A GROUP of residents who say they are living with excessive noise from aircraft taking off are continuing their fight to change flight paths.

Members of the Aircraft Noise Action Group (ANAG) are campaigning to lower noise levels coming from aircraft taking off over their homes at Heddon-on-the-Wall, Throckley and Clara Vale.

They were told in March this year by Graeme Mason, planning and corporate affairs director at Newcastle Airport, that a decision had been taken not to proceed with an alternative route.

They said they were originally told the airport could not consider a submission to change the airspace design until the annual movement count reached 80,000 – which would represent an increase of 45 per cent from its 2018 movements.

But the group is hoping the airport will consider using a new and shortened version of the airspace change process, called Planned and Permanent Redistribution of air traffic (PPR), when it is implemented. They hope this could be used provide respite routes to give residents in the most affected areas a break from the noise.

Members are also concerned that while Mr Mason has said a westerly departure route along the Tyne Valley was neither economically nor environmentally viable for aircraft operators, the group has not been provided with the report detailing evidence of this.

Roger Haydon of the group said: “We would like them to look at PPR and we would like them to talk to us and have rational discussions, and also manage their complaints process better.

“They need to be more open with their decisions.”

A spokeswoman for Newcastle International Airport said the report detailing the assessment of westerly departure routes had not been made publicly available as it could jeopardise the success of any future Airspace Change Proposal (ACP).

“We are aware of the draft Planned and Permanent Redistribution (PPR) guidelines,” she added. “In our view, the guidelines relate to changes in the way existing airspace is used, rather than changes in the airspace design. The option to introduce alternative departure routes would be a change to airspace design therefore an ACP would be required.

“Over the last three years we have been in ongoing dialogue with the Aircraft Noise Action Group. This has included three meetings at the airport and two public meetings. We are also in continued dialogue with the group via email.”