checked.

“For too many people, including children, aircraft noise is a major dominant intrusion into their everyday lives.

“It is not an acceptable price to pay for air travel. It isn’t right and must be challenged.

“We have already made clear our objection to the expansion of Heathrow but aviation authorities and operators must prioritise the health and well-being of Londoners and give us a break.”

A Heathrow spokesman told The Times: “We are consulting with the public on the best way to modernise the airpsace. With expansion, we will be able to guarantee predictable periods of respite for local communities.”