Your chance to have your say on aircraft disruption in St Albans and Harpenden

An aerial view of St Albans city centre as seen from an easyjet flight from Luton airport to Amsterd

An aerial view of St Albans city centre as seen from an easyjet flight from Luton airport to Amsterdam, Netherlands in October 2015. - Credit: Archant

People living in St Albans and Harpenden who are troubled by aircraft noise will have a chance to quiz Luton Airport executives about the problem.

Representatives of the company who run the airport will attend a public meeting in the council chamber at St Albans Civic Centre, St Peter’s Street from 7pm on Wednesday, May 17. They will be joined by three campaign groups, St Albans Quieter Skies (STAQS), Harpenden Sky and the Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (LADACAN), that will give their views about the impact of changes to flight paths.

Other residents may also submit written questions beforehand.

Last year, the council approached the airport to pass on residents’ concerns that noise had increased with the introduction of the new area navigation system (RNAV), which has particularly affected Marshalswick, Batchwood and Sandridge. The Civil Aviation Authority is holding a review of RNAV in September.

Tracy Harvey, the district council’s head of planning, said: “Aircraft noise is a concern for a number of people living in the district.

“I’m sure they will want to take this opportunity to find out what London Luton Airport has been doing to address the issue.

“We welcome any questions that our residents want the committee to put to the airport executives on their behalf.”

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St Albans MP Anne Main has welcomed the monitoring of airport noise. She said: “I have been receiving regular complaints from areas of St Albans and Sandridge. This action is hopefully a step in the right direction to a proper and rigorous assessment of how noise is affecting constituents.

“This is a major problem for residents in some areas of the district and city. I am encouraged that Luton are in listening mode and are willing to work towards greatly reducing this persistent noise pollution.

“The noise monitors should give a clear and accurate picture of noise in the area, and push towards reform.”

STAQS has been lobbying the CAA to implement changes, warning that Luton Airport’s busy summer flight schedule will cause the problem to get worse.

The CAA review was initially only going to take into account complaints made between February and July, but the review period has now been extended to include the busier months of August and September.

STAQS chair Sharon Hollingsworth said: “Despite Luton Airport giving us little consideration during the consultation period in 2015, we are making it clear now that we are not happy.

“It is a great boost to us to know that the CAA recognise north St Albans and Sandridge have a problem, that they have listened to us and have made changes to the review. I only hope people continue to make themselves heard and that come October we can see some changes.”

To send in a question to the airport executives, email by 9am on Thursday, May 11 or post a letter to The Scrutiny Officer, St Albans City and District Council, Civic Centre, St Peter’s Street, St Albans AL1 3JE.