MP calls for transparency over ‘howling’ aircraft noise over north Wales
Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon, Hywel Williams, has accused the UK Government of a lack of transparency about noise pollution caused by “howling” RAF aircraft flying over north-west Wales.
A number of complaints about the noise created by the controversial Texan T1 training aircraft over north Wales have been made in recent years.
The Texan T1 was first introduced to RAF Valley back in 2019, replacing the Tucano as part of a £1.2 billion investment into a fixed-wing aircraft training programme.
The Arfon constituency lies fully under the North Wales Military Training Area used by RAF Valley.
Since its introduction, constituents have contacted Mr Williams complaining about noise pollution caused by the “howling” aircraft.
Last year Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts also raised the issue with the Ministry of Defence after schools in Gwynedd complained about the noise of the aircraft as they flew over schools while pupils were taking their exams.
In response to a Written Parliamentary Question, the Ministry of Defence told Mr Williams that RAF Valley “distribute training flights to differing areas as equitably and fairly as possible”.
However, the Ministry does not require RAF Valley to retain post-flight “any details of specific areas or Parliamentary constituencies actually overflown.”
In response Mr Williams has urged the Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, to take steps to require RAF Valley to retain information as to how many training flights take place overland so that constituents have full transparency.
“Noise pollution is not just an annoyance. It can cause reduced productivity heightened stress levels, and even impacts on health,” he said.
“The Texan T1 aircraft has been flying over Arfon for four years now, triggering numerous noise complaints from local residents. Despite this, the Ministry of Defence still hasn’t required RAF Valley to keep a record of the number of flights conducted over land versus those over the sea.
“Without this information, it’s hard to determine whether the MoD is genuinely committed to minimising the impact on the people living here and tourists’ enjoyment of our national park and superb coastline.
“Simply recording details about the flights over land versus sea is the least RAF Valley could do to provide some transparency to those whose daily lives are disrupted.
!The absence of this requirement highlights a lack of consideration for my constituents and people across north-west Wales.
“The RAF needs to train its pilots. However, it’s about time they take meaningful steps to address the consequences on the individuals who call this place home, as well as the many who appreciate the peacefulness that Eryri is renowned for, including both residents and visitors.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.