News

Aircraft noise concern

Fingal residents Paul Fagan, Dawn Walker, Karen Morrison and Helen Twohill are annoyed about flight noise.
Fingal residents Paul Fagan, Dawn Walker, Karen Morrison and Helen Twohill are annoyed about flight noise. John Gass

FINGAL residents claim the noise from aircraft flying overhead momentarily disrupts school classes and requires phone calls to be paused.

Residents we spoke to this week said heavy jets and noisy helicopters pass by about nine times a day.

Helen Twohill, a management consultant who works from home, said she had to warn clients on the phone about approaching planes and they were astounded at the noise.

"When an aircraft is landing we get about 25% of the noise, but when an aircraft is departing it's 75% of the noise we hear," Mrs Twohill said.

Over 13,000 flights from the Gold Coast Airport depart southbound a year, with 5000 northbound.

Mrs Twohill said the disturbance was day and night, with two international flights recently re-scheduled to Wednesday and Sunday nights.

"There is a curfew, but it starts at 11pm and the flight goes just before at 10.30pm," Mrs Twohill said.

"I know of residents whose children have been woken at night."

Mrs Twohill said passing aircraft distract her children's attention at school and they often cover their ears with their hands.

Another Fingal Head resident, who asked not to be named, said it was unnecessary for the planes to go through the area.

"My kids say that sometimes they can't hear what the teacher is saying," she said.

A third resident Karen Morrison, who has lived at Fingal for 12 years, said the noise was more noticeable in Fingal because the area was so quiet.

"Noise travels across water. It carries and amplifies it," Mrs Morrison said.

"People have a lot of tolerance for small things, but I think the profit and growth of the airport is out-weighing the residents' lifestyle."

The residents' comments come after our front page story last week, which revealed the Environmental Defenders Office believed Fingal residents may have grounds to file a lawsuit against Airservices Australia over the flight path.

Fingal Heads Community Association president Dawn Walker said the aircraft noise was unbearable and affected the whole of Tweed.

"I'm encouraging all community members to ask questions about why is the jet aircraft over their homes when in the past they haven't been," Ms Walker said.

Aircraft Noise Ombudsman Ron Brent said Airservices Australia was doing a review of the noise abatement procedure including Fingal.

"Airservices Australia will be looking to adjust the detail of the air traffic control to deliver a better outcome," Mr Brent said.

He said that this procedure is still in its early stages.

Topics:  aircraft noise plane resident school



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