Hale releases damning analysis of Luton Airport noise track record

Opponents of expansion at Luton (HALE) have released a damning analysis of the noise track record at Luton Airport over the past 5 years. The airport has just produced a 5 page Noise Fact Sheet, which claims that though it had a 23% increase in aircraft movements between 2011 and 2012 there was a huge reduction in the very noisiest planes. This is distorting reality, as the Fact Sheet does not properly deal with noise from other flights.  HALE highlights that the Airport’s claims are entirely misleading because they are not based on a statistically representative sample of the data.  It has found that in reality on average flights are getting noisier over time, not quieter, with 60% of daytime departures now registering at or above the 73dB annoyance level when they reach the noise monitors 4 miles from the airport, compared to 45% in 2007.  Night flights are louder too. The airport is planning to add 60% more flights, taking the average daily total from 270 to 430; many of these would be clustered in the peak early morning and late evening periods, resulting in a doubling of flights between 10pm and midnight.  

 


 


London Luton Airport Noise Fact Sheet  LLA Noise Fact Sheet (Mar 2013) ( 454 kb )
March 2013


 

HALE guide on how to Interpret the airport’s document:

HALE have written an analysis of the Luton Airport Noise Fact Sheet  a guide for people affected by Luton flights to understand, interpret and not be deceived by it.                                    The HALE guide is at

Is Luton Airport misleading you?   March 2013

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Hale releases damning analysis of Luton Airport noise track record

2 April 2013

HALE (Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion)  has released a damning analysis of the noise track record at Luton Airport over the past five years.

Flights are getting noisier over time, not quieter, with 60% of daytime departures now registering at or above the 73dB annoyance level when they reach the noise monitors 4 miles from the airport, compared to 45% in 2007.

Night flights are louder too, with half the departures now at or over 73dB at the noise monitors.

The Airport’s recent Noise Fact Sheet boasts “This is a track record that we are proud of and one which we will continue to build on in the future.” That future is described in its planning application as being to add 60% more flights, taking the average daily total from 270 to 430.

These would not be spread evenly over the day, but clustered in the peak early morning and late evening periods favoured by the airlines, resulting in a doubling of flights between 10pm and midnight as the last wave of aircraft returns to Luton.

HALE’s findings reflect noise data published by the Airport itself, and include the majority of flights so as to establish statistically valid trends, rather than concentrating on just the very noisiest fraction of a percent of flights as the Airport does in its “Noise Fact Sheet”.

The campaign group highlights that the Airport’s claims are entirely misleading because they are not based on a statistically representative sample of the data.

Presenting the analysis, Andrew Lambourne of HALE said “If I was in senior management at Luton Airport I’d be keeping very quiet indeed about my track record on noise, because it is utterly lamentable.

“Flights are getting noisier year on year, with no credible plan to reverse that trend. There is no effective deterrent against the noisiest flights – only one daytime departure has been fined in the last five years.

“The so-called Noise Action Plan is just hot air and spin – I see no genuine commitment to make a difference and tackle the noise problem, in case they upset the airlines. This is why we are calling on Luton Borough Council to show determination to prevent the noise burden on local people from getting worse, by applying strict planning controls especially on flights at night.

“Concerned voters should write to their local Councillor and sign our online petition at www.change.org/luton-night-flights ”

 

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HALE (Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion) is a campaign group committed to opposing plans to expand Luton Airport which will export further noise and pollution to Hertfordshire. It represents communities all around the airport.
See www.hale.uk.net

 

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Earlier

Luton Airport is “in denial” over night flight plans

 

The PR machine at Luton Airport is now in a complete spin over night flights, according to local campaigners. The Airport is now strenuously denying the flight projections contained in its own planning application.

In a new “Fact” Sheet described as “a fully referenced narrative on noise which provides complete and transparent answers to the salient questions based on factual data compiled by aviation experts and noise technicians” Luton Airport denies that it is planning to double the number of flights between 10pm and midnight, saying recent press statements are “untrue”.

However, graphs in its own planning application, compiled by independent aviation experts and noise consultants Bickerdike Allen, clearly show the number of flights in the 10pm to midnight time slot set to rise from 17 to 35 on average – ie there WOULD be a doubling of flights in that period, as shown below with annotations:

Table N3-1

Table N3-3

Similarly, the “Fact” Sheet claims that the Airport will only be adding two additional flights between 5am and 6am on a busy summer day, whereas its planning application clearly shows that on average they plan to add SIX extra flights between 5am and 6am.

The “Fact” Sheet was issued to coincide with the handing-in to Luton Town Hall of a 1,000-signature petition signed by residents of Luton, Stevenage, St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Harpenden and villages all around Luton Airport protesting against the proposed increases in night flights and the resultant reduction of “night” around Luton to just 5 hours. The petition calls for Luton Borough Council to apply planning controls to limit the number of night flights from Luton Airport to 2011 levels, and the campaign is supported by many people who live in Luton itself.

