People living on the flightpaths of Farnborough Airport face a “continuous drone of aircraft noise” if plans to more than double weekend flights are allowed.
That’s the view of the Farnborough Noise campaign group on the eve of tonight’s Farnham Maltings consultation drop-in on the airport’s controversial expansion plans.
Farnborough Airport is inviting members of the public to view its plans, share their thoughts and chat with airport staff at the Maltings between 4pm and 8pm on Thursday, September 20.
John Eriksson, chairperson of the Farnborough Noise group founded by Tilford local Colin Shearn, said the people in the area already have no respite from the jet engines.
He said his main concerns over the expansion were that it was yet another consultation before a review into the impact of airspace changes had concluded.
The economic benefits claimed by Farnborough, he said, were still being assessed by Rushmoor Borough Council’s oversight and scrutiny committee, and that the government’s own climate change committee stated there should be no increase in aviation until the industry was able to reduce emissions.
He said that on average, planes from Farnborough carried 2.5 passengers per flight, with many not carrying any.
Mr Eriksson said: “We’re going to have a continuous drone of aircraft noise. They already fly at a lower altitude to get under Heathrow and Gatwick airspace.”
Richard Nobbs, another Farnborough Noise member, said the growth of the airport had been “highly detrimental for the area”.
He added: “We are going to end up with an increase in pollution, an increase in noise.
“Farnborough Airport will say this is needed because it will make a big contribution to the local area, but I don’t see that. Most of the flights are to holiday destinations.”
The airport, one of the largest employment sites in the area, has said it would publish detailed information about its proposals from September 20.
They claim the changes would enable it to be a “catalyst for long-term economic prosperity in the region” and support 4,100 jobs by 2040.
Opponents say it serves mostly private clients with jets averaging 2.5 passengers per trip. Campaigners said this makes it difficult to justify the airport expansion’s economic argument.
The consultation will close on October 18.
The Maltings’ drop-in will take place from 4pm to 8pm. No booking is required.