St Albans residents call for action on noise from Luton Airport
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
People who live under flight paths are calling for Luton Airport to take action against aircraft noise over St Albans.
Denise van der Welle lives in Gustard Wood, and said it was a "quiet rural area" until the airport started to "expand massively".
She said: "Although some miles away, we are now woken at 5am by the noise of the aircraft starting up, and then at 6am - when they are allowed to fly - the noise increases as they take off.
"So not only do they take off and circle over us but we have the added problem of ground noise, which no one seems to address."
St Albans MP Anne Main has also called for the new aviation minister, Paul Maynard MP, to meet with residents and hear about their frustrations with noise pollution.
Mrs Main has joined multiple campaign groups in urging the airport to reduce noise pollution following the introduction of the RNAV routing system in 2015, which narrowed the flight paths and concentrated the noise across a smaller area.
She said: "The new aviation minister needs to understand the strength of feeling locally on this issue. There is due to be major expansion at Luton and Heathrow in the next few years and the government must ensure that this is managed in a way that more fairly distributes out the noise.
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"St Albans residents are increasingly being subjected to more and more noise from flights departing from Heathrow Airport too.
"RNAV has failed. It has concentrated noise unfairly and it has had a significant impact on some residents' quality of life."
A London Luton Airport spokesperson supported Mrs Main's call for government involvement, and said: "Demand for air travel in the UK is at record levels, yet the way we use our airspace has not been significantly redesigned for 50 years. Airspace modernisation will help the aviation sector meet that growing demand while reducing the impact on local communities.
"Although it will be for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to determine whether the introduction of RNAV has been a success, it must be noted it has reduced the number of people overflown by 10,000.
"We are awaiting the outcome of the CAA's post-implementation review, which we expect to be published imminently."