17 December 2018
Some residents of Kota Warisan and Taman Saujana KLIA have regretted purchasing a home within these areas due to booming noise emanating from airplanes landing and taking off in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and klia2, reported The Star.
“We have to put up with the aircraft noise round the clock, just imagine having to live in such an environment. There is no rest for us,” said Syukri Osman, 36, who relocated to the area earlier this year.
Every 30 minutes as many as 20 planes fly off the airport. The planes’ deafening noise causes metal grilles and roof tiles to shake and trigger car alarms. Many residents can’t also get a good night’s sleep due to the racket.
“The noise has been bothering me from day one. If I had known it, I would never have chosen to live here,” said Rokeman Dahalan, 66, who had purchased a home in the area 10 years ago.
According to Ricky Yeung, a 47-year-old airline pilot, who has lived in the area for 12 years, said the situation worsened after klia2 began operating and air traffic increased since 2014.
In particular, the booming sound comes from planes taking off from runway 32R, one of KLIA’s three runways. This is because planes flying off from this runway need to follow flight trajectory that turns right post takeoff. Consequently, these airplanes fly over Kota Warisan, Taman Saujana KLIA and other residential estates.
As such, residents there are urging the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) to introduce measures to mitigate the loud noise.
For instance, Yeung said that planes taking off from runway 32R can maintain direction at 326 degrees North West instead of turning right so it won’t pass through the aforementioned residential areas. An alternative is for all departing planes from runway 32R be diverted to runway 32L. Another suggestion is to prohibit takes off during sleeping hours.
However, CAAM said that residents should have expected the noise when they bought residential properties near an international airport, even though Kota Warisan and Taman Saujana KLIA are outside the gazetted airport perimeters where homes are not allowed to be built.
On Yeung’s proposals to prevent planes from flying over Kota Warisan and Taman Saujana KLIA, a CAAM spokesperson explained that if they followed the suggestion, it would impact KLIA’s efficiency.
“This means only one aircraft would be able to depart at a time from any one of KLIA’s three runways, obliterating efficiency and causing delays in flight departure.”
This will result in additional fuel consumptions for plane, which is the largest operational expense for airlines. “An average medium-sized jet (B737 or A320) burns between RM400 to RM500 worth of fuel per minute. As such, delaying an aircraft would cost any airline an additional RM1,000 per flight. If there are 300 flights involved, that would translate to RM300,000 in additional fuel cost per day,” said the CAAM spokesperson, who requested anonymity.
On Yeung’s suggestion to use another runway for takeoffs instead of 32R, CAAM noted that in the original airport design, runway 32L is solely used for landings, while 32R is for departures. It would be hard to switch their roles, as this can ultimately reduce airport capacity of 84 movements per hour.
KLIA also intends to increase this to 108 movements per hour by launching additional flights from midnight to 6am, so any prohibition on night takeoffs could impact the airport’s target.
Furthermore, the CAAM spokesperson revealed than any revisions in airport operations, including the imposition of curves, will need the approval of the Malaysian Aviation Commission or the Ministry of Transport.