Stansted officials visit to assess aircraft noise level
FELIXSTOWE: Growing concern over the number of passenger jets flying over the Felixstowe peninsula has prompted officials from one of the country’s busiest airports to make a fact-finding trip to the area.
Two members of Stansted’s media relations team visited Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary to guage noise levels for themselves after The Evening Star’s Air Fair campaign highlighted the problems.
Their visit came as new maps revealed that more than a dozen flightpaths now head over the Felixstowe and Ipswich area – including two out of Heathrow, four connecting with Luton, two for Northolt and Stansted’s in-bound traffic.
The Heathrow ones are mainly flights to the Far East, heading out over Russia to China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan.
They are often the noisiest planes as they are fully-laden with fuel, pasengers and luggage and unable to gain height quickly.
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While the maps, on air traffic company NATS’ website, confirm that at least ten flightpaths go over the area, they do not show others which are also known to cross the Suffolk coast.
These include Heathrow in-bound planes and Stansted departures for northern Europe directed to cross the area from other flight corridors, as well as many more high-level planes – at 25,000ft to 30,000ft – which are overflying Britain to and from America.
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Experts reckon 600 planes a day are flying over Felixstowe, Ipswich, Shotley peninsula and the twin Trimleys.
Frustration over noise is growing. At peak times there is near-constant aircraft noise with several planes criss-crossing at different height levels and in different directions.
Evenings and Sundays are the worst times when ambient noise levels are quieter.
Stansted’s head of media relations Mark Davison and media relations manager Melvyn Nice visited the Trimleys on Tuesday.
“We wanted to see what effect the flightpaths were having in terms of intrusion for ourselves – just to check it out,” said Mr Nice.
“We didn’t notice a huge amount of aircraft during our visit though there were several high-level ones coming into Luton and Stansted.
“A lot will depend on people’s perception and this time of the year when the weather is warm and people are outdoors and have windows open, they will hear more plane noise.”
Airport managers say planes need to find the shortest routes to their destinations to cut fuel consumption and travel time and crossing the Felixstowe area is the quickest way to link Heathrow, Luton and Stansted with European, Scandinavian and Far East countries.
n To see flightpaths over your house, visit www.consultation.nats.co.uk/mapintro/6/how_this_affects_you.html
n Are there too many planes crossing the Felixstowe area. Is the noise getting on your nerves? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or email firstname.lastname@example.org