Night flights started operating from Guacimeta Airport yesterday (Sunday 27th March 2011) with an extension of the time the airfield opens after a demand from Ryanair. The municipalities of San Bartolomé and Tias demanded of Aena that the Ministry of Development made a study of noise levels and looked into the soundproofing of homes that could be affected by this new flight schedule, but for now, have not gotten any response.
The mayor of San Bartolomé, Marcial Martin, sent a request that both the Ministry of Development and Aena to do this to protect the area especially Playa Honda. “So far, no news” laments the mayor, which ensures that it has given a “reasonable” time to Aena to develop this project. If not, the City Council could consider going to court, according to Martin Marcial.
This document was also sent to the President of the Canary Islands, Paulino Rivero, as the mayor of San Bartolomé understands that they “must ensure the important issues of the island of Lanzarote, such as communications”. In addition, the application of St. Bartholomé, which also joined Tias, was agreed with the Neighbourhood Association Princesa Ico, Playa Honda.
The mayor of San Bartolomé acknowledges he doesn’t believe that this noise study came before 27 March, the day when the airport began receiving aircraft Lanzarote to 2.00 hours of the morning. “For such a report, perhaps we have given very little time,” he admits.
The president of the Princesa Ico, José Maria Moro, says that this noise study if not responded to that they will have to “resubmit the application” and if not, take legal action, albeit with council support. Although Aena has not responded yet to the Ayuntamientos or neighbours, José María Moro says that residents in Playa Honda are “quiet” and taking it “pretty well” that the airport begins operating at night.
“Among the neighbours dominates the view that if you create jobs, the sacrifice may be helpful,” he says. “Only one person disagreed with this new schedule of the airport, but the other neighbours, given the economic situation we have on the island, accept it,” said José Maria Moro.
Despite the opposition initially shown by both the mayor of Tias, José Juan Cruz Saavedra, and the mayor of San Bartolomé, they have finally accepted that Guacimeta operates at night, albeit with conditions. One of them is through the soundproofing of the windows of the houses closest to the airport, which they still do not know if Aena looked into this in the plan of action, that have been requested by the two institutions.
Both Ayuntamientos insisted that Tenerife had to soundproof windows, so Lanzarote should have to as well. “I hope that they do, because we have to ensure the rest of the neighbours and all this is covered by the law,” said Marcial Martin.
He says that “if not met the law says we must go to court”. “It not what we want and, therefore, we have given the opportunity to Aena to do their homework. Let’s keep some caution, to give a time-productive, but we need to see movement and we need a solution” he insists.