Felixstowe stays silent on jet noise

COMMUNITY leaders in Felixstowe have decided not to object to changes to jet plane routes - even though the resort will remain under two busy flightpaths.

COMMUNITY leaders in Felixstowe have decided not to object to changes to jet plane routes - even though the resort will remain under two busy flightpaths.

Although air management company NATS will not give exact figures, it expects there to be a 20 per cent increase in the average number of planes per hour over the resort in the next five years.

On top of this, the Felixstowe area will take more planes bound for Stansted which will no longer fly over Clacton, Walton and Frinton - communities which have been take off the flightpath.

Future expansion of Stansted - using its current runway to maximum capacity and adding a second runway - plus a third runway at Heathrow could in time double the number of planes.

Felixstowe Town Council though has decided to make no comment on the flightpath changes because it does not believe they will make a significant difference to life in the town.

Chris Slemmings, chairman of the finance and general purposes committee, said it was not an issue which many people in the town were concerned about and the changes would affect inland communities more.

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“We had very little alternative really. One of the problems is that we have to try and take a sounding and respond to what people in the town are saying and frankly it is not a big issue in the town,” he said.

“It makes us sound terribly complacent but it is not a particular problem here and we have a lot less to complain about than those people in inland areas who are facing the possibility of stacking above them.

“I live about two miles from the A14 but at quiet times I can still hear the lorries and motorbikes accelerating away from the dock spur roundabout.

“I am 500 metres from the sea with houses in between but I can hear the waves crashing on the beach and jet-skis going up and down. One thing I never hear is aeroplanes.”

The county council is concerned flights over Felixstowe and Ipswich will come as low as 7,000ft in future.

NATS say the proposed changes are designed to deal with current congestion in the skies, and says the new routes should mean a one-third reduction in the number of people who will be overflown by passenger planes.

Does aircraft noise annoy you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: Felixstowe flights

Currently around 600 planes a day fly over Felixstowe - many as low as 7,000ft but others much higher, some up to 20,000ft, especially those overflying Britain.

The resort suffers from in-bound flights to Stansted and Luton, and outbound from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City - but the changes will mean the Luton route is removed.

At peak times there would be one plane every two minutes - 33 an hour - flying in to the Essex airport from the east, and on average during day-time 16 an hour now and 20 an hour by 2014.

Heathrow and London City flights would be on top of this, and above these overflying aircraft.

The changes may mean more Stansted planes immediately flying over Felixstowe and in the long-term twice as many when Stansted and Heathrow have extra runways.