Couple hit out at ‘nightmare’ caused by noisy aeroplanes

Phillip and Patricia Rutty ... they say the aerial disturbance is beginning to affect their health
Phillip and Patricia Rutty ... they say the aerial disturbance is beginning to affect their health

A couple have claimed their lives are being made a misery by noisy aircraft flying directly over their home.

Patricia, 72 and Phillip Rutty, 75, of Ashtonville Close, Ringmer, say they are living in a “complete nightmare” and blame a change in flight patterns and holding stacks for planes approaching Gatwick Airport.

The problem began when the couple were woken up at 6am on Sunday, June 9, by a jet aircraft flying overhead.

Mrs Rutty, who used to work as a radio production assistant, said: “Jets begin flying over at 6am. I no longer need to set my alarm for seven. They continue throughout the day until 11pm.

“The intervals are sometimes one, two and three minutes. It’s hard to relax when you’re waiting for the sound of the next aircraft.”

Mr and Mrs Rutty’s postcode is located close to one of Gatwick’s aircraft holding stacks. The airport has experienced record levels of air traffic since 2014.

The couple say they have lived in peace at their address for 19 years before this happened.

“It feels like a dreadful injustice,” said Mrs Rutty. “We never wanted to live close to an airport but it now feels we are on top of one.”

The couple used to watch jets flying over the South Downs. “But now they are flying over us, at the side of us and a short distance in front of us,” said Mrs Rutty. “It is like living in a complete nightmare.”

She added: “It’s beginning to affect the health of my husband and myself. I was close to a nervous breakdown.”

The couple have written to both the Civil Aviation Authority and Gatwick Airport with their concerns.

The CAA and Gatwick both apologised for the disturbance but said they were unable to prevent aircraft flying over that location. Gatwick said it was committed to improving the ‘noise climate’ around the airport.