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Residents' anger as Government refuses to set limits on aircraft noise.

Environmentalists and residents living near Birmingham International Airport have rounded on the Government after it said it was impractical to set limits on aircraft noise.

Friends of the Earth said it was an abdication of responsibility with massive implications for house prices and the quality of life for residents.

The Aircraft Noise Monitoring Advisory Committee said it was impractical to set noise limits for arriving aircraft similar to those for aircraft taking off.

Instead, a report by the committee recommended a code of practice to reduce noise by promoting continuous descent approaches which reduce noise.

Friends of the Earth said this would not work and noise levels would continue to rise.

FoE coordinator Mr Brett Rehling said: "If people can keep to a voluntary code of practice why can't there be a set of regulations which are imposed to make sure?

"It is an abdication of responsibility by the Government to say noise levels cannot be reduced.

"Airlines and airports will only act right up to the limits, and if there is no compulsory limit for aircraft landing, the noise will get worse.

"If there is a voluntary code other arguments like costs will start soon start to take precedence over considerations like noise and pollution."

Mr Rehling said a new national airport policy was needed.

More controls were needed especially with the anticipated increase in aircraft using Birmingham International. He also called for a reduction in the number of flights, especially those at night.

Pensioner Mrs Mary Palmer, who has lived in nearby Marston Green for the last 40 years, also attacked the Government.

Mrs Palmer said: "When it is the holiday season the noise around here is terrible. During the summer we have to keep our windows closed and it is very difficult to sleep.

"There have been huge mounds of earth put up to absorb some of the noise, but they don't make a bit of difference.

"But money talks, and I think if it is up to the airports and the airlines then nothing will done."

An airport spokesman said: "We already participate actively with the rest of the industry to develop measures which reduce the impact of noise and will continue to do so. We would play our part in any code of practice."

By JOHN REVILL

Environmentalists and residents living near Birmingham International Airport have rounded on the Government after it said it was impractical to set limits on aircraft noise.

Friends of the Earth said it was an abdication of responsibility with massive implications for house prices and the quality of life for residents.

The Aircraft Noise Monitoring Advisory Committee said it was impractical to set noise limits for arriving aircraft similar to those for aircraft taking off.

Instead, a report by the committee recommended a code of practice to reduce noise by promoting continuous descent approaches which reduce noise.

Friends of the Earth said this would not work and noise levels would continue to rise.

FoE coordinator Mr Brett Rehling said: "If people can keep to a voluntary code of practice why can't there be a set of regulations which are imposed to make sure?

"It is an abdication of responsibility by the Government to say noise levels cannot be reduced.

"Airlines and airports will only act right up to the limits, and if there is no compulsory limit for aircraft landing, the noise will get worse.

"If there is a voluntary code other arguments like costs will start soon start to take precedence over considerations like noise and pollution."

Mr Rehling said a new national airport policy was needed.

More controls were needed especially with the anticipated increase in aircraft using Birmingham International. He also called for a reduction in the number of flights, especially those at night.

Pensioner Mrs Mary Palmer, who has lived in nearby Marston Green for the last 40 years, also attacked the Government.

Mrs Palmer said: "When it is the holiday season the noise around here is terrible. During the summer we have to keep our windows closed and it is very difficult to sleep.

"There have been huge mounds of earth put up to absorb some of the noise, but they don't make a bit of difference.

"But money talks, and I think if it is up to the airports and the airlines then nothing will done."

An airport spokesman said: "We already participate actively with the rest of the industry to develop measures which reduce the impact of noise and will continue to do so. We would play our part in any code of practice."
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Author:Revill, John
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 21, 2000
Words:761
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