Airport agrees to triple-glaze 800 flightpath homes
GLASGOW Airport is to pay out up to £8 million over the next five years to help with noise insulation costs for around 800 homes close to its runway.
The assistance packages – estimated at around £10,000 per home – will be used to fund triple glazing and loft insulation.
The move follows recent studies which showed aircraft noise levels experienced at night by residents in some areas exceeded substantially the safe levels approved by the World Health Organisation – but were still not high enough to allow properties to qualify for compensation.
However, the airport’s owner, AGS Airports, agreed to reduce the qualifying level for support to homes experiencing excessive noise, from 66 decibels to 63.
The effort to improve the quality of life, particularly in Whitecrook, Clydebank, where the worst levels were recorded, has been driven by its Nationalist MSP, Gil Paterson.
As part of a social experiment, Mr Paterson pumped more than £3,000 of his own money into work carried out on one of his constituent’s homes, funding a tripleglazing unit and loft insulation.
Before the work was carried out, noise levels in the bedroom reached the new 63 decibels qualifying level. The addition of loft insulation reduced the level to 50 decibels, and replacing double-glazing with triple-glazing further reduced the levels to 45 decibels. A sound-check outside recorded 84 decibels.
Mr Paterson said: ‘I thought this was incredibly important to improve the quality of life in a community that is one of the poorest in Scotland. It’s internationally recognised that sleep deprivation has a knock-on effect of additional ill health in communities. The risk of strokes, heart disease and cardiovascular disease is up to 30 per cent greater in higher noise areas.
He added: ‘Some of the houses are practically at the end of the runway. When a plane is coming in to land, it’s so close you feel as though you could reach out and touch it. I was fortunate that I was able to afford to put my own money into this research.’
He was assisted by sound engineer Ruben McLean, who gave his services for free to test noise levels. Mr Paterson said: ‘I’m incredibly grateful to the couple that allowed me to use their home, to Ruben McLean for putting me right on everything to do with sound, and to the locals who supported our efforts.
‘I also want to give AGS credit for reducing the noise level.’
Mr Paterson’s personal intervention was prompted because the Scottish Government has virtually no powers in the operation of airports in Scotland, as these are reserved by Westminster.
‘Improve the quality of life in the community’