Few of us knew much about Luton Airport until we watched, and heard (!) Lorraine Chase on the Campari TV advert in 1976.
There have of course been many developments in the years since, which have impacted residents living nearer to the Airport more than those in Welwyn. But those living under the flight paths are affected too, and here in Welwyn, we have all noticed the increasing number of aircraft overflying Digswell, Oaklands and Mardley Heath, and Danesbury, to the north of Welwyn village.
To keep a watching brief, WPAG supports the activities of a group named LADACAN – Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise, to whom we pay an annual subscription.
Established in 1968, at a time when Luton Airport proposed a significant expansion of its operations, they are a well organised residents’ group with a professional approach. LADACAN is primarily concerned with the impact of Luton Airport on the surrounding communities.
LADACAN attracts huge support from all affected communities around the airport, and was much involved in various public inquiries into the Airport’s plans in the 1970s.
Departure Lounge – Relax while you are waiting.
We must be realistic. Most of us would acknowledge that Welwyn is not ‘blighted’ by the presence of Luton Airport, and many of us do enjoy the convenience that the local connection offers, (even though we might find fault with much else there).
Clear for Take Off?
Welwyn comes into the category ‘affected community’ and WPAG has concerns in the following two main areas:
a) noise from over-flying aircraft needs to be contained.
b) airport traffic adds to congestion on the A1(M), and the B656.
We have reason to be concerned because of current plans for major expansion of ground service facilities at the Airport, and the introduction of a taxi-way:
- The purpose of the proposed taxi-way is to increase flights
- An increase in aircraft movements leads to more frequent overflying
- Increased passenger and freight traffic is expected.
- Surrounding communities and the road network will feel the pressure.
LADACAN, through its connections, has a voice in these areas of debate. They hold a seat on the Airport Consultative Committee to influence the airport and local authorities.
LADACAN works with other groups, both national and local, to share experience and expertise.
Some Turbulence Ahead
LADACAN made history in 2005 by successfully challenging the White Paper, The Future of Air Transport, in the High Court.
The new proposals for expansion of the Airport (2012) will demand a good deal of work and campaigning if the quality of life of those living nearby is not to deteriorate further.
The coalition government has started work on a new national policy for aviation.
A Smooth Landing?
LADACAN continues its efforts to ensure that a reasonable balance is struck between the airport operation and the peace and quiet of the area around the airport. Without LADACAN, current airport operations would have been considerably more troublesome than they are presently. To keep up-to-date with what is going on at Luton Airport, go to the LADACAN website.
Had an enjoyable flight?
Then join WPAG and help us in our support of LADACAN.
We think we are worth it.
“Soda? No, lemonade”!