East Midlands airport claims runway extension won’t create headache for residents
Date added: November 20, 2008
20.11.2008 (This is Derby)
PLANS to extend the runway at East Midlands Airport will increase the noise from only a “small number” of planes, bosses claim.
They say the proposed expansion will actually reduce the level of noise from the majority of landing aircraft for residents living close to the Castle Donington site.
That is because, if the extension is given the green light, planes will be able to approach the runway at higher altitudes over the village of Kegworth.
The higher planes fly, the less noise can be heard from the ground.
Neil Robinson, the site’s environmental manager, outlined the plans to the Evening Telegraph and said the new runway would not mean a direct increase in the number of planes operating at the airport.
He said: “The proposed extension to the runway would allow larger aircraft to depart at slightly heavier take-off weights. The extension is not required for arriving aircraft as the airport’s current runway provides adequate landing distance.
“However, it will allow the majority of aircraft to land further down the runway, increasing the height of aircraft descending over Kegworth and reducing the level of noise.”
In total, noise from 80% of aircraft would be reduced by 2016, noise would increase from 2.8% of planes due to the extra weight they would be carrying. The remainder would stay the same.
A planning application has been submitted to North West Leicestershire District Council for the runway extension and it will consult residents and other authorities about the plans before making a decision.
The council first received an application to increase the 2,893m runway by 190m in 2000.
Fresh environmental statements were sent to the authority in 2004 and again in May this year to reflect the growing number of passengers.
Despite reports to the contrary, the airport says it does not mean larger aircraft will take off and land at Castle Donington as it already caters for all plane sizes.
But South Derbyshire District Council’s environmental officers believe that the runway extension would lead to an increase in noise for people in the district.
They are recommending that the environmental and development services committee raises objections to the plans as part of the consultation.
But Mr Robinson dismissed the noise concerns and said the airport was aware of its responsibility to reduce the impact on residents.
“East Midlands Airport recognises that aircraft operations, particularly at night, have an impact on the local community,” he said.
“We take our responsibilities to them very seriously.
“The airport has a range of voluntary noise mitigation measures, including noise preferred routes and a sound insulation scheme for properties affected by aircraft noise.”
He said he hoped the council would be able to determine “one way or the other” an outcome on the application soon.
A spokeswoman for North West Leicestershire District Council said a date had not yet been decided for the application to go to the planning committee.
Councillors from South Derbyshire will discuss the issue at 6pm tonight at the Civic Offices in Swadlincote.