More than 2 million people would be exposed to additional aircraft noise if Heathrow builds a third runway, according to a government analysis.
Ministers have argued that Britain’s biggest airport will affect fewer people with noise in future, due to quieter planes. But government calculations suggest a new runway would still have a negative impact on nearly a million households, or 2.2 million people.
Department for Transport documents, released by the Civil Aviation Authority after a freedom of information request, show the government expects 973,000 households around Heathrow to experience increased daytime noise by 2050 after a third runway is built.
It said 673,800 households affected by Heathrow’s two runways will experience less noise once expansion takes place, making a net 300,000 worse off.
The DfT work was carried out for a revised national policy statement published last year, which gives the green light to Heathrow expansion if approved by a parliamentary vote expected this summer.
Campaigners and parliamentary opponents of expansion accused the government of attempting to bury the figures.
Paul McGuinness, the chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “It has long been clear that the DfT have understated the numbers who will be impacted by an expanded Heathrow’s noise.
“So it’s hardly surprising to learn that these calculations were not presented to the public and parliament. The DfT wish to conceal the true impact of expanding this highly disruptive airport.”
According to the Heathrow anti-noise group Hacan, households in Heston, Osterley Park, Brentford and parts of Chiswick and Hammersmith would be brought directly under a new flight path.