As people become more aware of the negative effects of noise, complaints rise. For those living near airports, noise is something that cannot be ignored. Here we look at how London City Airport is tackling the situation.
Since 2016, London City Airport has seen an increase in complaints from residents regarding noise pollution – believed to be down to the launch of concentrated flight paths in February of that year.
In response, the Royal Docks-based airport has launched a ‘penalty and incentive’ scheme which aims to fine airlines for breaching noise limits. They will also name and shame the planes online.
In the flightpath
Following hundreds of residents’ complaints who claim that the changes caused an increase in noise pollution, the airport is fining airlines £600 per rule-breaking flight.
Tessa Simpson, environment manager at the airport told the London Assembly at the beginning of November: “We have set noise levels that are some of the most stringent in the country. If they exceed those, we fine them a certain amount.
“That money then gets put into a community fund and that’s shared amongst community projects”.
Restricted by planning laws, the airport can only operate at certain times and have an eight-hour closure overnight. To minimise noise impact, planes also have to fly in at a specific angle.
Liam McKay, director of corporate affairs, said the community fund would launch in a few weeks and be given to groups living under the flight paths.
When asked if there had been an increase in complaints as a result of the introduction of the concentrated flight paths, he said: “In 2016, it’s fair to say that complaints spiked. I believe last year we had less than one complaint per day.
“We finished on around 320 noise complaints and [in the] year to date I think we’re tracking 390 – so an increase. But for context I believe there is a number from a single resident.”
He added that the airport was “determined to minimise the effects of our operation on local communities”.
Jeanette Arnold, Assembly Member for Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest said residents has “constant noise” and have “every right to be persistent”.
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