Aircraft noise

People all around Luton Airport are reporting many more flights coming one after the other, noisier aircraft, and being kept awake at night by planes. Complaints have risen dramatically since permission to double the airport’s capacity was granted by its owner Luton Borough Council in 2013. These graphs show just how fast it’s getting worse.

Luton Airport told us in 2014 that there would be 124,000 flights during 2017, but in fact there were 135,000 – largely because Luton Borough Council incentivised them to grow faster than predicted in order to make more money.


The increase in flights has not been fairly distributed: the westerly “RNAV” route which deliberately bends south-west over Pepperstock and Slip End, between Markyate and Flamstead, past Redbourn, over Childwickbury and Redbournbury, between South Harpenden and North St Albans before flying directly over Sandridge, has seen a massive 87% increase in aircraft since 2013 – and reduction in altitude past Redbourn.


We were promised quieter aircraft to counteract the noise of additional flights – but now larger and noisier aircraft like the Airbus A321 are being used in place of smaller and quieter A319s so as to cram in more passengers. A handful of A320neo (new engine option) planes are now used, but they do not offset the huge increase in flights.

The number of night flights has more the doubled since 2013. There are no government restrictions on night flights from Luton Airport – it has a 24 hour license. During the night, noisy cargo planes fly to and from Turkey for example.

To find out how you can make your voice heard, see our Complaints page