Airport operator quizzed over increased noise

The Luton Airport operators appeared before the St Albans District Council scrutiny committee on Wed 17th May 2017 to be quizzed over the increasing noise impact of flights since the introduction of RNAV navigation technology.

LADACAN gave a presentation on behalf of residents highlighting the factors which have increased perception of noise on the ground:

  • 50% more planes in 2 years
  • More noisier aircraft in the mix
  • Concentration of noise

We showed that the reason RNAV has sensitised people to noise is because it makes all the aircraft passing between Harpenden and St Albans sound similarly loud, whereas previously the more distant planes in a wider random spread were probably likely to be out of sight and not able to be heard.

In response, the airport operators described plans to raise aircraft to higher altitude and to consult on new routes which would take a proportion of the aircraft to the west and north rather than to the south after takeoff. Both these measures would do something to redress the balance of noise impact, but unfortunately due to the slow regulatory process we are advised that neither will take place in much less than 3 years.