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Overflown communities demand government action to reduce aircraft noise

22nd May, 2017

With the General Election less than one month away, nearly 40 community groups representing hundreds of thousands of people, including many AEF members, today delivered a statement to Number 10 warning the next government that it must prioritise introducing tougher regulation to deal with the adverse impacts of aircraft noise.

Charles Lloyd of the Aviation Communities Forum, who co-ordinated the statement, said:

Anyone who lives near an airport expects some noise. But the changes caused by new concentrated routes – motorways in the sky – and the growth in flight numbers are having unacceptable affects on people’s lives, up and down the country.

For far too long the aviation industry has been unaccountable and able to do virtually what it wants in the skies.  The industry has little interest in its impact on people on the ground and there’s no proper regulation to hold it to account. The Government’s hands-off attitude needs to change: communities near airports and under flight paths are no longer willing to be ignored.

Frustration is reaching a boiling point: people can’t sue the industry because its exempt from noise laws, there’s no noise regulator to turn to, the industry plays pass-the-parcel if you try to get things changed and they don’t even have to pay compensation if they destroy your health or the value of your house.

Despite the election, the government consultation on the design and use of airspace policy, which makes no pretence of its ambition to ‘upgrade’ UK airspace in order to ‘unlock the national and social economic benefits which a thriving aviation sector offers’, remains open until the 25th May.

Today’s community statement calls on the next government to:

  1. Set ambitious noise reduction targets. These should be in line with those recommended by WHO. Any growth in flight numbers should be conditional on the achievement of these targets.
  2. Create a regulatory body that will require and enforce achievement of these policy goals.
  3. Provide full compensation in the cases where aviation noise cannot be brought within acceptable thresholds, in line with the polluter pays principle.

A full copy of the statement can be read here.