Concern growing over flight increase

CONCERN over the amount of aircraft flying over Suffolk is growing - with campaigners calling on the government to rethink its aviation policy.Following an increase in the capacity of the airspace above large swathes of Suffolk - particularly the Felixstowe and Ipswich areas - there could be around 1,200 planes flying over the area every day.

CONCERN over the amount of aircraft flying over Suffolk is growing - with campaigners calling on the government to rethink its aviation policy.

Following an increase in the capacity of the airspace above large swathes of Suffolk - particularly the Felixstowe and Ipswich areas - there could be around 1,200 planes flying over the area every day.

Campaigners believe plans to develop Stansted airport will worsen the situation, creating more noise for people living near the airport and its approaches, and polluting the atmosphere even more.

The Evening Star has voiced concern over the situation and asked the Civil Aviation Authority 30 questions about the impact of the growth of air traffic, and how many more planes we could see over our communities in the years ahead.

The CAA is expected to answer the questions later this week.

Meanwhile, the Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) campaign sent a group of supporters to march in London as part of a 20,000-strong rally calling for urgent action on climate change.

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Aviation is said to be the fastest growing source of the global warming with the carbon dioxide (CO2) gas from planes said to have a big impact on climate change.

SSE has estimated if expansion of Stansted's single runway is approved, CO2 emission levels would rise from the current seven million tons a year to 12m tons. A second runway would take this figure to 23m tons.

Carol Barbone, SSE campaign director, said: “The time has come for the Government to radically rethink its aviation policy. It must stop pricing people onto planes and ensure that the real cost of flying and its impacts on climate change are acknowledged and addressed with meaningful action.”

Meanwhile, Stansted Airport has announced details of new research into noise levels in the Sudbury area, where residents have been complaining about the noise from aircraft.

A mobile noise monitor placed in Sudbury for three months captured noise from 1,008 aircraft but also from 8,500 loud sounds from incidents in the community not connected with air travel.

A report said the maximum aircraft noise levels ranged from 52 decibels to 69 dBA, with 90 per cent of these events in the range of 52 dBA to 62 dBA. The maximum community noise levels ranged from 52 dBA to 75 dBA with 90pc between 52 dBA to 64 dBA.

Vicki Hughes, BAA Stansted's noise communications manager, said: “I want to assure everyone living in the Sudbury area that we are listening to what residents have to say, we want to respond positively to their concerns and take action, where appropriate, and to let them know we are doing all we can to improve on our already impressive environmental record,” she said.

What do you think about the increase in aircraft? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk