While I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun here – and the festival currently taking place certainly sounds like that for a skydiving fan – I have to say that the constant takeoff and landing of these noisy flights has disrupted the peace of the locality dramatically in the last few days.
As soon as the parachutists have jumped, then the plane descends rapidly to pick up another group. The turnaround at the airport is an impressive two minutes – good for the enthusiasts and operators but not so great for those of us on the ground attempting to get on with our lives with any sense of tranquillity.
Music appreciation, for example, goes straight out of the window. These bass frequencies inevitably destroy any pleasure to be had when listening to the likes of Mozart and the classics, that’s for sure.
Which prompted me to get out the binoculars, whereupon I discovered that all these flights are pretty much the same plane from the same company… to whom (after a bit of research) I sent a pleasant email asking if they could think about a re-route avoiding town centres whenever possible.
Ascending/descending over the sea would be a decent compromise after all, as it would make little difference to the skydivers who only need to gain altitude regardless of what terrain is underneath while they accomplish that. Unfortunately, my emails remain unanswered.
While the skydiving festival is only temporary, these flights do occur throughout the year, although thankfully not so frequently. The inclination of the company, however, is probably to put the plane up in the air as often as possible as flights equal money, and if demand is there, who is going to protect local residents from this noise pollution? The local council certainly seems to be failing in this respect for a start. God only knows what it must be like to live adjacent to the airport – in Montes Do Alvor.
The answer to this problem is for the flight company to be responsible and considerate to local communities and do what they can to make the situation better whenever possible. Examples of this might be to look into reducing the noise coming from the plane engines with some sort of muffler system, re-routing away from town centres, and maybe when the time comes replacing aircraft with quieter models than the notoriously loud Dornier DO28 employed currently.
For a return to some sort of peace in the neighbourhood let us all hope for a positive response from the company.