Luton Airport Expansion Debate

9th January 2018

Anne Main MP has said in a debate in parliament that the proposed Luton airport expansion must not go ahead, ‘if strong protections against further noise pollution are not deliverable and guaranteed.’ 

In the first week back after Christmas recess, the St Albans MP was keen to speak on behalf of residents across north St Albans who have been affected by aircraft noise. Anne said that there had been, ‘150% increase in complaints since the RNAV—area navigation—route was introduced in August 2015,’ and that this change alone, ‘has concentrated the pain of noise felt by residents across the affected district.’

Mrs Main heavily criticised the way that noise levels were measured.  In their most recent noise report, Luton airport measured the average noise level during a 16-hour day to be 47dB, which equates to something between a quiet office and a bedroom.  Anne railed against this metric, claiming that:

‘Standing in my constituents’ gardens, that is not the experience of the residents. An average over a 16-hour day was given when noise can be felt in different ways. At 6 o’clock in the morning I am aware of the noise far more than at 10 o’clock in the morning when my washing machine and dishwasher are going. So the average masks the true life experience of residents and it is bogus.’

The St Albans MP also paid tribute to the local pressure group, STAQs (St Albans Quieter Skies), for their work on this area – a group with which Anne is in constant contact – and said that her, ‘constituents need to know that something will be done as soon as possible.’

‘I want the Government to step in and take a keen and active interest in the future development of this airport. Residents who have had the noise monitoring kit cannot accept that 47 decibels is a true reflection of the interruption in their lives, their sleep patterns, and enjoyment of their own gardens. I therefore ask the Minister to take a real interest in this issue and listen to what residents say.’

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