Wake-up call on jet noise

Central Leader - - NEWS -

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 edeb@snl.co.nz.

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