More questions over flightpaths

SKYLORDS have yet to answer one of the most crucial questions about air traffic over Suffolk - why it has to follow the same flightpaths every day.The Evening Star has asked Civil Aviation Authority and National Air Traffic Services bosses 25 vital questions about the current and future air traffic over Suffolk.

SKYLORDS have yet to answer one of the most crucial questions about air traffic over Suffolk - why it has to follow the same flightpaths every day.

The Evening Star has asked Civil Aviation Authority and National Air Traffic Services bosses 25 vital questions about the current and future air traffic over Suffolk.

One of these is why the paths of jets cannot be varied by a few degrees north or south on a regular basis to provide communities with some relief from aircraft noise.

The idea would be that by moving the flightpaths over the Felixstowe peninsula - one of the worst affected places for air traffic, where four airspace areas meet - planes would not have to continually fly over a populated urban area, causing disturbance to large numbers of people.

Instead, planes could be directed over more rural areas north or south of the area.

If this was done on certain days of the week, it would provide people with a regular break from the noise and make the days when planes flew over more bearable.

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At certain times, planes fly across the area at one a minute. Sometimes three or four can be seen in the sky at once - following each other, flying in opposite directions or crossing each other at different levels, flying as low as 5,500ft.

Most of the planes are going to Stansted, but others are heading for Heathrow, London City, Luton, East Midlands or overflying the UK to and from America.

BAA Stansted media relations manager Robbie Barrigan said the airport was handling flights all day but did have peak periods when low-cost airlines such as Air Berlin, Ryanair and EasyJet were departing or arriving close together.

Between 6am and 8am a wave of flights go out, which then return around lunchtime before departing again to their destinations.

They return at 4pm to 5pm in the afternoon and immediately turnaround and depart again, returning between 10pm and midnight.

“Although these are peaks, during the remainder of the day we are dealing with flights from other European destinations,” said Mr Barrigan.

“Not all the aircraft travelling over Suffolk will be heading for Stansted and will be going to a number of other airports or flying right over the UK. It is a very busy flight corridor.”

Is noise from aircraft getting on your nerves? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

MAKE your views known about Stansted on the Evening Star website.

We are running a web poll - asking the question: Should Stansted airport be allowed to expand?

Visit www.eveningstar.co.uk and add your vote to the great debate.

So far 72 per cent of those who have voted are against the airport expanding and sending possibly more than twice as many planes every hour over Suffolk, ruining the county's peace and tranquillity.

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