Airport bosses to look at 'respite route' for flights.
AIRPORT bosses have confirmed they are looking into the possibility of a plane "respite route" after noise complaints from fed-up Tyne Valley residents.
The Aircraft Noise Action Group (ANAG) has launched a website calling for Newcastle International Airport to "cut down the noise and be a better neighbour".
The group, made up of residents from Heddon-on-the-Wall, Clara Vale and Throckley, says that since April last year the airport has been using satellite technology to fly planes down a "very narrow route" instead of dispersing them across a wide area.
They claim this means that the noise impact is no longer shared and "communities under the flight path get no respite".
The group's founder Roger Haydon, from Clara Vale, said: "We support the airport, it's very important for the region and it brings huge benefits.
"But whereas before the noise was shared all over, now lots of residents are experiencing a big increase and I don't think that's reasonable."
Retired NHS manager Roger, 71, added: "This morning I was woken up at about 5.30am by an aircraft going over, and then another one three minutes after that, then another one five minutes after that.
"It's really bad at this time of year because of holiday season. The flights are full and as the air gets warm they don't climb as well, they have to work harder.
"If I'm outside having a conversation I have to stop talking while they go over, it's that noisy."
The group is calling for the airport to look at ways of "dispersing the aircraft" again.
But an airport spokesperson has said that this would simply increase the number of people affected by the noise.
They have, however, appointed a consultant to look into the possibility of a "respite route", although this could take several years.
The airport's planning and corporate affairs director, Graeme Mason, said: "It is the aim of the airport to be a good neighbour and to minimise the effects of its operations on the local community. We have listened carefully to the concerns of the members of ANAG and we are continuing a constructive dialogue with them.
"The concern of this group of residents relates to a Standard Instrument Departure route (SID) which passes over the Heddon, Throckley and Clara Vale areas. Aircraft have flown through this corridor for many years, and the implementation of the SID effectively formalises the route.
"A consultation was carried out a number of years ago on this and we are pleased that ANAG has published a letter from the Civil Aviation Authority confirming that this consultation was carried out correctly. "ANAG has requested that alternative flight routings are looked into. In response to this, the airport has appointed a consultant to advise on whether an alternative 'respite' route might be possible.
"This advice has been provided but now further work is being carried out in respect of noise, emissions and overall route viability. If a viable route is identified, any route must go through a formal Airspace Change Proposal consultation, which can take a number of years to complete.
"We have discussed with ANAG its request that flights are simply spread out over a wider area, but have pointed out that this would not be in line with national policy, and would significantly increase the number of people affected by noise."
Newcastle International Airport
A plane lands at Newcastle Airport. Nearby residents living under the regular flight path to and from the airport are unhappy with noise levels