Luton Airport sees drop in noise complaints from last year

An Easyjet plane takes off from Luton Airport. Picture: DANNY LOO

An Easyjet plane takes off from Luton Airport. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Noise complaints from planes flying to and from Luton Airport have fallen since this time last year, according to a quarterly monitoring report.

London Luton Airport’s (LLA) latest report shows that there were 2,335 noise complaints in the second quarter of 2018, a 44 per cent decrease from the 5,304 complaints in the second quarter of 2017.

Of the complaints over the past three months, 53 per cent were made by 10 individuals, and the number of new complainants has fallen from 280 this time last year to 152.

In the same period 4.45 million passengers travelled through the airport, compared to 4.29 million last year, with 36,461 flights using the airport in total.

Additional noise restrictions were put in place from June 1, which included refusing any non-emergency flight diversions, refusing ad-hoc flights during the night and preventing operators from rescheduling daytime flights to nighttime. These restrictions, which are intended to reduce noise disruption to residents, will be in place until the end of September.

Flight operations manager James Dontas said: “LLA is a busy and successful airport, which brings huge benefits to the local community, but also means that noise from aircraft is inevitable.

“We are always looking for new ways to reduce noise and working with the local community is a really important part of this.

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“We are pleased that our airline partners are also committing to noise reduction, by introducing the next generation aircraft over the next few years”.

However Andrew Lambourne from anti-noise campaign group LADACAN (Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) said: “What a lot of spin! The airport is now officially in breach of the planning condition governing noise at night, which proves that it’s got noisier.

“It’s likely that there was a spike in complaints last year as people registered their annoyance with the concentration of aircraft tracks while the Civil Aviation Authority was assessing the effects of that change.”

“We would certainly welcome more quieter-engined aircraft than the current two per cent, but sadly ‘50 per cent less noise’ does NOT mean they sound half as loud - they just sound slightly quieter.”