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Aircraft Noise Pollution (Holywell)

Volume 566: debated on Tuesday 16 July 2013

The Petition of residents of Pen Y Maes Road, Holwell, Flintshire,

Declares that the petitioners are opposed to noise pollution from low flying commercial jet planes, especially Easyjet, going to and from John Lennon Airport, Liverpool. John Lennon Airport changed their flight paths without consultation with any authorities in North Wales, and this has had a big impact on the environment in Holywell. Holywell has a population of over 6,000. It is the Lourdes of Wales with its Holy waters and attracts over 30,000 visitors a year. Holywell also has a large Community Hospital with elderly inpatients, and the aircraft noise can be heard from within the hospital.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons examines changing the flight paths to avoid Holywell, and so resume our peace and quiet.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr David Hanson, Official Report, 18 June 2013; Vol. 564, c. 863 .]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:

The Aviation Policy Framework published in March 2013 sets out the Government’s overall policy on aviation noise which is,

“to limit and where possible, reduce the number of people in the UK significantly affected by aircraft noise”.

The Government recognise that noise is the primary concern of local communities near airports and that the routes used by the aircraft and the height at which they fly are two significant factors that affect the noise experienced by people on the ground. While the Government set the noise controls at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, other airports have powers to set noise controls, which should be agreed locally.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport has confirmed that there have been no significant changes to the arrival or departure routes in the last 10 years. Holywell is primarily overflown by aircraft approaching Liverpool John Lennon Airport from the west, which occurs approximately 30% of the time. For safety reasons aircraft are required to land into the wind, which in the UK is predominately from the west. One reason for an increase in over flight experienced by residents in Holywell recently could have been as a consequence of the usually long period of easterly winds earlier this year.

Changes to the UK airspace structure are overseen by the independent airspace regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which has responsibility for UK airspace as directed by Parliament in the Transport Act 2000 and the Civil Aviation (Air Navigation) Directions. When considering airspace change proposals the CAA takes into account guidance on environmental objectives issued to it by the Government and this includes the requirement to ensure adequate consultation is carried out when considering changes to UK airspace. The Department for Transport is currently carrying out a consultation on this guidance; the updated guidance reaffirms the need for local engagement when carrying out airspace changes.

The Government expect all airports to communicate openly and effectively with their local communities about the impact of their operations. The Department for Transport encourages the residents of Holywell to continue to engage with Liverpool John Lennon Airport on this issue, either directly or through the airport’s consultative committee.