Growing concern over aircraft noise

GROWING concern is being voiced over aircraft noise with complaints being made from far and wide about flightpaths over homes.

GROWING concern is being voiced over aircraft noise with complaints being made from far and wide about flightpaths over homes.

People have just three weeks left to comment on a major consultation exercise currently being carried out.

Residents living close to Stansted have stepped up their campaign - especially since the introduction of the noisy night-time Air Asia X Kuala Lumpur airbus flights - and those living below flight corridors further away are being encouraged to have their say.

Noise from passenger jets is becoming an increasing problem in parts of Suffolk, with some areas suffering a near-constant roar and drone as one plane departs and another immediately arrives as routes have become busier.

A recent Evening Star survey found it can take up to 80 seconds for the sound from one airliner to start and fade.

It will get worse, too, as airports expand and air traffic grows - with the number of planes set to double in the next 20 years.

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Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) says one of the latest problems is flights staying lower for longer - avoiding a rapid climb to save fuel but with the downside being that they are noisier.

Martin Peachey, noise adviser for SSE, said the airlines were operating within the rules, but international flight procedures require noise exposure for those on the ground to be kept to a minimum while maintaining safety and do not include reducing fuel costs.

“While reduced fuel burn helps reduce emissions, it should not be done at the expense of causing increased noise levels over the very small segment of flight immediately after take-off where noise abatement is the key criteria,” he said.

People have until October 2 to comment on BAA's draft Noise Action Plan and should visit www.stanstedairport.com

Stewart Wingate, Stansted Airport's managing director, said: “We are determined to take appropriate actions to reduce and mitigate against aircraft noise where we can - this is the right and responsible thing to do.”

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