Fears of new flight paths spark another petition

JOE DAWSON
Last updated 05:00 19/07/2013

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Another community is taking up the cudgels against proposed changes to the flight paths in and out of Auckland International Airport.

Airport and airspace manager Airways is trialling new, more direct approaches to the airport in an effort to reduce fuel use and carbon emissions, (Central Leader, May 3).

An online information sheet on the changes says the tracks of the new approaches to the airport are designed to maximise highly accurate satellite based navigation to fly over industrial and light industrial areas and the Manukau Harbour.

But residents in Epsom have noted an increase in noise overhead and have gathered more than 200 signatures asking for the original flight paths be reinstated.

Residents' concerns include frequent disruption to their environments from increased plane noise.

Many correspondents to the Central Leader have written of broken sleep and interrupted weekends.

Epsom resident Lorraine Clark says she is worried the "loud whining, rumbling and roaring directly above our property" will affect the value of her property.

Another petition is now being circulated, this time in Royal Oak.

Resident Mark Lynes says he too has been spurred into action. He spent last weekend delivering pamphlets around his community and was to follow up with a petition to be signed in the days following.

"The plan is to try to deliver this petition to the Aircraft Noise Community Consultative Group by August," he says.

"There were only meant to be 10 flights a day but it's more than 10, I counted six in two hours on Sunday.

"When they use the old flight paths we can see them but not hear them. When they use the new ones we can well hear them. Even with music on you can hear them."

Mr Lynes says the trial has given them a taste of what they could be in for if the new approaches are adopted in November.

"It would be constant. It's a busy airport and the theory is it's only going to get busier."

While the noise may not breach standards for aircraft Mr Lynes says it does have other impacts.

"If you look at the Resource Management Act it's all about how it interferes with your pleasantness and the whole perception of how it changes your lifestyle.

"My wife is saying if they adopt it we will have to look at moving."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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