Air campaigners take fight to inquiry

SUFFOLK residents were today due to tell inspectors about the impact of aircraft noise on the tranquillity of the county.

SUFFOLK residents were today due to tell inspectors about the impact of aircraft noise on the tranquillity of the county.

Alan Line from the pressure group South Suffolk Air Traffic Action Group (SSATAG) was taking his case to the public inquiry into the expansion of Stansted airport to refute evidence from BAA that most noise disturbance was from other sources.

He said: “BAA have said that there is more disturbance to people from other sources like traffic and general industry, but anyone who lives under the flightpaths knows that is not the case.

“You only have to sit in your home and listen to the planes and there is a constant noise.”

Mr Line lives in Kersey and said there were often 200 to 300 planes flying over his home every day.

“BAA average out the sound and says it is not a problem but there is a constant disturbance,” he added.

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His evidence came the day after leading budget airlines told the inquiry that they did not want to see Stansted become large enough to handle 35million passengers a year.

EasyJet and RyanAir told the inquiry at Stansted that they would want to see the ceiling placed at 30million a year, a figure which could be achieved within the current infrastructure.

Their concern is that if it grew beyond the 30 million limit, they could have to pay for major infrastructure improvements at the Essex site.

Carol Barbone from the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign said the airlines' submission did envisage the construction of a second runway eventually and a substantial growth.

But she was encouraged because the airlines shared the campaign's concern about the projections of future growth at the airport.

She said: “There is real concern that if the airport does grow the infrastructure in the area will not be able to cope and BAA's figures take little account of how people will get to the airport,” she said.

Is aircraft noise a concern for you? Should Stansted be allowed to expand? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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