Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley has called on London Luton Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority, and the National Air Traffic Service to review the flight path and noise disturbance over the Sandridge and Jersey Farm areas of the constituency.

    Peter Lilley said: “It is important to establish why residents of Sandridge and Jersey Farm have experienced increased disturbance from aircraft in recent months. The new flight paths introduced last year were intended to restrict aircraft taking off from Luton to a narrower path, over largely uninhabited areas, affecting fewer homes.  This was made possible by improved GPS navigation systems in planes meaning that they can stick to the designated flight path with greater accuracy. It was assumed that once planes reached 4,000ft, which they should before they reach Sandridge and Jersey Farm, they would cause minimal disturbance to people below the flight path. However, many constituents in Sandridge and Jersey Farm feel that there has been a marked change in noise levels in recent months.  Moreover, they feel there was little consultation of residents in those areas prior to introducing the new flight paths.  The two settlements were not included in overflown figures in the Consultation Environmental Report." 

    "I have taken up these issues with London Luton Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority, and the National Air Traffic Service who ascribe the increased perception of noise to the general growth of traffic, not the change in route, deviations from it, or – with a handful of exceptions – low flying planes.  However, I have called on them to undertake objective measurements of noise in these residential areas rather than just assuming planes above 4,000 feet do not cause disturbance.  And they should review the flight path to see whether it can be ‘tweaked’ to reduce disturbance over built up areas to the East of the railway line.”  

    "In the long run the best outcome might well be a complete rerouting of planes over the less populated areas west of St Albans since planes would then be able to reach a high altitude far earlier as they would not have to embark on a large anticlockwise turn which slows their ascent.  I shall continue to press Ministers and NATS to work on this option. But in the meantime it is important to investigate all possible means of diminishing disturbance to Sandridge and Jersey Farm residents." 

    Peter said: “Luton Airport tell me that they are planning a consultative meeting involving NATS, parish councils and community groups on 4th October. This will be followed by a public meeting, probably in Sandridge, at a later date. Details will be released nearer the time.