Politicians to hear Belfast residents’ concerns on plane safety and noise
Date added: June 29, 2010
29.6.2010 (Belfast City Airport Watch)
A plane lands over Parkgate Drive, east Belfast
The Ulster Unionist Party leader, Sir Reg Empey, will be among a number of local politicians who will be speaking at a public meeting on aircraft noise and safety, organised by residents’ group, Belfast City Airport Watch, in east Belfast.
Belfast City Airport Watch (BCAW), which represents residents in east and south Belfast, and in north Down, is holding the meeting in response to rising concern among local people, following two recent incidents in which roof tiles were dislodged from houses, apparently by aircraft, in the Parkgate area.
Both Sir Reg and local MLA, Dawn Purvis, have confirmed that they will be speaking at the event which is being held at the Connswater Community Centre, Connswater Street [at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 30th June].
DUP, Alliance Party and PUP representatives are also expected to address the meeting, and politicians from a number of parties are expected to attend.
"This is a really valuable opportunity for people in the affected parts of east Belfast to put their views on aircraft noise and safety to the politicians they have elected," said the group’s Steering Group Chair, Liz Fawcett.
"We know politicians will be listening carefully to what people have to say – this really is the public’s chance to show their elected representatives that aircraft noise and safety are major issues which matter to them."
Earlier this month, there were two incidents in the Parkgate area of east Belfast in which roof tiles were dislodged, apparently by aircraft. In one incident, on 8th June in Parkgate Drive, a man was injured by a falling roof tile.
Since those incidents, residents in that area have been very concerned about the whole issue of aircraft safety.
Karen Sanders, whose mother-in-law’s house was damaged in one of the incidents, says local people want answers from politicians.
"People here are very worried that there could be an even more serious incident," she said.
"Many of the planes seem to fly very low and we would like to know what action politicians are taking to protect local residents.
"Noise is also a big issue – the planes wake us up, and they interrupt conversations and TV.
"Our lives are being really disrupted by these planes, and we’d like to see some action from local politicians."
Last year, BCAW carried out a survey of more than 400 individuals in areas in east and south Belfast, and in north Down, affected by aircraft noise from the City Airport.
The shock findings from this survey demonstrated the extent to which aircraft noise is a very real problem for many residents:
· More than three-quarters (78%) of the 412 individuals surveyed said that aircraft noise affected their sleep
· Three-quarters (75%) of respondents said they often had to stop talking when a plane flew over because they couldn’t be heard
· Of the 157 respondents with children, nearly half (46%) said their children weren’t getting enough sleep because of aircraft noise.
· More than a third (34%) of those with children said their children found aircraft noise frightening.
Event details: 7.30pm, Wednesday, 30th June at Connswater Community Centre, Connswater St.