London City Airport and Herne Hill Flightpaths

Herne Hill is impacted by aircraft from both Heathrow and London City. 

When a west wind is blowing (70% of the year) it can be overflown by more than 40 planes an hour heading for Heathrow.  When there is an east wind, all the planes landing at London City pass over in a narrow, concentrated flight path.  The City aircraft are low – no more than 2,000 ft – because they must fly below the Heathrow airspace.  On some days when there is only a light east wind blowing, Herne Hill is overflown by aircraft landing at both airports – over 50 planes an hour. 

Last year London City published it draft Master Plan where it set out its proposals for the next 15 years.  

It wants to:

  • almost double the number of flights currently using the airport

  • get rid of the weekend break:  at present there are no flights from 12.30pm on Saturday until 12.30pm on Sunday

  • operate more early morning and late evening flights.

The proposals generated huge opposition.  A record number of local authorities, including Southwark, opposed them.  In the next few weeks London City is expected to publish the full breakdown of the consultation responses, along with its final Master Plan.

If it does decide to proceed with any of its proposals, it will need to put in a planning application to the planning authority, Newham Council.

London City has been asked to look again at its 2016 decision to concentrate all its flight paths.   Next year it will consult on new options.  This is expected to include the option of introduce a number of flight paths which can be rotated during the day in order to give each community some relief.

Heathrow, of course, wants a third runway.  It will put in a formal application at the end of this year.  There will be a Public Inquiry next year.  After that the Government must decide whether or not to give final approval for a third runway.

Whether or not a new runway is built, Heathrow will be introducing new flight paths in a few years time.  It has said it will alternate their use in order to provide communities with relief. This will get rid of the all-day flying which currently impacts Herne Hill.

For news on London City, contact campaign group HACAN East – ; and for Heathrow news, HACAN on

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