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This is HACAN

By Philippa Edmunds 

Heathrow Association for Control of Aircraft Noise.


HACAN campaigns to stop further expansion of Heathrow and to cut the noise people hear from the existing airport. We want everybody affected by noise to get regular periods of respite and we want a complete end to night flights. 


We perform a classic campaigning role, engaging local communities, issuing press releases, using social media and taking part in media broadcast interviews. We also work closely with MPs and peers across London and the South East who are opposed to Heathrow expansion and the impact of Heathrow’s operations on local communities. 


Over the years HACAN has campaigned to:

  • Secure the introduction of runway alternation in West London. (This is where planes landing at Heathrow from the east switch runways at 3pm to give residents a half day’s break from the noise). 

  • Ensure that if Terminal 5 received planning permission that an annual cap should be imposed on flight numbers at Heathrow. The annual cap of 480,000 flights was imposed and has not been exceeded. 

  • Bring together the biggest and most diverse coalition ever assembled to fight a new third runway at Heathrow.

  • Ensure that increased use of mixed mode operations is not implemented (would see both runways used for arrivals and departures).


HACAN engages with Heathrow, the DfT and the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure our members concerns about the way that flight movements are managed are heard at the top of government.


Heathrow has indicated that it will introduce multiple flight paths and rotate them to give each community a break from the noise of the planes. HACAN is determined to hold them to their word to ensure meaningful respite periods are protected. 


Heathrow will have to undertake a formal public consultation (expected in 2026) and it is essential that impacted communities engage in this process. Implementation of these changes is not expected until 2029 at the earliest. 


There is a voluntary agreement at Heathrow that there are no operations between 2330 and 0430. HACAN would like to see this extended, and an 8-hour night flight ban become the norm which would be in line with WHO guidelines. Currently an average of 16 flights land between 4.30 to 6am and approximately 65 arrive and take off between 6am to 7am. We believe that many of these flights could come in an hour or so later each morning. 


We have successfully lobbied the Government to commission research to evaluate the harmful impacts of night flights on the communities around Heathrow which will report back in 2025. We also want to commission research to analyse the full economic, environmental and health impacts of night flights but need more members to be able to fund this work. 



HACAN lobbies both the Government and Shadow Transport Ministers, as well as many MPs across the different parties. It works closely with local authorities to ensure that Heathrow is held to account for the impact of its operations. We sit on the DfT’s Aviation Noise Engagement Group and the Airspace Modernization Stakeholder Engagement Group. We also regularly engage with campaigners at other airports and the wider environmental movement.


Please Join Hacan as we campaign to protect the communities under the Heathrow flight paths. £15.00 per year or £55.00 for 5 years at 


Philippa is a Hacan committee member. She worked for 19 years for the Campaign for Better Transport and sat on the board of Transport and the Environment in Brussels for four years.  


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