Flight path tri­als widen

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By KA­RINA ABA­DIA

ROBIN Scott never used to no­tice the planes over­head.

That was be­fore the con­tro­ver­sial flight paths were in­tro­duced in Auck­land.

Three new paths – known as SMART Ap­proaches – were tri­alled by Air­ways New Zealand, Auck­land Air­port and the Board of Air­line Rep­re­sen­ta­tives New Zealand (BARNZ) over 2012 and 2013.

They were de­signed to al­low air­craft to burn less fuel, emit less car­bon diox­ide and fly more qui­etly.

The two north­ern paths were adopted on May 28 af­ter con­sul­ta­tion and the south­ern path is still be­ing used. A new north­ern SMART flight path will be tri­alled from Septem­ber 1 and in­ves­ti­ga­tions are be­ing made into a sec­ond south­ern flight path.

The Cen­tral Leader re­ceived com­plaints about noise from res­i­dents in One Tree Hill, Ep­som, Mt Roskill, One­hunga and Royal Oak dur­ing the trial stage.

Robin Scott, who lives in Mt Eden, says the dis­rup­tion has only got worse.

‘‘They are fly­ing lower here be­cause I’m closer to the curve of the flight path so my noise has in­creased since the paths were im­ple­mented. They are only do­ing it be­cause it’s sav­ing them and the air­lines money and they don’t care about the noise fac­tor un­der­neath.’’

Lorraine Clark, spokes­woman of the ac­tion group Auck­land The Plane Truth, says it isn’t just peo­ple near the air­port who are af­fected.

‘‘Ev­ery­where the flight paths go, they’re dis­turb­ing peo­ple. Peo­ple are ab­so­lutely irate all over Auck­land.’’

Michael An­drews of One Tree Hill says air­craft noise at night and at week­ends is still a nui­sance.

‘‘Some op­er­a­tors seem to be get­ting it right and you can barely hear them, but the ma­jor­ity are still pretty loud. Con­sul­ta­tion has been rub­bish. They just make prom­ises and not much seems to hap­pen.’’

Ep­som South res­i­dent Sarah Sco­bie says she is regularly wo­ken at night by jet air­craft noise.

‘‘This is­sue is not go­ing away. As more flight paths are tri­alled, fur­ther sec­tions of Auck­land will be af­fected, and anger will grow,’’ she says.

Auck­land Air­port spokesper­son Judy Ni­choll says al­most all of Auck­land ex­pe­ri­ences ‘‘over­flight’’ as there are more than 420 flights land­ing and de­part­ing ev­ery day.

‘‘At the con­clu­sion of the flight path trial which be­gins on 1 Septem­ber, a draft re­port will once again be pub­lished for public con­sul­ta­tion and feed­back,’’ she says.

Auck­land The Plane Truth air­craft noise cam­paign­ers Robin Scott of Mt Eden and Sarah Sco­bie of Ep­som South, in 2014.

A map of the new north­ern SMART Ap­proach flight path which will com­mence on Septem­ber 1.

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