It has emerged today that although flights to 16 new destinations are due to start in April of next year from Southend Airport, an operating licence for these extra flights has only been granted on the condition that these additional services take off and land in silence at Southend.
The news comes after ‘multiple protests’ from homeowners in neighbouring Leigh On Sea about aircraft noise and falling house prices, and a number of aviation experts have already said that there is ‘no risk to safety’ while taking off and landing without any engines running.
Industry commentator Alan Filangee said: ‘These brand new aircraft are state of the art, and they are able to take off and land without the need for any engine noise whatsoever while flying low over a built-up area.’
‘At Southend Airport, they can use the full length of the runway to build enough speed to take off and start facing upwards, and once the wheels leave the ground at 1450 mph all engines can be shut down until reaching 5000 feet – this can be adjusted in windy conditions. We are also in talks about installing aircraft-carrier ramps at each end of the runway.’
‘Landing is also perfectly achievable without having engines switched on as pilots are trained to make spot calculations about the perfect height and angle to cut off the engines and glide an aircraft down onto a runway.’
‘They will have constant updates from the Southend control tower, in the same manner that a golfer throws some blades of grass up into the air to see where his ball will land.’
Homeowner Nigel Imbee purchased a house 100 yards from the main entrance to the airport at the start of 2016, and he said that the restrictions were ‘fantastic news.’
He added: ‘When I bought this house within spitting distance of a medium-sized regional airport a few months ago, I had no idea that I would be able to hear aircraft noise and the estate agent never mentioned this either. I am looking forward to enjoying my garden again.’
Other major airports have already hinted that they are watching the pilot scheme with interest, with Heathrow officials confirming that trials to land an Airbus A380 without any engines running will begin next year.