London Luton Airport team meets Stevenage residents who remain concerned about aircraft noise

London Luton Airport. Picture: Danny Loo

London Luton Airport. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Fifty people from Stevenage attended a community meeting with representatives of London Luton Airport last night but the consensus was the airport is “listening but not hearing” to their complaints about aircraft noise.

Stevenage residents are continuing to raise concerns about noise emanating from aircraft using Luton

Stevenage residents are continuing to raise concerns about noise emanating from aircraft using Luton airport. - Credit: Archant

The meeting at Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre was part of the airport’s regular drop-in community sessions designed to listen to the views of nearby residents.

Stevenage is under the flight path for many aircraft as they line up with the Luton runway and is near one of the airports set routes for departures.

Dave Dee whose home is right under one of the flight paths, said people were not convinced by statements from the airport representatives that noise coming from aircraft is within acceptable limits and that aircraft are always sticking to the narrow flight corridors they are supposed to.

He said: “During the recent heat wave it’s been particularly bad when we’ve had the windows open.

Luton Airport's change in flight paths are affecting residents throughout Herts, including those liv

Luton Airport's change in flight paths are affecting residents throughout Herts, including those living in Stevenage, Harpenden, Welwyn Garden City and St Albans - but avoids Luton itself. This shows just one day in March last year: westerly departures in blue, arrivals in red. - Credit: supplied


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“Once a plane goes over at 2am or 3am you don’t get back to sleep.

“There seems to be a cluster of aircraft between 2am to 4am. They listened to what we had to say but they don’t seem really committed to doing anything about it.

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“Luton Borough Council doesn’t want to control it because it’s a money making thing for them and many people don’t care because they just like the idea of cheap flights.”

But the airport announced today it is to trial asking airlines not to lower their landing gear until within five nautical miles of the airport in order to reduce noise.

A spokesman for the airport said: “As an aircraft makes its final approach to land, most noise is caused not by the engines, but from the flow of air over the fuselage as drag is created to slow the plane down. Delaying the deployment of the landing gear should reduce drag and therefore mitigate noise for those living near the flight path.”

The six-week trial will measure noise levels at strategic locations along the existing flight path to understand what noise reduction has been achieved compared with previous months. If successful, LLA says it will work with its airline partners to make this a standard procedure whenever it is safe to do so.

The airport received 87 complaints from 56 Stevenage residents during 2016.

LLA is currently investing more than £110 million to transform the airport and increase capacity from 12 million to 18 million passengers per year by 2020.

Campaigners remain concerned the expansion will simply add to noise creation and there is also concern about environmental impact.

For more information, visit www.london-luton.co.uk/corporate/community/noise.

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