21st August 2023
HAVE YOUR SAY ON AIRPORT NOISE
Stansted Airport is currently consulting on its Noise Action Plan (‘NAP’) for the next five years. Members of the public are free to comment either on the airport’s proposals or by simply putting forward their own proposals for reducing the noise impacts of Stansted Airport.
Stansted Airport Watch (‘SAW’) strongly encourages local residents, parish and town councils and others to have their say on the draft Stansted NAP, but time is short because the consultation closes at midnight on Monday 28 August 2023.
All major UK airports have a legal duty to produce noise action plans every five years and to consult the public about their proposals for limiting the noise impacts of their operations.
After reviewing the noise reduction proposals put forward by Stansted Airport for consultation, SAW Noise Adviser Martin Peachey commented:
“My main criticism of Stansted Airport’s proposed NAP is that it lacks ambition. It contains 50 so-called “actions” but these are generally of a minor issue and many are quite meaningless. All too often STAL only gives a commitment “to consider”, “to review”, “to monitor” or “to discuss”, and so on. The commitments need to be much more meaningful and more ambitious.”
SAW believes that if Stansted Airport genuinely wants to bring about a significant reduction in community annoyance from noise, it should commit to:
- Phase out all night flights over the five-year period of the plan (bearing in mind that Stansted has more than twice as many night flights as Heathrow);
- Ban the use of reverse thrust, i.e., putting engines into reverse to increase braking on landing. This is very noisy and totally unnecessary with Stansted’s two-mile runway;
- Immediately ban the noisiest (QC4) aircraft – day and night – as proposed by the Government in 2021 and opposed by Stansted’s owners, Manchester Airports Group;
- Immediately double the fines on airlines for breaches of noise limits and not adhering to designated flight tracks, then double the fines again during the five-year plan;
- Give a clear commitment to reduce, each year for the next five years, the number of households adversely affected by aircraft noise – for all the airport noise contours;
- Publish quantified measurable noise reduction targets with timescales, such as noise contour reduction percentages using a range of metrics.
Martin Peachey continued: “It’s profoundly disappointing that STAL has not taken this opportunity, which only arises once every five years, to commit itself to making fundamental improvements to reduce the noise impact of its operations on local residents.”
Martin added: “We can only hope that STAL will be prepared to improve upon its current proposals in the light of comments it receives during this consultation period. I would strongly encourage local residents to have their say, and to do so as soon as possible because time is short.”
The consultation document is via: https://assets.live.dxp.maginfrastructure.com/f/73114/x/8cd1d817e9/london-stansted-airport-draft-noise-action-plan-2024-2028-1.pdf. Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, marking your email ‘Noise Action Plan Consultation’.
- The EU Noise Directive: https://environment.ec.europa.eu/topics/noise/environmental-noise-directive_en has been incorporated into English law and places a statutory duty upon all major airports to produce a Noise Action Plan every five years with the objective: “to avoid, prevent or reduce the harmful effects of exposure to environmental noise”.