Off-track aircraft


Your representative (Alan Elsegood) succeeded in getting an item about noise disturbance from overflying onto the Agenda for the Airport Consultative Committee meeting on 12 December.

To express the issue succinctly ... there is reason to believe that a higher proportion of flights are flying to the south of the authorised Noise Preferential Routing, mostly within the permitted 'swathe' but to the southern border of it, rather than to the centre-line, and this is resulting in more flights departing the swathe early and increasing the level of noise experienced over Menston, the implication being that if they start to fly to the southern boundary of the swathe as general practice, in effect they're re-drawing the whole NPR to the south and, thus, over Menston.

The complaint was not treated sympathetically. The airport management company denies the allegation that this is happening, and the airport management company are the only people who have access to flight-tracking radar and sound monitors which can provide authentic evidence - but their systems are 'down' at the present time, so there's no way of proving things one way or the other.

It has to be remembered that, of the 22 current members of the Consultative Committee, only Menston, Burley and Horsforth are significantly affected by potential overflying. Most of the other members don't have that experience and most (such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Town and County councils) are also keen to promote the commercial development of the airport to advance their own business prospects. There is also a strong lobby from the Friends of LBIA group, which fails to comprehend the concerns of Menston residents. The best we can hope for is that the current application (in preparation) to change the route of departing aircraft - onto a line running along and above the Burley Bypass to Ben Rhydding before making a turn - is approved by the Civil Aviation Authority. But that might be 2 years off, and other communities, such as Otley and Asquith, might express opposition, as they will start to get some of the noise which Menston now gets.

There was some good news in that Scandinavian Air Services has introduced flights direct from LBIA to Copenhagen on Monday and Friday of each week, and another airline (Eastern) will be taking over the routes recently given up by Flybe, to link LBIA with Southampton in addition to existing routes via Aberdeen. The next Consultative Committee meeting is to be held in March. If you have concerns about overflying and noise, you can complain via the online Complaints Form on the LBIA website, in writing or by telephone. You can also raise the issue at meetings of the MCA and the Neighbourhood Forum.

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