Airport plans route change to minimise noise

London Luton Airport may force pilots to stick to a new flightpath– following noise complaints from residents in St Albans and neighbouring villages.
Luton Airport is proposing changes to its runway 26 flight pathLuton Airport is proposing changes to its runway 26 flight path
Luton Airport is proposing changes to its runway 26 flight path

Currently planes departing from runway 26 are deviating from their noise preferential route, with the airport admitting the problem causes “overflying in densely populated northern parts of Hemel Hempstead and St. Albans.”

This route accounts for approximately 40 per cent of all flights departing from the airport– amounting to 60-70 flights per day for 70 per cent of the year.

Following trials between March and June last year London Luton has unveiled proposals to reduce the width of the route from 3km to 2km, while also increasing the height plane fly at from 4,000ft to 3,000ft.

Proposals would not influence or change the number of aircraft able to use the route or the airport, but London Luton hopes it will mean a 77 per cent reduction in the amount of residents overflown in south Luton, Slip End, Flamstead, Hemel Hempstead, Redbourn and St. Albans.

Trials showed that a reduction in noise by four decibels was possible in Hemel Hempstead, while reductions in aircraft movement could save 290 tonnes of fuel (worth £250,000) and 885 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.

The report reads: “The rationale behind the proposed change is purely based upon environmental improvement, particularly with regards to a reduction in the number of people overflown.

“The economic benefit in terms of the fuel saved is of lower consequence, although not immaterial.”

To make the altered runway 26 flight path possible, London Luton has suggested that navigation technology should be introduced to get pliots closer to the route centreline.

London Luton has now opened a consultation on the proposal, which will run until July 9. Final plans will need to be agreed by the Civil Aviation Authority

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