Consumer groups from around the UK’s leading airports have formed the Aviation Communities Forum to lobby on aircraft noise and emissions.
A total of 37 airport community groups have come together to call for “tough regulations” on the aviation sector from the next government.
They are demanding “ambitious” targets for aircraft noise reduction to be set at every major UK airport.
Any growth in flight numbers conditional on achieving these Targets, according to the ACF.
“Successive governments have prioritised growth in flight numbers at the expense of the health and wider well-being of people impacted by aircraft noise and emissions. A new, balanced, aviation noise policy is essential,” the Forum said.
An aviation noise regulator should be appointed with powers to drive noise reduction.
However, if aviation noise cannot be brought below acceptable thresholds people should be fully compensated.
“More people are adversely affected by aircraft noise in the UK than in any other country in Europe,” the ACF said.
“In addition, the number of people in the UK seriously adversely impacted by aircraft noise has grown in recent years as the industry has concentrated flight paths often using new satellite navigation technology.
“The Department for Transport now accepts that aviation noise contributes to chronic health outcomes including heart attacks, strokes and dementia, and impacts child cognitive development.
“The interests of people living near airports and under flight paths must no longer be subservient to those of the aviation industry.
“Airspace modernisation, supported by the present government, is intended to achieve a 50% increase in flights using UK airports by 2030.
“There is no accompanying commitment to noise reductions. The impact on communities living near airports or under flight paths would be catastrophic.
“The next government needs to address each of the three points set out above if it is to create an environment in which airspace modernisation can be considered constructively.”
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