Furious Londoners say helicopters fly too close to homes as things fall off walls

Asia's Tech News Daily

Furious locals in South London have complained about helicopters flying too close to homes, causing items to fall off their walls.

Since January 2020, Wandsworth Council has received 25 complaints from residents who claim the helicopters are noisy, fly too close to homes, fly over homes to take short cuts and cause air pollution.

Wandsworth heliport bosses said there was very little that could be done to prevent items falling off walls from vibrations as it was a major event in that case.

In Wandsworth Council‘s London heliport consultative group meeting on December 6, Putney resident James Eaton expressed his concerns over helicopters taking alleged short cuts past his home.

He said: “I’d like to know how I can influence those aircraft making sure they don’t fly over my house, which is not actually on the route.

“They’re coming from places like West Sussex or Surrey from the south of England, and they’re swinging by to come to join onto the Thames and go along the Thames and follow that route.

“So it’s ones that take a short cut over Putney to get to the river quicker.”

James added that there were other issues where a sightseeing helicopter circled around “maybe eight times” over his home and another helicopter just hovered on another occasion.

Will Curtis, heliport manager, said: “Our air traffic control report deals with aircrafts taking off and landing at the heliport, all other routing once they’ve left the heliport is the under the purview of [airports].

“Of course, aircraft and pilots should stick to any rules if they’ve been cleared to follow those heli routes.

“If on the other hand, Heathrow’s cleared them a direct routing, which they might well have done, they may not stick to the heli routes and Heathrow may have reasons why they want that to happen.”

Will added: “We’ll try and put up some information notices and maybe get ops to just highlight the issue to crews.

“We can also talk to our regular operators and just say that this is a sensitive area, can you please do your best. I can’t promise that everybody will do what they’re supposed to do.”

Mr Harper also raised concerns of noisy helicopters keeping their engine on for longer than needed before taking off on two occasions.

Mr Curtis said he said this was not a problem he recognised and that helicopters can operate up to 11pm.

Heathrow has been contacted for comment.

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