Botany and Ormiston Times
Howick and Pakuranga Times : Howick and Pakuranga Times Thursday May 22 2014
www.times.co.nz Howick and Pakuranga Times, Thursday, May 22, 2014 — 11 537 0991 www.autorentalsdirect.co.nz Auto Rentals Direct Ltd EXPECTING RELATIVES OR FRIENDS FOR QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY WEEKEND? Storage facility is now at 237 MOORE ST, HOWICK 126273 For safe, reliable, clean and affordable holiday motoring contact us today Serving the local community for over 13 years! EXPECTING RELATIVES OR FRIENDS FOR QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY WEEKEND? For safe, reliable, clean and affordable holiday motoring contact us today RENTALCARS SOUND ISSUE: Readers of the Times have been in regular contact about the changing courses of flight paths over the super-city and to and from Auckland International Airport. Photo supplied Aircraft noise levels in spotlight By Marianne Kelly aTRIAL to assess SMART flight approaches to Auckland International Airport ended last October. But in calls to the Times, south-east residents say they suspect regular flight paths have been changed, claiming to experience more aircraft flying over their homes at lower altitudes, particularly in the early hours. Howick Local Board chair- man David Collings says the trial may have resulted in raised perceptions of intensi- fied flight activity. But the reports he sees every three months show no change in the pattern of flights ascend- ing and descending over the south-eastern suburbs. Mr Collings and board col- league Garry Boles are mem- bers of the Airport Noise Community Consultative Group, which receives quar- terly information and graphs showing aircraft activity. The graphs show a consist- ent pattern with aeroplanes approaching from Auckland’s north-west circling around the Bucklands Beach Penin- sula and Howick, then track- ing down over Dannemora and Flat Bush. Because aircraft are flown to gain height as rapidly as pos- sible on take-off, parts of Flat Bush are under the outbound path. But aircraft bound for Australia and Asian countries turn to the north-west sooner, missing the peninsula and general Howick area entirely. Noise complaint graphs show that in the past three months Auckland Interna- tional Airport Ltd (AIAL) has dealt with one complaint from Half Moon Bay and about half a dozen in Flat Bush. “Complaints are still coming through because of a raised perception since the trial,” says Mr Collings. “That doesn’t make it right, but there has certainly been no increase in the intensifica- tion of flights.” AIAL says its research shows that out of 111 disturb- ing aircraft events identified as being SMART approaches, 90 per cent related to aircraft using the normal approach route. A final report with recom- mendations on whether to introduce SMART approaches is expected later this year. SMART approaches are part of a worldwide trend to improve access to airports and have been successfully imple- mented at some of the busiest airports, AIAL says. They use the accuracy of sat- ellite-based navigation to cre- ate shorter, curved approaches to the runway, joining the final approach to the runway closer to the airport. Consequently, during the trial some flights, instead of heading for the peninsula and Howick, took a banked turn over the East Tamaki/High- brook industrial area. This led to residents com- plaining to the Times of more noise in the Botany, Te Irirangi and Accent Drive vicinity, as the aircraft descended to align with the runway. But AIAL says SMART approaches create a more continuous descent, with the objective that aircraft engines’ power settings are at or close to idle, reducing the level of noise produced. Resulting efficiencies include fewer miles flown – the curved course path saved 27 kilometres of flight time, reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions, and poten- tially fewer communities exposed to aircraft noise. SMART approaches were restricted to flights between 7am and 10pm, and those using the route were limited to no more than 10 a day from the north. This compares with the 400- 450 daily flights using Auck- land’s normal flight paths. If the “over Epsom” SMART approach is adopted long term it would only involve 25-30 aircraft a day arriving from Asia and Australia, AIAL says. Aircraft noise areas and rules relating to noise man- agement were established in the Manukau District Plan in consultation with the commu- nity, and are in the process of being transferred to the Auck- land Council’s Unitary Plan. According to the plan, the rural area of Puhinui and some residential zones south of Puhinui Road are affected by high cumulative levels of aircraft noise. Existing residential areas that may be affected by mod- erate levels of aircraft noise associated with future use of the existing runway are to the immediate north of Puhinui Road, and parts of Clover Park and Chapel Downs. Future urban areas likely to be affected by moderate cumulative noise levels asso- ciated with future use of the existing runway are in the Flat Bush vicinity. This does not mean that properties outside these areas will not experience aircraft noise, AIAL says, it’s just that the level of sound within the defined areas is higher. Only properties in the defined areas have information on their LIM (Land Informa- tion Memorandum) advising they’re in a zone affected by aircraft noise. This contradicts concerns expressed to the Times that all housing under all flight paths is affected by the LIM requirement, therefore likely to reduce property values. Developers of new dwell- ings in the defined areas must incorporate acoustic treat- ments in their designs, while AIAL also has obligations to help provide them to houses in the area once noise reaches certain levels. People wishing to make a ■■ complaint about aircraft noise can contact Auckland Airport by phoning 256-8133, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at www.auckland- airport.co.nz/noise. Complaints relating to SMART approaches are being used to assess the trial now it has concluded.
Howick and Pakuranga Times Monday May 19 2014
Howick and Pakuranga Times Monday May 26 2014