Farnborough Airport complaints exceed 400By Tim Harris
January 21, 2013
MORE than 400 complaints have been made to Farnborough Airport during the last two years from people living around the area, new figures have shown.
The 402 complaints to TAG Farnborough Airport were lodged in 2011 and 2012, as residents voiced their concerns about the airport.
The figures, released by Rushmoor Borough Council, revealed the nature of the complaints included problems with noisy, low aircraft, planes apparently not flying on their correct paths and ground noise.
It is also clear the majority of complaints do not come from those in Farnborough itself, but instead the areas nearby. The figures showed more than 100 complaints were registered from each of Fleet and Church Crookham across the two year period while around 50 came from Farnborough.
Complaints were also made from Mytchett, Farnham, Ash Vale, Aldershot, Dogmersfield, Deepcut, Frimley Green and Guildford.
Roger Hunter, 72, of Denning Close, Fleet, said: “We have been subjected to noise many times because the aircraft are flying so low. It is quite unacceptable that they do that. The aircraft come thundering across the top of the house very low. In the summer you can be sitting in the garden and they go over. I find it very frustrating that there is nothing that can seem to be done about it.”
Fifty-year-old Graham Butler, of Malthouse Close, in Church Crookham, added: “I have complained on many occasions, but I think the level of complaints is only the tip of the iceberg.”
Hart District councillor Jenny Radley confirmed she lives under the flight path and said her ‘quality of life’ is affected.
“Clearly residents are concerned by aircraft flying over,” she said. “There is something about aircraft flying over your garden that is quite disturbing. They are frustrated by the flights.”
The figures show the number of complaints decreased last year. In 2011 there were 264 complaints made to Farnbor-ough Airport, but this number fell to 138 in 2012.
However, Geoff Marks, chairman of the Farnborough Airport Residents’ Association, said this might simply be a result of residents ‘tiring’ of complaining.
Mr Marks said: “One cannot place too much weight on the fact that the number of complaints has dropped. I do not think it shows that the number of people who are annoyed has gone down.
“Those who do complain find the answer unsatisfactory, there is no positive outcome from their complaint. People find that there is little outcome.”
Mr Hunter added: “With the complaints you are bashing your head against a brick wall, I think most people find.”
Miles Thomas, environment manager for TAG Farnborough Airport, insisted measures are in place to minimise noise around the airport.
“We understand that noise is an important concern for the local community and we welcome the decrease in annual complaints,” said Mr Thomas.
“We are committed to minimising noise. Only this month, we introduced a new measure to manage noise, by banning jet aircraft which do not meet the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s most stringent and quietest classification for jet aircraft.
“We know there is still work to be done and we will continue to consult our neighbours and experts on this important issue to identify ways of improving the noise environment around the airport.”