Luton airport: The airport has received a record number of noise complaints
The number of noise complaints made by residents living in close proximity to London Luton Airport have topped 15,000 in the last three years, up 800 per cent.
Figures released by the airport show it has issued penalties of £8,700 for breach of noise limits, as the airport takes reducing the impact of noise very seriously.
However, just 20 people were responsible for 72 per cent of complaints and almost half of complaints – 6,700 – came from the same five residents in Harpenden, according to an airport spokesman.
The airport is committed to reducing noise and even introduced a Noise Insulation Scheme in 2016.
We’re constantly working to minimise noise. One of the measures involved in reducing noise for our local communities is our Noise Insulation Scheme
London Luton Airport promises to spend £100,000 every year on noise insulation within the local community including the installation of double glazing and ventilation units for both residential and non-residential properties.
The airport’s website says: “We’re constantly working to minimise noise. One of the measures involved in reducing noise for our local communities is our Noise Insulation Scheme.
“The scheme covers both residential and non-residential properties. Depending on any existing insulation in the property, double glazing, secondary glazing and ventilation units can be provided”.
However, campaigners deny there have been any changes in noise reduction. Speaking to the BBC, Andrew Lambourne from Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise, commented: “People now hear all the flights even if they are no longer technically directly overhead; aircraft noise spreads out sideways.
“So no wonder people are complaining. We have not seen any changes which would reduce the hugely-increased noise burden.”
The Noise Insulation Scheme insulated 38 properties last year, with more planned for this year.
The airport is continuing to expand, with over one million passengers passing through the airport in January 2018, up 3.6 per cent from last year.
London’s fastest growing airport is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year and embarking on a new stage of redevelopment, as part of a £200 million expansion.
Luton Airport: The airport is in Bedfordshire, just north of London
However, this may not be welcomed by local residents in neighbouring Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, if noise levels can’t be kept to a minimum.
James Dontas, Flight Operations Manager at London Luton Airport, commented: “Noise is an unavoidable part of an airport’s operations.
“But as we continue to grow and more passengers choose to travel with us, we are committed to collaborating with the local community and using ongoing innovation to find new ways to reduce the impact of aircraft noise.
“We will keep working hard to be the best neighbour that we can be.”