Some trial queries wait on answers

JOE DAWSON
Last updated 05:00 18/12/2013

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The controversial flight path trial over Auckland ended in October but how many flights might use the route in future is still not clear.

The year-long SMART trial began in November 2012 and was run by Auckland Airport, Airways New Zealand and Air New Zealand with the aim of reducing fuel use and carbon emissions.

It sparked complaints from some central Auckland people who say the new paths have brought more planes and more noise to their quiet neighbourhoods.

People in One Tree Hill, Epsom, Mt Roskill, Onehunga and Royal Oak have told the Central Leader they noticed an increase in aircraft noise during the trial.

A full draft report will be publicly released in March but in the meantime Airways, the airport and the Board of Airline Representatives of New Zealand (BARNZ) have released answers to questions from the community about the trial.

One question asked how many flights a day and week would be moved to the new route if it becomes fully operational.

That question remains unanswered because information is still being analysed.

People also wanted to know how the trial would be evaluated and assessed, what noise monitoring was used during the trial and how the outcome of the trial would be communicated to the wider community. The questions arose from two public meetings held in September and October.

In all, 42 questions were answered.

Maungakiekie MP Sam Lotu-Iiga says he is pleased to see better communication by the trial's operators.

He says he has been pushing hard for information to be made available.

"In an attempt to have these questions answered I facilitated a further meeting with key community representatives and Auckland Airport, Airways and BARNZ on October 21.

"I also attended the Aircraft Noise Community Consultation Group meeting as an observer on November 19."

People can continue to provide feedback on the SMART approaches trial by calling 09 256 8133 any time or emailing noise@auckland airport.co.nz.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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