St Albans and Harpenden aircraft noise campaign groups head to Downing Street

Representatives from Hertfordshire aircraft noise campaign groups at 10 Downing Street.

Representatives from Hertfordshire aircraft noise campaign groups at 10 Downing Street. - Credit: Archant

Campaign groups tackling aircraft noise pollution from Luton Airport descended on 10 Downing Street to urge the government to take action.

Representatives from LADACAN (Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise), St Albans Quieter Skies (STAQS) and Harpenden Sky joined groups from around the UK to deliver a statement to the Government on Monday declaring that “enough is enough” when it comes to aircraft noise.

The groups are seeking a new policy on aircraft noise and tougher regulation of the aviation industry, aiming to balance the demand for more flights with the needs of people living near airports and under flight paths.

Anna Sullivan-Jones attended from LADACAN to represent residents impacted by Luton Airport, with Sally Pavey representing those impacted by Gatwick, Martin Peachey representing those impacted by Stansted, and John Stewart representing those impacted by Heathrow and City. In total 40 different groups signed the statement.

Andrew Lambourne, from LADACAN, said: “We’ve all seen over the past couple of years just how much noise impact a change in the routing and concentration of planes can have.

“The processes in place to regulate airspace change focus far too much on aviation and far too little on people. We want that to change, and that’s why we’ve signed this letter.

“LADACAN strongly supports the creation of an independent body to assess the noise impacts of aviation and airspace planning, with the power to intervene and mandate change where needed. Let’s see some targets being set which will drive noise down, rather than letting it continually increase.”

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The statement from campaign groups urged the government to set targets for aircraft noise reduction at each major UK airport, create an independent aviation noise regulator and establish a principle where if aircraft noise cannot be brought below a certain level then people will be compensated for its effects.

Charles Lloyd, of the Aviation Communities Forum, who also attended the Downing Street event, said: “Anyone who lives near an airport expects some noise. But the changes caused by new concentrated routes - motorways in the sky- and the growth in flight numbers are having unacceptable effects on people’s lives, up and down the country.”