Yesterday in Parliament, Anne Main MP held a meeting with Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg and several of her constituents about Luton airport noise. Anne was also joined at the meeting by Bim Afolami MP and some of his constituents from Hitchin and Harpenden.
Anne arranged the meeting on behalf of a number of her constituents who are adversely impacted by the RNAV flight path from Luton which was introduced in 2015. RNAV was designed to concentrate all departing aircraft over a much smaller area during ascent than before. The flight path runs close to the border between St Albans and Hitchin and Harpenden constituencies.
The meeting focused on the RNAV route and the current delay in the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) review of that flight path. The group also discussed with the Minister the impact of Heathrow overflying, which is a growing problem for many across St Albans. Mrs Main spoke of her concern at the proposal for two additional routes that could impact her constituents in St Albans under the future plans for Heathrow’s flight paths as it expands and builds a new runway.
Mrs Main said after the meeting, “It was crucial that we held this meeting for so many of my constituents who are so severely impacted by Luton overflying. Many in north St Albans are forced to endure almost endless noise and disturbance from these planes and they have rightly felt that the airport and the government have not been listening to their concerns.
“I have been the MP for St Albans for almost 14 years. Luton noise has only become a real problem in the last couple of years. This was since the RNAV route came in and planes were concentrated over a small number of people in what many rightly describe as a ‘stiletto effect’. Many people who bought their homes in north St Albans did so without having any idea that they would so be under an extremely noisy flight path.
“I was grateful that the Minister took the meeting and I was very pleased with how engaged and knowledgeable she was. I certainly got the feeling that she understood the concerns we have and I hope this will feed into future decision making by the Department for Transport.
“We must do everything we can to provide respite and help as soon as possible to people under the flight path. Looking to the future, we have to see airspace change that will reduce noise and pollution. We cannot continue imposing onto people living 20 miles. Persistent aircraft noise has had an enormous impact on many people’s quality of life and mental health.”
The Minister will provide a written response to attendees of the meeting in the coming weeks.