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Night flying aircraft get Bays folk buzzing

KATASHA M CCULLOUGH
Last updated 05:00 18/02/2014

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Aircraft noise is causing a buzz in the Bays.

Chris Bradshaw, from Torbay, says it is "absolutely disgusting" an air force plane woke up residents two nights in a row.

He says first there was a drone like a bumblebee all day as the plane flew around in circles.

Then at 11.45pm he was woken up by the "roaring, blimmin' buzzing of this damn thing" as it made its way back to base in Whenuapai.

The following night Mr Bradshaw was also woken up.

"It kept the whole Bays area up til midnight, woke all the school kids up. You can't escape it," he says.

Mr Bradshaw says almost all airports have restrictions on night flying.

"Yet the air force thinks they can wake up all of the North Shore."

An air force spokesperson says the they need to maintain high levels of readiness and the plane was at a high altitude.

"The requirement to fly at night reflects the need to simulate real-world situations where our servicemen and women would be in an operational setting."

He says training is planned carefully to avoid residential areas at all times of the day.

"However, our aircraft have to take off and land and this departure and approach path does transit across areas of the North Shore and Waitakere."

The spokesperson says the air force is subject to noise control rules, and these are based upon directed times for different activities.

An Auckland Council spokesperson says it has no jurisdiction over the noise produced by aircraft operating above 500 feet (152.4 metres).

"If the call centre gets noise complaints people are told to ring Civil Aviation."

The spokesperson says the council works with stakeholders to ensure noise associated with the airport is mitigated as much as possible.

Mr Bradshaw says lots of residents do not know who to contact about air traffic noise.

"There's been so many complaints people have given up."

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