Luton Airport noise monitor ‘broken’: revelation sparks concern in St Albans

Heat map shows dramatic increase in density of planes over St Albans, as of July 2016.

Heat map shows dramatic increase in density of planes over St Albans, as of July 2016. - Credit: Archant

Residents’ anger over a dramatic rise in noise pollution, courtesy of Luton Airport, has been exacerbated by the unwelcome discovery that a noise monitor has been broken for some time.

Heat density map over St Albans - July 2013.

Heat density map over St Albans - July 2013. - Credit: Archant

Several sources have told this paper that a portable noise monitor used to gauge aircraft noise near Harpenden has been out of order since at least September or October last year.

With noise monitoring a contentious issue in the district, there are fears that unreliable information has been used to support recent – and controversial – flight path changes. These have been to the detriment of north central St Albans, Harpenden and elsewhere, at a time when there has been a major increase in flights.

A Luton spokesman said the sources may have been “referring to a portable noise monitor used in Sandridge on September 15, 2016 for two weeks.

“A fault was detected and no data was gathered. This was purely for the community’s use.”

He said it would have ‘no bearing’ upon the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) review of Luton’s introduction of a new area navigation system (RNAV), which starts in August.

In response to a recent 150 per cent rise in noise complaints, he said the airport was continuing to “work constructively with local communities and all of our partners to explore all achievable solutions for minimising the impact of aircraft noise”.

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• Regular noise monitoring is conducted in three fixed locations 6.5km from the runway – yet parts of St Albans affected by constant flights are located about 20km away.


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• If you are being affected by Luton Airport noise, please lodge a complaint:

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