Monday, 11 January 2010

Learning from East Midlands airport

As part of my work I read The House magazine, the Parliamentary Weekly. Every week there is a diary column by a MP. This week Edward Garnier Conservative MP for Harborough pays tribute to David Taylor (pictured) Labour MP for North West Leicestershire who died at Christmas. He writes about their joint work...
"The unregulated and unpopular increase in the number of noisy night flights in and out of East Midlands Airport. The plan is to have flights, particularly air freight, arriving and departing every 90 seconds, all night. here is an airport in NW Leicestershire owned by a group of local authorities in Manchester making money from keeping his constituents awake at night, and preventing them from enjoying their gardens in the summer, and using that money to subsidise the council tax bills of the residents of Greater Manchester. Consituents in Harborough over 30 miles away, are affected because the new approach route goes over harborough.
I have frequently said in debates in the House of Commons that if East Midlands Airport were a factory that allowed noise or noxious fumes to disturb its neighbours' quality of life, someone would do something about it.
But because it is an airport, it is the responsibility of no-one in particular (yes, of course the Manchester Airport Group, the Department for Transport, the Civil Aviation Authority, the air traffic controllers, the local district council and Uncle Tom Cobbly all have their separate interests in the airport and who and what flies in and out of it). But so far as I am able to tell, not one of them was prepared to take a lead, and do what David Taylor and I from our separate political and geographic standpoints, felt our constituents deserved - namelt, to designate it under the Civil Aviation Act 1998. This would give the transport secretary the power to limit the number of flights in and out. .......David may be gone, but he will be long remembered."

As the consultation on increased night flights at Kent International Airport at Manston continues, it is interesting to read of the experiences of people facing similar issues elsewhere in the country.

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