Flight path trials widen
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.