Stevenage aircraft noise: Luton airport extends delayed landing gear trials

London Luton airport has announced it is continuing its late landing gear trial to reduce noise. Pic

London Luton airport has announced it is continuing its late landing gear trial to reduce noise. Picture: London Luton Airport. - Credit: Archant

Aeroplanes passing over Stevenage on their way into London Luton Airport will continue to delay lowering their landing gear as part of an extended trial to reduce noise over the town.

LLA began the trial between May and June this year, with more than three quarters of aircraft delaying their landing gear deployment – which the airport says cuts down drag and reduces noise.

The trial came after discussions between the airport, Stevenage residents, town MP Stephen McPartland and Stevenage Borough Council.

Over the trial period, the airport says average noise from aircraft reduced by 2.7dB at six nautical miles and 3.4dB at seven nautical miles from the airport, meaning noise on the ground was reduced by an average of 50 per cent.

As a result, it says communities reported a noticeable reduction in noise and have asked the airport to continue running the trial.

Mr McPartland has applauded the extension.

He said: “I would like to congratulate London Luton Airport on their efforts to reduce the impacts of aircraft noise for those living below the flightpath in Stevenage.

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“I am extremely encouraged by the work they have put into this trial, but will continue to lobby the airport to ensure they do all they can to minimise the impacts and maximise the benefits of the airport on my constituents.”

Councillor John Gardner, executive member for environment and regeneration at SBC, said: “The council has been an active member of the London Luton Airport Consultative for a number of years and we thank them for holding a special Aircraft Noise Surgery for Stevenage residents earlier this year.

“We welcome the results of the landing gear trail reducing noise levels and will continue to talk to the Airport authorities and central government as we are aware that this is a problem for Stevenage residents.

“We recognise the important economic benefits of Luton Airport, but it is vital that Airport management continue to listen to the concerns of those that live on the flight paths and use the latest technologies and innovation to reduce the impact of noise. We will be meeting with Luton Borough Council to discuss the issues raised by the growth plans for Luton Airport as we hope the positive measures the airport has taken will not be lost as the number of flights increases.”

LLA has revised its arrival code of practice to include recommendations to delay the deployment of landing gear. Three airline operators have also amended their standard operating practices to include the recommendations.

LLA continues to work with the airlines and aircraft operators which did not take part in the trial to encourage them to delay deployment of landing gear where possible.

Luton Airpot operations director Neil Thompson said: “The trial is just one part of our commitment to reducing noise, and we’re working hard to ensure more of our airline partners adopt this initiative.

“The 50 per cent noise reduction and positive feedback from local communities has been great to see. “

“Noise is an unavoidable part of running an airport, and our aim is to work constructively with local communities and our partners to strike the right balance between minimising the impact of this noise while maximising the benefits of a successful airport to the communities it supports,” he added.