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Southend Airport dismissed 1,500 complaints
SOUTHEND Airport claims none of the 1,500 complaints it received this summer were upheld.
The airport received 1,579 complaints between June and October from as far away as Chelmsford and the isle of Sheppey, but none revealed a breach of controls on flights.
Managing director Alastair Welch said: “If someone is saying there’s an aircraft which was noisy, I’m not saying it wasn’t noisy, but in terms of whether there was any aircraft action that we shouldn’t have done, then I don’t think that was the case.
“I’m not aware of any specific complaints which revealed any non-compliance.”
Complaints dropped from a high of 443 in June to a low of 184 in September after the council’s airport consultative a committee agreed it could discount those from individuals who had made more than 100 complaints over the previous three months.
Six people have been written to about such “vexatious” complainants.
The 272 complaints in October included 120 from a Hadleigh resident, 90 of which related to aircraft using London City Airport.
The airport recorded seven flights in which planes left agreed flight paths, known as noise preferential routes, without instruction from air traffic control for reasons of safety between August and September.
Less than 0.2 per cent of flights leave the NPR and about half of these are instructed by ATC to do so.
Despite agreed to keep night flights over Leigh to an “absolute minimum”, the airport admitted that a fifth of the 120 a month allowed took the southwest route between May and July. The figure dropped to a tenth between August and September.
Explaining the figures at the first meeting of the council’s airport monitoring working party on Thursday evening, Mr Welch said: “If there is a wind over a dangerous level the aircraft will have to take off into the wind. The number of aircraft taking off over Southend is significantly lower than before the runway was extended.”
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