NOISE-BUSTING restrictions on late night flights at Birmingham Airport have been approved.
The airport and Solihull council reached the agreement to protect neighbouring communities from noise exposure from October.
The plans will see the approved noise limit lowered and older plane models with louder engines inhibited from flying in the night.
The new regulations will see night restrictions apply from 11:30pm to 6am.
Dame Caroline Spelman MP has welcomed the restrictions which she said local residents have campaigned for since 2014.
Charges will be applied to aircrafts who breach night noise violation limits which have been lowered from 85 decibels (dBA) to 83dBA.
There is the possibility of a further reduction of the noise limit to 81dBA after the current agreement expires in 2021.
Plans are likely to come as welcome news for the neighbourhoods surrounding the airport such as Catherine de Barnes and Balsall and Berkswell – many members of which have demonstrated for greater appreciation of residents’ wishes.
Planning officer, Laurence Osborne, said: “There has been a significant amount of community engagement.
“The aircrafts using the airport during the night period will be significantly quieter than the ones that currently operate there.
“A substantial improvement on what was negotiated previously and it will deliver a benefit to the local community.”
Some residents were not satisfied and advocated for a stronger reduction in the noise limit to 81dBA.
Councillor for Bickenhill, Jim Ryan, praised the airport for accepting the terms and paid tribute to ‘formidable’ community groups.
He said: “What has been achieved is truly remarkable when you think that the airport was kicking and screaming in the early days against any of this – and now we have a major improvement.”
An airport spokesperson said: “We welcome Solihull council’s support for the new night flying policy which is in place for the next three years.
“We also thank them for their positive comments about the airport’s approach to community engagement and the way in which it has worked in collaboration with key community representatives throughout this process.”
Dame Caroline Spelman MP response:
“I welcome the decision taken by Birmingham Airport to introduce a new, lower noise limit on night time flying – something which I have supported local campaigners in calling for ever since the runway was extended in 2014.
“This policy will ensure that aircraft which have a local reputation for causing the greatest noise nuisance, such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 will no longer be able to depart between 11.30pm and 6.00am.
“Having worked closely with a number of residents groups to the north and south of the runway; most recently within the community of Castle Bromwich, I am sure that this policy will be welcomed by those in the worst affected communities and hope that the Airport will continue to develop this policy to ensure further respite measures are introduced to benefit of my constituents in the months and years ahead”.