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MP calls for transparency over ‘howling’ aircraft noise over north Wales

25 Aug 2023 3 minute read
Texan T1 training aircraft. Photo Cpl Ed Wright/MoD Crown Copyright 2020

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.”

Full transparency

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.”


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Ap Kenneth
7 months ago

The noise these planes make is hideous and just repeats and repeats. Why cannot it be done far out to sea when they are not practising low flying?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

The ignorance of the role that is being trained for here precludes any further discussion. RAF Valley should invite all concerned and explain that since the invention of the high altitude SAM (remember Francis Gary Powers he was the only member of the first U2) missions have to be Low and under the radar hence up the valleys and round the mountains rather than the other way…across and through them plus flying over the sea is always a bugbear to the RAF that is why we have the Fleet Air Arm (they can navigate). . Texans’ do make a racket… Read more »

Naomi
Naomi
7 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Except we don’t want to know you missed that part

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

Flying over the Sea! The thing is the Tucson training program was held-up for this reason while they were being retrofitted to please the MoD (this has been going on since before Lend Lease see the Menai Straits and the Catalina story in Reg Chambers Jones’ Anglesey and Gwynedd in the Second World War) and a fuss was made in the press and the very next day or two the first ones started to appear. Their wartime predecessor the Harvard was the same if I remember rightly the prop tips exceeded the speed of sound and a series of sonic… Read more »

K newton
7 months ago

It not every hour the day every day of week , I now been the for several hour on a training, day and not the bad the plane no as noise as raf jets it not that bad its and airforce base if you don’t want noise don’t live there the base has been there for over 50 years. So but people need to get real. My house is under low flying jet fighters you block it out get use to it. These people who move near to an raf training airfield and complain should shut up and move they… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

There is of course the moral question of imposing on our trainee pilots, should their single-engined aircraft have a problem resulting in a ditching or a parachute decent into the briny, a watery grave just for the comfort of those who would bend poor LSR’s ear…

Peter
Peter
7 months ago

Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams should realise that some of us live in the modern world and we are not all firmly stuck in the” Dark Ages .” I’m surprised that he is not demanding the closure of RAF Valley where the aircraft are based and then North Wales would loose a whole lot of well paid jobs that could be transferred to England and then he would complain that our already high percentage of benefit claimants could be swelled even more . I’m sorry but the phrases“ You can’t make an Omelette without. breaking some eggs”.or “You can’t have… Read more »

Mimster
Mimster
7 months ago

Well I’d rather the noise from them than american jets that fly by they are not that annoying and raf must train personell

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

Let’s not forget the local industry in aviation photography that has grown up around the YouTube favourite…The Mach Loop…every aviation buff in the world is familiar with Cader Idris and Tal y Llyn

Sikejsudjek
Sikejsudjek
7 months ago

Yes and you’d probably be made to speak Russian if it wasn’t for them training to defend us, and I bet that wouldn’t be popular!

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