Living within a stones-throw of a major international airport may well gratify the plane spotter within us. Unfortunately, for many, the spotting gene is relatively underdeveloped and the constant to-ings and fro-ings of global commerce are something to be endured rather than enjoyed.
Heathrow Airport is also concerned that those who live within the sound of its runways should not be inconvenienced in any way by the proximity of their relatively noisy neighbour. For this reason, a number of noise mitigation schemes have been put in place through which householders may claim the cost of noise alleviation measures – principally secondary or double glazing and insulation – from Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) who assume responsibility for arranging the works.
Firebrand has worked alongside HAL in reviewing
levels of satisfaction with these schemes.
It has also managed programmes of research across parallel initiatives focusing on non-residential community buildings such as schools, hospitals and meeting halls. Recently, in the schools programme we have had the opportunity to review the implementation of an outdoor education initiative based upon the provision of adobe-style ‘mud huts’ in play areas. A huge hit with children, and remarkably effective in minimising the effect of the aircraft passing overhead.
Firebrand has also been called in to help the airport to review and optimise a vortex defence and damage prevention programme. A new twist for us. Simply put, large aircraft trail behind them vortices of disturbed air which, in certain conditions, prove sufficiently strong to damage roofs. HAL goes out of its way to prevent this happening, and the monitoring of the preventative and, occasionally, restorative measures they have implemented has been awarded to the Firebrand team.
In Firebrand, HAL has found a partner well-versed, both in aviation and in community-consultation. The benefits are clear to see: Clear customer-derived direction is fed into the developmental process and ever-more effective noise-alleviation measures are delivered for residents and those managing community establishments within the Heathrow noise footprint.