Wake-up call on jet noise
THE INVITATION: ‘‘Tell us about your problems with low flying aircraft.’’
And you did – from Epsom, Takapuna, Mellons Bay, Papatoetoe, Mt Roskill, Greenwoods Corner, Balmoral, Mangere Bridge among others – enough to spread over seven pages of this newspaper.
The strongest reaction on any topic in Suburban Newspapers in all the years I have written for them.
Thank you. Here’s a representative selection, most abridged. If your opinion hasn’t been referred to, its content has been noted: ‘‘It was fantastic to finally see a journalist willing to consult with the public and give them a voice.
‘‘We live in Remuera south and there are days when planes fly constantly overhead. I am always amazed they seem to have barely enough altitude to cross the Remuera Rd ridge.
‘‘They are low, accelerating, and the engine noise is a whine. If the weather is cloudy, the noise bounces around and is greater, sometimes sounding like noisy thunder.
‘‘The flights that affect us most are the flights in the early hours of the morning, often at 1am, 3am and 5am. To be woken on Good Friday several times felt like an insult. This often happens on Sundays too.
‘‘I don’t understand how the residents of Sydney can mobilise themselves to insist on a curfew, yet Aucklanders are living in a void.
‘‘The council isn’t saying anything. The airport authority isn’t saying anything. And if they do, it is to deny that any changes have occurred.
‘‘Aucklanders need a voice. The fact that this change was imposed on Aucklanders is appalling and deceitful.
‘‘That in itself should be enough to rile people, whether or not they are sensitive to noise, and whether or not the flight paths at the moment are over their houses.
‘‘Thanks for acknowledging that this is a real issue for people and could, in time, affect all of us.’’ – Kay Jacques
‘‘I live in Epsom and I am astonished by the change in my home environment over the last several months. Low, loud and slow jets above my home are a constant disruption and cause a great deal of worry.
‘‘I am gobsmacked that the changes made by airways are allowed and that this misery can be inflicted on rate-paying citizens.’’ – Jill Faulkner
‘‘There were nearly 40 noisy flights flying over our living area last weekend.
‘‘We have endured day and night flights out of Auckland airport regularly, this has seriously reduced the quality of our environment and affects our mental health.
‘‘We previously had not experienced airplanes flying over our houses before July this year, but nowadays the noisy airplanes were at their most intrusive over Eastern Auckland especially East Tamaki Heights and Dannemora.’’ – Name supplied
‘‘It’s also a problem over Takapuna where I live. Air NZ have a policy of not flying above 250 knots under 5000ft and their aircraft are monitored continuously to ensure pilots do not.
‘‘Other airlines do not and are flying at excessive speed and low level late at night causing significant unnecessary noise over residential areas.
‘‘Attached are screen shots showing a Virgin aircraft from Brisbane overhead at Takapuna after midnight going almost 600 kilometres per hour (588), and a Qantas aircraft from Brisbane at 11.30 at night going almost 700kmh (675).
‘‘There is no sensible reason for aircraft to be travelling at such high speeds low levels and high rates of descent over residential areas late at night.
‘‘Neither Qantas or Virgin have responded to com- plaints regarding their high speed low level night flying demonstrating a cavalier and irresponsible attitude.
‘‘Clearly, it will take public pressure to modify their behaviour.
‘‘A useful free add-on for smartphones (also available as a free website for use on a computer) called Flight radar 24, flightradar24.com, will allow anyone to monitor flights and see what speeds and heights are being flown with full details about the route, airline and aircraft registration.
‘‘A simple screen shot will capture the data and people can then keep detailed records to monitor airline bad behaviour in their vicinity.’’ – John O’Hara, Takapuna
‘‘I live in Balmoral and, although it is not as bad here as in Royal Oak, it is still infuriating. During the trials, last year the planes flew so low sometimes that the house shook and you could read Emirates on the side of the plane.
‘‘I was so annoyed that I went to the first protest meeting of my life (I’m 66). The airport lady said that once the trial was over last year, things would return to the way they were before. I have letters from the airport saying this too.
‘‘But, although the house no longer shakes when a plane flies over, things have not returned to the peace and quiet we had before the trial.’’ – Bryony Jagger
‘‘I am an ex-Air NZ aircraft engineer. The market- ing/public relations information regarding the noise is basically flawed and this has been backed up by a pilot. I am also half deaf and a heavy sleeper that used to work at the airport.
‘‘So you would think it wouldn’t bother me since I would be used to aircraft noise. But these planes wake me up as well.’’ – Peter Mather, Howick
‘‘As an architect I am aware that houses in the old flight path were required to have roof and glazing insulation to mitigate aircraft noise. If the flight path is changed, have they costed in for retrofitting affected properties set against time and fuel savings?
‘‘If not why not?’’ – Barrie Paterson, registered architect, Three Kings/Mt Roskill
‘‘We live in St Andrews Rd, Epsom. When my husband got home from an overseas trip, which he does very regularly, he told me that for the first time they had flown directly over our house and he could make it out very clearly.
‘‘With our neighbours, we are annoyed that this change to air pollution has apparently been allowed by the council. Any change of this magnitude should have been put out for resource consent. I know we are deemed to be whingers, but this directly affects our property values to decrease the costs of the airlines so they can get a more efficient landing regime.’’ – Raa Austin
‘‘With this new flight path over central Auckland we are now woken every night with international flight arrivals and departures (particularly incoming around midnight – from Australia) flying low over our area (with landing gear or wing flaps engaged).
‘‘There’s been no consultation over this trial in place or extending it from its original end date of November 2013. Every airline is now using this ‘shortcut’ route, it’s a bloody outrage. If we wanted to live next to an airport we would.’’ – Andrew and Amanda Jones, Aldred Rd, Remuera
‘‘To be blatantly honest with you Pat, I have never heard and read so much poppy cock regarding the ‘terrible, deafening, shocking’ noise from the arriving and departing planes over the Royal Oak flight path.
‘‘I live in Greenwoods Corner and see and hear these wonderful aircraft coming and going daily. They never cease to amaze me and it seems to me that the bigger they get, the quieter they are. Most of them merely whisper when directly overhead.
‘‘This consistent moaning and berating the flight paths makes me feel very sorry for the people who are doing the complaining.
‘‘Haven’t they got anything else to do with their time? Do they purposely sit and wait for the next plane to appear so that they can berate the arrival? I say to all of them; bah, humbug! Get a life.’’ – Cath Masters
Flying low?: It seems Aucklanders have plenty to say about air traffic over suburbia – what do you think? Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.