National

Haneda flight noise louder than in a pachinko parlor

JIJI

In test flights for new low-altitude flight paths using Tokyo’s Haneda Airport conducted by the transport ministry between Jan. 30 and Wednesday, noise in Kawasaki ran as high as 87 to 94 decibels, louder than inside a pachinko parlor, according to data released by the ministry.

Under the plan, passenger jets will fly over a portion of Kawasaki immediately after departing the airport when winds are blowing from the south.

The reading was the highest among 19 test locations in Tokyo and Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures.

A ministry official said the reading was within their expectations, considering the location of the city.

The maximum noise level at an elementary school in Ota Ward, Tokyo, adjacent to Kawasaki, reached 76 to 85 decibels, equivalent to levels in gaming arcades, the data showed.

At an elementary school in Minato Ward and an office of the Tokyo’s waterworks bureau in Shinagawa Ward, over which aircraft will fly low during their landing approach, the reading hit as high as 78 to 81 decibels.

Noise levels of more than 70 decibels, equivalent to the noise around main roads in daytime, were recorded in Shinjuku, Shibuya, Toshima, Nakano, Meguro and Nerima wards in Tokyo, and in Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture.

While saying that it will continue to analyze the impact, the ministry has no plans to change its schedule to start the new flight routes on March 29 in line with an increase in the number of international flights at Haneda.

Alarmed by the significant rise in noise expected to come with the new flight paths, residents are calling for the plan to be scrapped.

Kiwami Omura, who leads a group of local citizens lodging protests against the new routes, said the noise “may be within the ministry’s expectations, but is an unbearable level for us.”

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