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April 8, 2011

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Home » Metro » Environment

Noise from airplanes stirs wrath of residents

RESIDENTS living near Hongqiao International Airport put up banners and flags on their balconies yesterday to protest the new minimum altitude for airplanes.

For about five years, thousands of residents living in Minhang District's Huacao Town, 3 kilometers from the airport, have endured the loud noise airplanes make as they fly right above their homes every few minutes.

Now with the regional aviation authority releasing news on Wednesday that planes will be allowed to fly at lower altitudes - 7,800 meters as opposed to the previous 8,400 meters - residents fear the noise pollution will worsen.

The angry residents living in the "Golden Xijiao" complex on Beidi Road, Huacao, have even gone door to door asking others to join them in an anti-airport noise campaign to be held tomorrow.

The organizers said they would work in groups to protest the new policy by sitting or sleeping at Hongqiao airport's Terminal 2 tomorrow.

In response, the regional air traffic authority tried to ease their worries as they said yesterday the policy change would only affect planes on their routes high above the ground and would have almost no impact when planes land.

Many residents said they won't believe officials until the noise problem is fixed.

"This is murder," said a 60-year-old resident surnamed Chen. "Some of my neighbors and I have heart diseases and high blood pressure thanks to the noise from airplanes and now they are going to kill us by lowering the flight altitude."

Chen said the residents feared the lower flight altitude because of an accident that occurred on September 28. He said a cargo plane from Russia almost hit his building as its wheels scratched the rooftop while landing.

More than 200 residents demonstrated that night on Beidi Road, blocking traffic for hours, Chen said.


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