Fear of flying

Fight the Flight Path’s Jody Freestone, with her kids Sidney and Jamie, will lobby against Melbourne Airport plans for a second flight path over Keilor. 87478 Picture: JOE MASTROIANNIFight the Flight Path’s Jody Freestone, with her kids Sidney and Jamie, will lobby against Melbourne Airport plans for a second flight path over Keilor. 87478 Picture: JOE MASTROIANNI

By LAURA WAKELY
KEILOR residents have teamed up to lobby against Melbourne Airport expansion plans that would see a second flight path over Brimbank.
The second north-south flight path would be in place just 1.25 kilometres from the existing north-south flight path, which currently sees planes ascend and descend over homes and businesses around Keilor Park Drive towards Avondale Heights.
The second path would fly directly over Keilor Village, including shops, a school and sporting grounds as well as several homes.
Fight the Flight Path has formed to oppose plans for the second flight path.
Spokesperson and co-chairperson of the group Jody Freestone has lived in Keilor on and off for 26 years.
Ms Freestone said the group believed the additional flight path would have a “significant impact” on the community, with passenger numbers expected to double to 60 million people by 2033.
“I have a young family, very young, and I’m concerned about how that will impact on my family’s health and how the infrastructure around the airport will be affected,” Ms Freestone said.
“It’s not only noise, but traffic, congestion. There’s also air and noise pollution and the irreversible impact on the environment.”
Keilor Residents and Ratepayers Association President Susan Jennison said the fight was about maintaining the liveability of Keilor Village.
“It just imposes and intrudes on their total lifestyle, the noise factor is incredible,” she said.
“It wakes you up, it shakes the house and we don’t have compensation plans for insulation plans as they have in Sydney.”
Ms Jennison urged residents to complain about noisy planes every single time one is noticed so that government agencies have the statistics to back up residents’ concerns.
A spokesperson from Melbourne Airport said a master plan was prepared every five years and had always included an additional north-south or east-west runway.
The spokesperson said more detail about the preferred orientation for the third runway would be made public when the 2013 master plan is released.
It’s expected the master plan will be available for comment early next year.
But Ms Freestone said the community needs to be made aware of the issues now.
“We also want the airport to know that they need greater community consultation about what they’re going to do,” she said.
“Because it directly affects them, with noise, air pollution and if the community don’t bring their concerns to the attention of, not only Melbourne Airport, but the local council, state and federal government, if the plan’s approved it’s irreversible.”
For more information visit www.fighttheflightpath.org.au

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