NIMBY? Not anymore

As I mentioned in my previous post (here), we live very close to Southend Airport (about 2.5 miles from the end of  runway).  London Southend Airport to give it its Sunday name.

This week has seen the start of the passenger flights from the new terminal.  I must put my hand up and say that when the plans were first put out there, I was dead against expansion.  As a resident of central Leigh-on-Sea, we would be right in the flight path.  I was a NIMBY, I even wrote to my local MP.  I was worried about noise, pollution, safety and so on.

Well here we are some months on and it’s approved, the work is complete or still ongoing and Easyjet have begun rolling out their routes.  And I have to say, having seen the planes and had a sneaky snoop around the terminal, I am impressed.  I take it all back.

The planes are pretty quiet, certainly nothing like the noise I have experienced in suburban areas underneath the landing path of say Gatwick/Heathrow/London City or Sydney.  Yes, I know, there are far far more planes  at those airports but what I mean is that the actual aircraft are quieter.  Obviously only some of the routes are flying so far but there’s no doubt that there are more aircraft already.  And so far it’s been absolutely fine.  In fact, I’ve been quite excited seeing an Airbus seemingly take aim for the Marine Estate as it descends to the runway.  They are very low.  So low that you can see the orange of the Easyjet pilot’s eyes.  And I am too busy getting on with my life to spend all day getting upset each time one flies overhead.

Look, we all know that it will be noisier, we will have planes going over our houses.  It’s here and it’s happening.  So, we may as well try to embrace it.  Local jobs, investment, letting us travel without having to muck around at Stansted.  Just minutes from arrival at the terminal to reaching the departure gate? As a mummy of a toddler, the easier the better please!

We live in the South-East of England and there are few places here without aircraft noise.  And I guess it’s true, if you move within a couple of miles of an airport (as we did 5 years ago), then can you really be surprised?  I am worried that noise will wake my child if the planes land late at night.  But the 2230 arrival last night didn’t wake her, so I am of the opinion ‘so far so good’.

So, there you have it.  I know that the locals are in big discussions about the impact of all of the above.  And, that’s great.  It’s our airport so we have a right to have a say.  But as far as I am concerned, I welcome it.  NIMBY?  I say, welcome to my backyard.

(Now, if you can just add Carlisle or Glasgow/Edinburgh please, that would be wonderful.)

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