Campaign group HACAN welcomed the introduction of WebTrak, launched by BAA last week. WebTrak enables people to watch planes land and take off at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick airports on their computer screens.
The visual images are dramatic. They show planes criss-crossing the skies of London and the Home Counties. They illustrate that aircraft noise is no longer a just a problem for areas close to Heathrow.
WebTrak is similar to a system that has been running in San Francisco for some years. People can click on their computers to see what flight paths the planes are using. There is also information on the type of each aircraft, its speed and its height. There is a 24 delay on the information available for security reasons.
HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “For year we have been campaigning for this system to be introduced. It will enable people to see for themselves exactly what is going above their heads. Webtrak will bring transparency to what is going on in the skies over London and the Home Counties. It will also result in renewed pressure on the Department for Transport to admit that aircraft noise is now a major problem in areas many miles from Heathrow.”
Stewart added, “The one oddity of WebTrak is the way that parts of east and south east London are not covered by it. HACAN will be issuing a report later this month which will show the dramatic way noise has increased in many of these areas over the last decade. They need to be added to the system.”
— from a HACAN Press Release