Protest groups form to fight noise nuisance caused by parachute jump aircraft

Residents ask charity skydivers to switch to something less noisy

The growing popularity of skydiving as a leisure activity has given rise to new protest movement – among residents enraged by the sound of circling planes.

Anger is building across the UK at so-called “nuisance sky-diving” – in particular the noise made by circling aircraft as they prepare to release their adrenalin-junkie passengers.

The number of people skydiving at the UK’s 26 specialist clubs is higher than ever, according to the British Parachute Association, rising from 188,000 in 1998 to 250,000 in 2012.

An estimated half of all skydivers throw themselves out of planes in the name of charity, but noise campaigners are now asking them to find less noisy ways of raising money for good causes. Resident groups in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Cumbria are among those campaigning about the noise caused by skydiving.

Members of the Residents Against Redlands campaign claim that skydivers taking off from the Redlands Airfield in Wanborough, East Swindon, generate more than 12 hours of noise disturbance every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Kay Lacey, who moved to the area before skydiving from light aircraft began in 2000, said: “They are breaking maximum UK noise levels. Eighty decibels is at the top end of what’s considered loud enough to cause distress, but the skydiving planes reach 100. It’s a hellish droning sound which causes vibrations inside houses as well. When the Civil Aviation Authority grants licences they don’t test aircraft noise at full throttle, which is what planes fly at.”

The residents have collected almost 1,000 signatures on a petition calling for the noisiest plane model – the Gippsland G8 – to be grounded, but the airfield has so far declined to act.

Ms Lacey added: “The Gippsland G8 is the noisiest light aircraft in the UK. The skydivers were told by the council to vary the route to spread the noise nuisance, so now they fly over areas of natural beauty where they would never be allowed to build an airfield.”

Sarah Smith, a co-founder of Redlands Airfield, said: “We understand there are a group of people who object to the flying activities at Redlands, and these people have been campaigning for some years to close Redlands Airfield. However, we also enjoy tremendous local support and many people enjoy watching the aircraft and the skydiving. Our airfield is an integral part of our organic farm and we are sensitive to the needs and expectations of local residents.”

Protest groups are also trying to stop skydiving from the Duke of Gloucester Barracks in South Cerney, Gloucestershire; Cark Airfield in Cumbria and Lewknor in Oxfordshire.

Richard Buxton, a lawyer specialising in environment issues, said the protesters were more than just Nimbies. He told The Independent: “There are human rights considerations here. It’s problematic because the planes have to noisily spiral up and up and up at full throttle to reach the required height for the jumps. Skydiving aircraft aren’t considered ‘normal’ flights so they may not be exempt from legal recourse. It’s an interesting new legal area.”

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: randstad education are curre...

Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: You must:- Speak English as a first lang...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: If you are a committed Te...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style