easyJet to trial quieter flight path

Luton airport supports Harpenden campaign for quieter skies

HUNDREDS of Harpenden residents are to benefit from quieter skies after Luton Airport confirmed it would “closely monitor” easyJet flights over the town.

MP for Hitchin and Harpenden Peter Lilley has paid tribute to a local campaign forcing pilots to stick to the centre of a flight path, after receiving 60 letters from residents protesting against noisy planes over built-up areas.

As previously reported in the Herts Advertiser, Harpenden man Neil MacArthur took on Luton Airport after taking umbrage at the impact of airplane noise on residents.

He was concerned that a significant proportion of air traffic over Harpenden is at only 4,000 feet, despite Government policy aimed at minimising over-flights of more densely populated areas below 7,000 feet.

He launched website HarpendenSky.com to publicise the problem.

Mr MacArthur’s campaign has attracted support from Mr Lilley and local councillors, including district councillor for Harpenden South, Teresa Heritage, and Harpenden town clerk John Bagshaw, all of whom wrote to the airport to encourage action against noisy planes.

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A spokeswoman for Luton Airport confirmed that following detailed discussions and simulation work, easyJet will carry out an initial six-month trial to help improve track-keeping on the Dover/Clacton departure flight path.

She added: “We will be closely monitoring the actual flown tracks of those aircraft participating in the trial and liaising with easyJet to find the best solution.”

Mr Lilley said: “I know from my mailbag that an increasing number of my constituents in Harpenden are being subjected to noise caused by aircraft overflights. I am very pleased that easyJet have agreed to an initial trial to help improve track-keeping on this particular flight route.

“I hope that Luton Airport and easyJet will come to a solution that will minimise noise to hundreds of Harpenden homes and have a real impact on the quality of life of Harpenden residents.”