Airport complaints more than double

PUBLISHED: 12:18 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

COMPLAINTS about aircraft noise concerning Luton Airport have more than doubled during the past year. At a recent meeting of the Luton Airport Consultative Committee, which monitors public feedback, it was revealed that complaints for the second quarter o

COMPLAINTS about aircraft noise concerning Luton Airport have more than doubled during the past year.

At a recent meeting of the Luton Airport Consultative Committee, which monitors public feedback, it was revealed that complaints for the second quarter of this year stood at 440 compared to 171 for the same period last year.

The results come as no surprise to the Luton and District Association for the Control of Airport Noise (LADACAN) which is spearheading the fight to try and prevent expansion at the airport and the building of another runway so the airport can fulfil the Government White Paper on transport policy looking at the future needs of air travel in the South East.

More than a quarter of the complaints came from residents living in Comet country. Most complaints came from villagers in Kimpton with 36 followed by Whitwell with 30. Stevenage recorded eight complaints along with Preston while Peter's Green registered five and Hitchin two

The committee's report says current complaints on average were five every 24 hours and figures showed they had increased by 157 per cent over the previous period last year.

"Within the 440 complaints, a total of 753 events eliciting a complaint were listed, compared to 429 events for the same period last year, an increase of 76 per cent," says the report.

"However, it should be noted that 128 of the 753 events, 17 per cent of all reported events during the period April to June 2006, were received from one individual."

Many of the 440 complaints, 201, surrounded aircraft noise when they were making easterly departures and arrivals over much of Comet country.

"These results are staggering the way they have increased," said John Davis of LADACAN.

"Many people don't realise that there are more night flights in and out of Luton now than leave and arrive at Heathrow. So if the expansion does go ahead at Luton the complaints will increase.

"People are facing a nightmare where property will be blighted because it will be directly under the flight path.

"People living in places like Kimpton, St Paul's Walden and Breachwood Green are in the firing line near the edge of the airport.

"But the figures that have been released show people are not staying quiet and are reporting the noise."

Preston resident Roger Freeman said aircraft noise was now a major concern in the village.

"It is a major conversation point in the pub. Aircraft noise has got worse especially with the number of night flights.

"Flights during unsociable hours have increased. The other morning I was woken up at 5.30am by a jet that was quite low as it passed over the centre of the village.

"The future of Luton expanding is a concern we should take seriously. Some believe the development will never happen but when you look at the infrastructure that is being put in place I believe expansion at Luton will go ahead and if it does it will be a nightmare living in places like Preston.

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