Heathrow to pause arrivals and departures during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral – The Guardian

Flights will be halted for half an hour so aircraft noise does not disrupt two minutes’ silence
Flights to and from Heathrow will be halted for half an hour on Monday to ensure the two minutes’ silence at the end of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral is not disrupted by aircraft noise over London.
Britain’s main airport will also halt arrivals in the early afternoon to avoid planes coming in to land over the west of the capital during the procession of the Queen’s hearse, and it will stop take-offs later so as not to disturb the ceremonial procession to Windsor.
The changes will affect about 15% of Heathrow’s schedule, which the airport said was “equivalent to a moderate weather event”. British Airways expects to cancel about 50 flights as part of the changes.
Departure schedules will be reduced throughout the later afternoon to minimise noise during the committal service in Windsor. Flights will be diverted around Windsor Castle during the private family service and interment.
Some roads around the airport will also be closed, and Heathrow urged people to use available rail links such as the Elizabeth line or tube.
Separately, the UK’s major supermarkets said their petrol stations would be closed for most of the day of the funeral. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons will close forecourts on Monday, with some reopening at 5pm.
Heathrow said its changes had been agreed with airlines and air traffic control service Nats, and would affect some scheduled flights, particularly in the late afternoon and early evening. Passengers whose travel plans would need to change would be notified by their airlines, it said.
A Heathrow spokesperson said: “As a mark of respect, operations to and from the airport will be subject to appropriate changes in order to avoid noise disruption at certain locations at specific times on Monday. Heathrow and airlines are working closely with Nats to minimise the impact of these restrictions on passengers.
“Passengers affected by these changes will be contacted directly by their airlines about their travel plans and the options available to them. Passengers who have been notified that their flight has been cancelled, and/or do not have a confirmed seat on a flight, should not turn up to the airport.”
Those waiting for flights will be able to watch the funeral on screens at the airport. Non-essential shops in the terminals will close on Monday, although restaurants, cafes and pubs will remain open. Heathrow said it would put additional staff in the airport to support passengers.
The airport apologised in advance for the inconvenience some passengers would experience but said it believed “this is the right thing to do at a time of national mourning”.
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A BA spokesperson said: “As a mark of respect for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the day of her state funeral, we have reduced our schedule and retimed some flights at Heathrow to ensure the skies are quiet at certain moments on Monday 19 September. Our thoughts remain with the royal family and the nation.”
Its Gatwick and London City airport schedules are expected to operate as planned.
Heathrow flights were briefly suspended on Wednesday to ensure silence as the Queen’s coffin travelled from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall before the lying-in-state.
11.40am-12.10pm: no take-offs or landings from Heathrow, around the two-minute silence at the end of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
1.45-2.20pm: no arrivals to support the procession of the Queen’s hearse.
3.05-4.45pm: no departures.
4.45-9pm: reduced departure rate during the service.


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