We believe the futureLuToN team provided misleading information to the public about aircraft noise trends during their earlier consultation on Luton Airport expansion. Data from the airport’s own Annual Reports shows that the noisiness of departing flights is increasing year on year, despite futureLuToN’s claims to the contrary. Steve Heappey, the public information display boards, and the futureLuToN website all appeared to have got this crucial information wrong.
futureLuToN claimed a quieter trend over time on their website and display boards:
Now look at the following graphs showing the percentage of departures from Luton Airport which are noisier than 76dbA, by day and night, from 2005 to 2010:
In 2005 only 8% of departing daytime flights were above 76dbA - by 2010 this had doubled to around 16%. At night, 10% were louder than 76dbA but this had doubled to 20% in 2010. These figures clearly show that the flights are getting noisier over time – and the raw data has been available in the public domain for years. Did they miss it?
Why the additional noise? The airport are struggling to explain it. We believe it’s caused by the changing mix to larger, heavier aircraft, plus the fact that the flights are going further so are carrying more fuel. The effect of this is completely the opposite to what futureLuToN had said. “As passenger numbers increase”, Steve Heappey said, ”bigger planes will be used so that double the passengers does not mean double the flights.” But the last 5 years have shown that bigger planes mean more noise, hence they are completely misleading us by claiming that the aircraft will be quieter.
The annual noise figures for departing flights from Luton Airport can be found here: Annual Reports 2005-2010. You can add up the number of flights that are louder than a chosen value and calculate the percentage of the total. To save you the trouble you can download the results here: Luton Airport Noise Trends. These graphs will show you the real trend behind their tables of data.
Does misinforming the public over a serious issue invalidate the consultation process ?
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