Leeds Bradford Airport what’s happening

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Leeds Bradford Airport Facts.


  • The Airport is planning to almost double passenger numbers from 4 million to over 7 million by 2030, hugely increasing flights over the next decade!
  • About 80% of all Take Offs from the Airport use the route between Burley in Wharfedale and Menston as per the “Existing” map below. The Airport’s expansion plans continue to use these routes.
  • Current Take Off and Landing routes were designed decades ago to accommodate airspace military restrictions and far fewer flights. We believe they are no longer fit for purpose.
  • The Airport has also submitted plans to ease the restrictions on night time flights. In practice this will inevitably mean more early morning and late evening flights, more flights during our bedtime hours.
  • In the Airport’s Airspace Change Proposal 2019, that was rejected, the Airport planned to keep the existing Take Off routes between Burley and Menston.


LBA Existing take off routes over Burley and Menston and suggested NPR

The 2 green lines shown on the map above are the centre of the tracks that air traffic are supposed to adhere to within the NPR swathe.

  • The upper green line of the NPR takes air traffic to the NELSA Standard Instrument Departure route (SID).
  • The lower green line of the NPR takes air traffic to the DOPEK/LAMIX Standard Instrument Departure route (SID).

Proposed new LBA Take Off Routes (Revised NPR)

Revised departure route

How you can help:

  • Sign the petition to support our proposed new Take Off routes (also known as the Noise Preferential Route) so Aircraft noise affects the least number of people. The plan will make a huge difference for Burley and Menston residents. You can also object to their plans to change night time flights.
  • Submit a Complaint to the Airport when you hear of a particularly noisy aircraft, or when you think it is tracking right over your villages when it really shouldn’t be.

Our Aim

You may have seen the Airport’s plans for a new terminal to handle the huge increase in passenger numbers. This inevitably means more aircraft movements and more noise pollution. LBA have also submitted plans to changes to the restrictions around night time flights, which will inevitably mean more flights during our sleeping hours.

We are not against Leeds Bradford Airport expansion.  We accept that air traffic is going to increase over time, but we believe the Airport should grow in a manner that minimises those who are affected by noise pollution. After all, this is only what the Regulations actually stipulate!

We also want to object to the Airport’s plans to alter night time flight restrictions as we believe it lead to more flights during our bedtime hours.

Lack of Concern for Local Residents

The Airport’s previous Airspace Change Plan was rejected and one of the reasons cited was because the Airport failed to consult properly with the local communities. Had they consulted properly with Burley and Menston residents, they would have found widespread unhappiness at the noise pollution caused by jet aircraft roaring over our 2 villages.

Current Situation

Aircraft taking off are supposed to stay within a swathe known as the Noise Preferential Route (NPR) and are meant to stay within the swathe which passes over the least populated areas, so as to minimise the noise pollution impact.

As it stands 80% of take offs fly directly between, or over, Burley and Menston. Aircraft often track towards the NPR’s (Noise Preferential Route) northerly edge or beyond, so they fly directly over Burley with all the noise pollution and the jet exhaust emissions that brings.

The current Noise Preferential Route is a legacy from an era when the airport’s air traffic movements were a only fraction of what they are today. At that time, Burley and Menston were much smaller at a time when, crucially, Military Airspace Restrictions heavily influenced Take Off Routes.

Doubling the numbers – doubling the noise?

The Airport is planning to increase passenger numbers from the current level of 4 million to over 7 million by 2030.  That means a huge increase in flight numbers over the next 10 years, so clearly noise pollution is only going to get worse. Much Worse! And Burley and Menston will take the brunt of that!

The Solution

Military Airspace Restrictions no longer apply, so we believe the main driver for take off routes should be minimising noise pollution.

Aircraft should  take off in a northerly direction, instead of turning and flying over Burley and Menston, on a route that means a huge reduction in residents affected by noise pollution.

Please click on the link below so we can ensure that the Airport and the Authorities listen to the views of Burley and Menston.

More Flights in our Bedtime Hours!

Alongside the planning application for a new terminal building, the Airport plans to loosen the restrictions on night time flying, by saying restrictions should only apply after 11.30pm and before 6am, when they currently apply between 11pm and 7am.

The likely impact of their plans is that the same number of flights are now squeezed in to less hours through the night, and we can expect many more flights from 6am to 7am and from 11pm until 11.30pm. Clearly their planning request will create a significant increase in noise pollution to local residents during our bedtime hours.

Anti-Noise not Anti-Airport!

Many of us enjoy the benefits of having a local airport. It is a big employer and brings much needed investment to the region.   We just ask that the Airport looks after its neighbours and ensures that Take Off Routes (NPR) minimise the impact of the noise pollution. After all, that is just what the Regulations say Noise Preferential Routes (Take Off Routes) should do.

We also want the Airport to stop its plans to increase flights and thus noise pollution during our bedtime hours.

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