Bed protest. Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire residents call for a cut in Luton airport night flights
A group of protesters arrived at Luton Borough Council on 15th February to deliver a bed signed by people who are fed up with night noise from Luton Airport. The BANN (Beds Against Night Noise) protest was given good media coverage and made the point that it’s not only Hertfordshire which suffers noise and disturbance – plenty of residents in Bedfordshire are also woken up by late night arrivals, cargo planes and early morning departures. One of the protesters said the PR spin in Luton airport’s Master Plan claimed they would ”consult” the public, and they were taking noise seriously by adding 6 new noise mitigations. However, those so-called mitigations would only affect a fraction of 1% of the total flights – and Luton plans to double night flights between 10pm and midnight and start the morning departure rush at 5am, which is utterly unacceptable. Local people are now demanding that there is legislation to control night flights at Luton in the same way as at other London airports. There is currently a petition to significantly reduce night flights at Luton, not increase them.
Beds as in Bedfordshire ! (where Luton airport is located)
A group of protestors arrived at Luton Borough Council yesterday to deliver a bed signed by people who are fed up with night noise from Luton Airport. The BANN protest was given good media coverage and made the point that it’s not only Hertfordshire which suffers noise and disturbance – plenty of residents in Bedfordshire are also woken up by late night arrivals, cargo planes and early morning departures.
One of the protestors, Chris Nickolay, said “When the Airport stops listening and just rides roughshod over local communities, we have to make our point loud and clear. The PR spin in their Master Plan claimed they would ”consult” the public, and said they were taking noise seriously by adding 6 new noise mitigations. Well now we know the truth. Those so-called mitigations would only affect a fraction of a percent of the total flights – and they plan to double night flights between 10pm and midnight and start the morning departure rush at 5am. That’s utterly unacceptable, and hundreds of local people are now demanding that there is legislation to control night flights at Luton in the same way as at other London airports. Just letting market greed cause sleep disruption to thousands of people is simply not an adequate control: we want a night noise curfew backed up by strict planning restrictions.”
The petition launched by local campaign groups calling for a significant reduction in night flights from Luton Airport can be accessed by clicking here >> Night flights
The petition to the Managing Director of Luton Airport, Eric Pickles, and the Luton Borough Council Planning officer states:
Luton Airport: Significantly reduce night flights
Petition by HALE, LADACAN, LANAG, SoS
Night flights at Luton Airport are currently unregulated and affect far more people than at London City Airport, which has a night movements curfew. Planes from Luton Airport are much bigger, and there are plans to almost double the existing 8,500 night flights per annum. There are more night movements at Luton than at Heathrow. The World Health Organisation links noise disturbance at night to serious health problems. We are calling for a significant reduction in night flights at Luton Airport instead of the further increase which is being proposed.
Glyn Jones, Managing Director, Luton Airport
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State
Planning Officer 12/01400/FUL, Luton Borough Council
An official response by Terence O’Rourke [Terence O’Rourke is a planning, design and environmental practice, which prepared the application summary for Luton Airport] to questions raised by the Hitchin Forum proves that the so-called noise mitigations proposed by Luton Airport are so feeble as to be almost worthless. The much-vaunted commitments to take seriously the noise concerns of local people have been exposed as hollow by the Airport’s own planning consultants.
Just look at what the Airport said in its September 2012 Master Plan – we have added emphasis to show the commitments which the Airport told us it would be making:
“10.13 The current national aviation policy is the Future of Air Transport White Paper 2003 (FATWP). In this White Paper, the government supports development at
the Airport which makes full use of its single runway on condition that the overall environmental impacts of such development will be carefully controlled and adequate mitigation provided.” (Master Plan Sep 2012)
“10.17 Regarding land use planning and management, paragraph 4.34 states that ‘planning policies and decisions should aim to avoid noise from giving rise to significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life as a result of new development, and mitigate and reduce to a minimum other adverse impacts … including through the use of conditions’. As demonstrated in section 9, we are incorporating a robust package of noise mitigation as part of the proposed development, which aligns fully with the APF.”
Now look at Terence O’Rourke’s responses to the questions raised by Hitchin Forum:
Q: How many flights would have been affected in 2011 by the Chapter 2 ban?
A: Less than 1% of night flights would have been banned in 2012.
Q: How many aircraft in 2012 exceeded the 82dB(A) night noise violation limit and would have exceeded the proposed 80bd(A) night noise violation limit?
A: In 2012, less than 1% of aircraft (3) exceeded the 82 dB(A) night time noise limit.
In 2012, less than 1% of aircraft (14) would have exceeded an 80 dB(A) night time noise limit.
Q: How many aircraft in 2012 were vectored out of the NPR swathes below 4,000ft?
A: LLAOL estimates that less than 1% of flights are currently vectored off NPR swathes between 3,000 and 4,000 ft.
Q: How many flights in 2012 would have exceeded the proposed daytime noise limits?
A: The total number and percentage of aircraft that would have exceeded each of the three proposed daytime noise limits in 2012 is summarised below. • 85 dB(A): 29 (less than 1%) • 82 dB(A): 62 (less than 1%) • 80 dB(A): 138 (less than 1%)
And in case you’re wondering, “less than 1%” is developer-speak for miniscule fractions of a percent: for example 138 aircraft per year in 2012 is about 0.1% of the total. And as a further insult to our intelligence, they describe the above as “a robust response”…
You can read the full set of questions and answers by clicking here >> Hitchin Forum Q&A
Luton local residents say “Enough is Enough” on aircraft noise – and do not accept the planned expansion
February 15, 2013 Luton airport has a consultation – that ends on 18th February – into their planning application, to almost double the number of passenger, from around 10 mppa now to 18mppa before 2030. The extra flights would mean a lot more noise for those living locally under flight paths. One of the local residents’ groups, LANAG, has now submitted its response to the consultation, and say that while local residents support the desire for Luton to have a top quality airport, the airport already has twice the number of people affected by noise than there were in 2002 and 4 times the number of aircraft movements at night. They therefore say, “Enough is Enough” and do not accept the increases in aircraft movements and noise that would result from expansion. LANAG wants no more people affected by noise than currently , and say there must be a plan to take 2,800 people out of an environment that, according to the WHO is deleterious to health – due to noise levels. Click here to view full story…
Luton airport planning application would increase night flights (11pm to 7am) by 50%
January 29, 2013 Local campaign group HALE (Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion) says that Luton Airport’s expansion plans are based on projections to increase flights at night by 50%. This is based on information in the airport’s planning application which shows that the number of take-offs and landings between 11pm and 7am is projected to rise to 52 by 2028, compared to 34 in 2011. HALE points out that this is just the average figure – during the summer peak there could be as many as 80 flights each night. There is a public consultation on the application until 18th February. HALE is urging 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 to runway 08 for the purpose. Click here to view full story…