Noise complaints - MoD doing all it can to ensure minimum low-flying disruption

F-15 takes off from RAF Lakenheath
F-15 takes off from RAF Lakenheath
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The Ministry of Defence has said it ‘does all it can’ to avoid low-flying over the towns and villages that neighbour RAF Mildenhall and Lakenheath.

The government department said the need to train aircrew is balanced with the potential disturbance to residents.

A freedom of information request submitted by the Bury Free Press revealed that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had received more than 1,100 complaints about noise from RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath since 2003,

RAF Commander Richard Fryer, Sqn Ldr of RAF Mildenhall said that both he and his counterpart at RAF Lakneheath regularly engage with the community about noise.

The commanders attend parish council meetings and personally deal with the majority of complaints.

The Bury Free Oress asked for your comments about the statistics and several commented on low-level flying.

The MoD has said it is necessary for pilots to undertake regular low-level training.

A spokesperson said: “The MoD would prefer to carry out low-flying without causing any disturbance to those on the ground. Unfortunately, there are no uninhabited areas of the United Kingdom large enough to meet our essential training needs.

“The flying procedures at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall are specifically designed to avoid direct overflight of many of the neighbouring towns and villages below 2000ft although on some occasions overflight is inevitable.”

The CV-22 ‘Osprey’ aircraft, which arrived RAF Mildenhall last year, were also commented on.

The MoD said an impact study was carried out before the aircraft were approved.

It found that although there would be an extra noise burden on residents the aircraft was not intrinsically noisier than other types being operated. The MoD said relatively small number of complaints had been received in regard to the aircraft.

Anyone concerned about military flying can contact the Air Staff Complaints and Enquiries Unit on 0845 6007580.