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Previous entry: Night train

Wednesday, 29 March 2006
When the night closes in

daffodil

My apartment is about 15 kilometres (and 30 minutes drive) from East Midlands airport. This airport has special dispensation to allow freight planes to land at all hours of the day and night. Normally this doesn’t affect me, but ever so often night planes taking off in a Southerly direction fly at low altitude (below clouds) over my apartment.  In the wee hours of 7 March it was particularly bad and I phoned to complain.  The number to do so is 0871-919 9000.  There is the option of leaving a recorded message for them, as you will not get through to an operator.  If you do so you may wish to spell your surname, especially if you speak with a foreign accent. Two weeks and one day after my complaint I received a reply. It lists two planes which took off from the airport at about 12:30 am, both operated by the European Air Transport company.

Please be assured these aircraft were operating in accordance with all requirements.

At Nottingham East Midlands Airport the majority of aircraft flying at night operate in support of the express freight industry. These organisations operate a system of overnight delivery, typically for business customers and in order to fulfil the very exactign operational deadlines that are inherent with this type of operation, flying at night is essential. However we would wish to reassure you that in conjunction with our airline colleagues we will continue to bear down on all aspects of aircraft noise.

We are concious of the impact that aircraft noise can have and we have a very substantial programme of work in this area. Our amelioration measures in this area include:

  • The installation of a computerised system of noise and track monitoring
  • The introduction of substantially revised noise abatement procedures
  • The introduction of a night levy for ‘noisy’ aircraft
  • Discounts for day time cargo operations by large aircraft
  • The development and introduction of a noise penalty scheme for operations during the night time period

We believe that, in combination, these measures represent a substantial programme of work and reflect the very high priority that the Airport places on the control of aircraft noise. Having said this we do still need to hear your concerns if aircraft cause disturbance in the future.

Please accept the Airport’s apologies for the disturbance you have suffered.

Yours sincerely
Neil Robinson
Divisional Manager (Environment)

Last night I phoned to complain four or five times between the hours of 12:15 and 12:50 am.  I counted six planes at regular intervals and they all flew at low altitude over my apartment.  I will expect a reply again in about two weeks, but in any case I will probably respond to Mr Robinson’s letter and point out how vacuous it is.  It is the perfect model of a letter which wants to appear concerned but which does not commit to anything, and which does not advise me of my rights to pursue my complaint via escalation procedures. I was slightly suprised to read that the airport won recognition for its environmental measures, but then I noticed that there was no press release after the annual audit in October/November last year.  Why the silence I wonder.

Posted by bigblue on 29/03/2006 at 09:57 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

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