Heathrow received more than 25,000 noise complaints in just three months over the summer – but around half were made by the same 10 people.
The airport, which was last month had plans for a third runway given Government approval, received, on average, 274 complaints each day between the start of July and end of September, according to official statistics.
However, its figures also show that, while 1,209 people complained just once about the noise from aircraft passing overhead, three people contacted the airport more than 1,280 times each – or nearly 14 times a day over three months.
A spokesperson for Heathrow said it knew that 2,128 people made the 25,200 complaints, but that 10 people made 48.86 per cent of those.
The airport is the target of a number of campaign groups opposed to expansion.The data released by Heathrow also showed the towns where the majority of complaints came from.
Residents in Slough, to the west of the airport, made the most (3,944) – but from only 22 people. That amounts to 179 complaints per person over the summer – just under two a day on average.
Heathrow told Telegraph Travel that it had received 87,201 noise complaints for the year to date – or one every five minutes – from 4,282 people, and that 46.8 per cent of those (40,829) came from 10 people. That means that, on average, those 10 people made a complaint every 90 minutes.
“We do take every complaint seriously and each one is logged,” said an airport spokesperson.
In January last year the airport unearthed a scheme whereby campaigners were using automated software to generate complaints against the airport. Officials caught out the set-up when the two anti-Heathrow enthusiasts forgot to take into account the hour going back in October, and began complaining about flights that had not yet taken off or arrived.
The spokesperson said that the airport believed that none of this year’s complaints were computer generated.
John Stewart, chairman of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (Hacan), told the BBC that he expected complaints to rise should a third runway be built.
“The biggest thing that Heathrow could do to reduce complaints would be to give more communities a break from the noise during the day by varying the flight paths,” he said.
“Most of the complaints are coming from areas that get noise all day long.”
Justine Bayley, from the Stop Heathrow Expansion Campaign, told the BBC that a lot of people have given up complaining about noise.
“If you get woken up at 1am you don’t immediately complain and by the morning the moment has passed,” she said.”If I asked people near me, many would say they had tried complaining but they have given up because it doesn’t make a difference.”
A spokesperson for Heathrow said: “Heathrow’s plans for expansion will ensure fewer people are impacted by aircraft noise, offer more predictable respite than we can now and a world-class noise insulation scheme.
“Heathrow has consistently reduced the number of people impacted by aircraft noise, by incentivising airlines to bring their cleanest, quietest aircraft to the airport and driving forward changes in how they operate through measures like steeper approaches.
“Independent experts agree. Following the most in depth study of aviation expansion in a generation, the Government’s Airports Commission confirmed a bigger Heathrow can be a better neighbour.”