Ms Carolyn McCall OBE BA Kent
Chief Executive Officer TN11 8DF
London Luton Airport
Dear Ms McCall,
Over the years our community has suffered an alarming increase in the number of aircraft causing a nuisance through noise and disruptive night time flights. For the most part residents have made little complaint considering the disruption to their sleep patterns and the interference to the quiet enjoyment of their properties and the surrounding environment which encompasses the High Weald, recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
One nuisance that has been formally raised at out Parish Meeting and which we should not have to endure is the disturbing high pitched whine emitted from the Airbus A319/320/321 series of aircraft built before May this year of which we believe you have the largest fleet in the United Kingdom. There is no respite from this nuisance day or night even with windows closed and seriously affects the rights of people to enjoy their property peacefully and impacts on tourism in our area. We understand from the Civil Aviation Authority that the frequency of the sound is around Hz500-600 which they confirm is close to the peak sensitivity of the human ear. We also understand that this nuisance can be mitigated by the installation of vortex generators which are fixed ahead of the FOPP cavities and these are actually manufactured in the UK.
Irrespective of the fact that we believe from May this year all new Airbus A320 variants now have this design fault diminished by modifications on the production line we would earnestly request that you introduce these changes to your own fleet as soon as possible. This will not only bring relief to rural areas across the whole country where the ambient noise level is 10dBA lower than in built-up areas but relief to towns and cities where even in public parks and gardens the persistent whine of this type of aircraft and its variants is heard. There is no refuge.
Lufthansa and Air France have agreed to the modifications of their existing fleets to reduce the impact of this nuisance acknowledging that it is their duty of social responsibility in helping to substantially moderate this annoyance on the people they fly over. Will easyJet please do the same?
John Cass, Chairman, Penshurst Parish Council
Starting in summer 2014, Air France will progressively equip all its aircraft in the Airbus A320* family (A318, A319, A320 and A321) with noise reduction kit.This new equipment will lower by up to 8 decibels the noise generated by these aircraft during the descent and aircraft approach phases, starting from 40km and up to 12km from the runway. The upgrades to all the aircraft will begin in June 2014 and should be completed before end-2015.
Noise is one of the priority stakes in our environmental policy. With this new investment, Air France illustrates its determination to pursue the improvements made in this area and meet the high expectations of local residents living in the vicinity of airports, in France and abroad" stated Bertrand Lebel, Executive Vice President Organization and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Noi*130 aircraft at end-2013