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Comment: Aircraft noise reaches new heights in post-lockdown Pudsey

Words: Anne Leng, community reporter

Have you noticed a rise in aircraft noise in the Pudsey area recently? 

I spoke to Anita Broadbent, a community reporter and a Pudsey resident of 41 years, who highlighted the problem.

Of course, Pudsey is on the Leeds-Bradford Airport flightpath for aircraft taking off to various holiday destinations across Europe.

During lockdown night flights have not been happening because of the lack of holiday makers going abroad. 

However, Anita has noticed the increased engine noise of late particularly in the early mornings and at night.   

There also seems to be increased noise from police helicopters. 

These, too, are a bigger problem at night with the powerful searchlights which are used.

I told Anita I will investigate the problem and it would be very useful if I could get some feedback from residents in the area. If you are encountering this problem please let me know via and we will try to investigate further. 


  1. People are now going on holiday and the world is getting back to normal….of course it seems as if they’re noisier if we haven’t heard them for months. I live under the flight path and it’s not really any louder or more frequent than it was before the pandemic. Please don’t give the green fanatics something else to ban!!

    • “Green fanatics” ffs are you for real? We’re facing a crisis, right now. Extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and intensity across the globe – flood, storms, fires and deadly heatwaves. Banning flights isn’t really on the table.

    • The good news is these green fanatics and their demands to control other peoples lives has been ignored by the gov. in its latest net zero strategy and as a result there is no legal reason to stop the planned development at LBA.

  2. I live in Guiseley. Close enough to the runway. All my neighbours were glad to see the aircraft flying again after lockdown and the military jets that come sometimes. The helicopters can be loud but anybody who’s lived here long enough hardly notices. Even the sirens don’t get a notice (no idea what they’re for but we get sirens sometimes).
    We’re bound to notice a bit of noise especially after the lockdowns. We noticed the cows and sheep returned to the fields after the foot-and-mouth culls not so long ago but I’m not going to complain about the randy bulls bellowing at 4am after so long without them.

    We’ve had a few incidents of raw sewage sprayed on the local farms this year, I’d take a Concorde flying over my head everyday rather than several days of poo stench in my house every time a door or window opens.

    Unfortunately, the Police and Police helicopters need to respond to criminality when it happens. Burglars and car thieves tend not to care about our wish to sleep peacefully.

  3. As a Bramley resident, I can’t say that I have noticed any increased helicopter activity or noise. However, I have definitely noticed more aircraft noise and activity, as has my partner. Strictly speaking, it is not necessarily more noise, but noise over a much extended period than before, especially overnight, and all through the night.

    I was under the impression that usually there weren’t any flights essentially after 11pm or before 6am, unless in an emergency. But there definitely has been, and noticeably so, for at least a fortnight and probably longer. Enough for my partner and I to have commented on it. And that is with windows closed.

    As to whether it is tourist traffic, or military, or pandemic or refugee related, I do not know, but it definitely exists.

  4. Doesn’t anybody realise that the wind direction has been more from the south and south east of recent as anybody knows you have to take off into the wind and also the lifting of restrictions has made more flights available so it’s no different than before get a grip

  5. We have definitely noticed the noise over a longer period in Kirkstall. I don’t think it is unreasonable to want peace in your own home; the early hours flights in particular are disturbing because they occur when there is very little other noise and.m, as such, frequently wake us up.
    As for the ‘green fanatics’, heaven forbid people want to do something to save the planet from complete collapse eh? Better to let everyone go to Benidorm at all hours for the next 10 years and then suffer the consequences right? I’m sure the complete destruction of the planet is worth it!

  6. Why not just ask Leeds City Council…they monitor all aircraft noise in the flight path. You will soon see there has been no increase in noise, it’s all perception after lockdown. You will also see aircraft noise has actually reduced over the last ten years as the number of quieter aircraft using the airport has increased.
    As for the police helicopter perhaps Anita would like to ask them to turn their spotlight off as it may disturb her sleep. It doesn’t matter about trying to pursue criminals in the area, although I suspect she may have a different view if it was burglar who had visited her property they were tracking!

  7. I see the climate change deniers are sadly out in force in this thread. Never mind rising temperatures and weather extremes, as long as you can get your holidays in the sun, that’s all that matters, isn’t it? The blinkered selfishness is breathtaking.
    No scientific body of national or international standing disputed global warming is created by mankind. We need to take action.
    For the sake of your grandkids ignore all the scientific evidence at your peril…
    ‘Green fanatics’ my arse…

    • Only this week the independent climate change commission said the U.K. leads the world in reducing emissions and said the of the Net Zero plans. “ UK net zero plan achievable and affordable” So nobody can argue action isn’t being taken.
      Seems a lot of NIMBYS are out in force in this thread.

      • UK CO2 emissions have fallen over the last years chiefly for two reasons:
        a) switching from coal to gas for electricity generation.
        b) outsourcing our manufacturing from UK to China.
        It should be noted that the Climate Change Committee has recommended that there should be no net expansion of UK aviation.

        • And an alternative strategy has been agreed by the gov. They have the responsibility of balancing economic and environmental factors and not a one dimensional view like the CCC have. Just a reminder that the CCC have also said the U.K. gov has set the benchmark for the world now at COP26.
          There will always be an increasing demand for flights and that’s why technology is the answer to controlling a aviation emissions. As for those campaigning to stop development at Leeds Bradford…expansion will happen anyway to at least 25% and most likely more. All that those opposing the development will achieve if they get their way would be to stop the development of a more climate friendly terminal, given the airport will proceed with the approved 2019 plan . They will be so proud of themselves!

  8. Is there really any need for some posters to direct snarky comments towards other posters, whose views don’t necessarily agree with their own? Can they not express their views without demeaning others?

  9. Further to a cursory examination of the LBA arrivals and departures boards, it is apparent that there is much greater use of LBA nowadays by airlines such as KLM, as a link to their Amsterdam hub for onward flights to the likes of China, America and Africa, especially on a weekend.

    Having said that, the boards still only display flights between 6am and 11pm. I can vouch for the fact that there is definitely activity OUTSIDE those hours. Has the airport management secured permission for these out of hours flights, or does it not feel that it has to?

    The official LBA site only seems to show tourist flights, and not the so called ‘codeshare’ flights via Amsterdam run by the likes of KLM, Virgin and Delta, for onward travel to much more remote destinations.

    Another thought is that there is probably increased commercial and cargo traffic, due to supply chain problems with road haulage.

  10. The airport has a 24h flying license. It is has had one since 1994. Contrary to the misinformation out in the public domain perpetrated by certain activists. Therefore flights are allowed to depart and land at any time in the night or day, granted night flights are more common in the summer months. As a local resident I am thrilled to see the planes back in the air, fantastic contribution to the local economy and jobs.


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