Speaking for NoMoreNightFlights.com the campaign alliance behind Thursday’s rally, Andrew Lambourne said “Luton Airport is in complete denial about its devastating plans for night flights. Their own data shows a planned increase from 17 to 35 flights on average between 10pm and midnight, yet they are saying it is untrue to call this a doubling. Well by anybody else’s arithmetic that IS a doubling of flights between 10pm and midnight – that is what the planning application says. Are they now withdrawing that aspect of their plans? They cannot have it both ways.”

The row comes at a time of increased focus nationally on expansion plans for airports all around London, and significant concerns are being raised about the impacts on public health and basic human rights. The World Health Organisation states in relation to night noise “40 to 55 dB: Adverse health effects are observed among the exposed population. Many people have to adapt their lives to cope with the noise at night. Vulnerable groups are more severely affected.” Similarly the Environmental Research and Consultancy Department of the CAA states “It is especially important to limit noise during the earlier part of the night when people are falling asleep” and “just one additional awakening per night induced by aircraft noise has an adverse effect on people’s health and wellbeing.” Yet Luton Airport is planning to move in exactly the opposite direction.

“The Airport MD claims there will be massive economic benefit from expanding Luton Airport – 5,100 more jobs, and a more vibrant local economy.” continued Andrew Lambourne. “If we cannot trust what they say about night flights, we cannot trust what they say about jobs – experts say these jobs figures are probably overstated by a factor of 5, which would be a cruel hoax on local people. Given the proposed doubling of passenger numbers and night flights, a tired workforce fighting its way along ever-more congested local roads is not going to benefit anybody’s economy.”

http://www.hale.uk.net/category/news/

 

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Airport plans 50% increase in night flights

Posted on 

Luton Airport’s expansion plans are based on projections to increase flights at night by 50%. Information in the Airport’s planning application shows that the number of takeoffs and landings between 11pm and 7am is projected to rise to 52 by 2028, compared to 34 in 2011. This is just the average figure – during the summer peak there could be as many as 80 flights each night. The data also shows that the main wave of early morning departures would start to ramp up at 5am rather than 6am.

“This is going to come as a very rude awakening to people – in more ways than one” said Tim Moss of HALE. “Just look at the rhetoric of the Master Plan, when the airport was keen to make us believe in its commitment to noise mitigation: they told us how much they wanted the airport to be the best neighbour it could be, and that they would ‘promote measures to minimise noise from aircraft operated at night’. How does that square with a proposal to increase flights at night by 50%, and to start the early morning departures at 5am? At the end of the day this expansion proposal is purely driven by commercial gain, regardless of community pain.”

HALE has also discovered that assurances from the Airport to monitor noise levels and fine airlines which exceed noise violation thresholds are almost meaningless at night, because the fines only apply to departures, and yet according to Airport annual reports 72% of flights at night are arrivals. “Arrivals often make even more noise than departures because although the engines are throttled back, the planes are that much lower” said Andrew Lambourne of HALE. “The commitment to fine night noise offenders is just ludicrous when the noisiest two thirds of night flights are actually being ignored. We urge people to respond to this planning application by demanding that Luton Borough Council forces its Airport to reduce, not increase, night flights; to monitor and fine night arrivals as well as night departures; and to install a noise monitor on the approach track to runway 08 for the purpose” he added.

See Proposals for more details and a summary of the expansion proposals, andObjections for details on how to object. Objections need to be submitted by 18th February 2013.

Graphs of the current and proposed hourly arrivals and departures are provided (see article above), taken from the Environmental Statement Appendix H Noise Appendix N(3) accompanying the planning application. Adding up the hourly movements at night between 23:00 and 07:00, the timeframe used for the night noise contours, shows the 50% increase projected by 2028 compared to 2011. NB: they have changed the scale between the two graphs to make the lines look the same length – they are not!

 

http://www.hale.uk.net/airport-plans-50-increase-in-night-flights/

 

 

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Luton’s Noise and Track Sub-Committee:

Luton Airport’s Consultative Committee (LLACC) webpage says:
The Consultative Committee is supported by 2 sub-committees one (The Noise and Track Sub-Committee) dealing with noise and track keeping issues while the other (Passenger Services Sub-Committee) concerns itself with the totality of the passenger experience including getting to the airport, security and immigration as well as terminal facilities. Other groups are established as needed to consider particular topics.
Minutes of some LLACC meetings are at  http://www.llacc.com/pastmeetings/
However minutes are rarely put up on the LLACC website.
The past minutes of the Noise and Track Sub-Committee are from 2011. There are none for 2012.
With the previous chairman of the LLACC the minutes did get published on the website, even if not immediately.

 

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There is more news about Luton airport recently at                                   Luton Airport News

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