Luton airplane noise complaints before February ‘will not count’ in review

PUBLISHED: 18:00 02 April 2017

A plane takes off from London Luton Airport

A plane takes off from London Luton Airport

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Aircraft noise campaigners have branded the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision not to take all Luton Airport noise complaints into account when reviewing the issue as “nonsensical”.

Although Luton Airport will be monitoring noise complaints for its routes over Hertfordshire ahead of a CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) review, it is only taking into account complaints made between February and July this year.

The airport will examine noise complaints as part of the review of the RNAV routing implementation, which is effectively a GPS navigation system for aircraft.

HarpendenSky, which campaigns for air traffic reduction, is urging residents who complained about aircraft noise before February to formalise their complaints prior to the CAA review.

Neil MacArthur, of HarpendenSky, said: “The CAA is undertaking a review starting in August. There has been an extraordinary outburst of complaints particularly from Harpenden, Redbourn and St Albans.

“They are saying they are only going to take into account complaints from February to July, which is completely nonsensical because the majority of complaints have actually come from the implementation which was in August 2015, and all the way through 2016.

“People have effectively completely wasted their time by complaining. Residents who are affected by air transit should make certain that they complain regularly whenever they are disturbed.”

His comments were supported by John Hale from St Albans Quieter Skies: “The increased noise started long before February, and the CAA is ignoring what happened before then. The route did not decrease the impact on noise last year, and it is going to be the same this year.

“The CAA needs to wake up and consider the impact on residents of north St Albans and Sandridge, rather than just the benefits for Luton Airport.”

The RNAV was fixed in February for westerly departures, which are flights travelling over Hertfordshire, with 99 per cent of aircraft on that route now using the navigation system.

A London Luton Airport spokesman said: “The regulator, the CAA, has open access to all feedback from local residents relating to the RNAV airspace change.

“To improve the accuracy of their review, the CAA has taken the decision to only analyse data post February 2017 as initially some aircraft types were unable to fly this route for technical reasons, which were resolved earlier this year.”

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