May 13, 2015

Fines of £1000 (about $1,500 U.S.) for nighttime violations, and £750 (about $1,200 U.S.) for daytime violations of London Luton Airport’s 3 kilometer-wide noise preferential route (NPR) have been handed out since April 1.

Track violation fines have been introduced as part of the airport’s recent planning consent with the borough of Luton, located about 30 miles north of London.

The track violation penalty system monitors departures using sophisticated equipment. The observed radar track of a departing aircraft is compared with the lateral swathe (LS) of the NPR, and when the aircraft is flying 250 meters (about 820 feet) or more outside the LS, a possible track violation is noted.

London Luton also has an online “TraVis” or track visualization tool that the public can use to monitor information about flights leaving from or arriving at the airport, including aircraft type, altitude, speed, destination or originating airport, and noise measurements at the airport’s fixed noise monitors.

From August 2015, the width of the NPR swathe for aircraft flying the anticipated RNAV1 procedures is expected to be 2 kilometers (1 kilometer on either side of the centerline) for Runway 26 Brookmans Park departure routes. The 3 kilometer-wide NPR is expected to remain on all other departure routes.

Runway 26 is in use when the wind is blowing in a westerly direction. Runway 26 BPK departure routes occur approximately 70 percent of the time due to prevailing south-westerly winds in the area. Aircraft all follow the same path until they reach a reporting point known as the BPK beacon, where they diverge onto the Match or Detling flight routes.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Safety & Airspace Regulation Group, in a study released last year, said the introduction of RNAV1 technology will “enable aircraft to fly the route centerline more precisely, drawing aircraft away from the identified densely populated areas and thereby reducing noise disturbance.”

In alignment with ongoing European regulatory developments, the CAA has mandated the adoption of RNAV1 performance-based navigation standards by all aircraft that use routes to/from key London airports from November 2017, and the implementation of the routes themselves by winter 2019.

View an RNAV NPR for Luton. (PDF)