Flight nuisance still a problem

PUBLISHED: 11:28 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 12:57 06 May 2010

HELICOPTERS are regularly flying over residential areas and disturbing residents, despite the introduction of measures to stop them. Guidelines were introduced by Luton Airport two months ago to deter helicopters from flying over houses by directing them

HELICOPTERS are regularly flying over residential areas and disturbing residents, despite the introduction of measures to stop them.

Guidelines were introduced by Luton Airport two months ago to deter helicopters from flying over houses by directing them over the M1 and A1 roads.

But residents of Harpenden and Redbourn claim helicopters going to and from the airport are still buzzing over them at all hours of the day.

Alan Bunting, aged 70, of Ridgewood Drive, Harpenden, logged up to five flights going over his house on a day in January, one of which was at 4.14am and woke him up.

But when he sends his logs of helicopter flights over his house to the Luton Airport environment office, he is told that the situation should be improved by the navigation guidelines.

Mr Bunting thinks that the problem is still bad enough for him to carry on logging flights.

John Davis, of the Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (LADACAN), thought the main problem was that pilots were not obliged to follow the guidelines. As a result, many did not bother flying over the motorways and took a direct route over residential areas. He said he would be raising the issue at the next airport meeting in March.

A spokesperson for Luton Airport said most helicopters using the airport followed the guidelines. She maintained they had been monitoring the effectiveness of them for the two months that they had been in place and the results had been very good.

But she thought it would take longer for non-Luton flights to be aware of the changes.

She asked for any complaints about helicopters or other aircraft flying over residential properties to be directed to the airfield environment office so that they could carry out a full investigation into the flight.

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