By Poly Pantelides
HOTEL owners in Paphos are receiving complaints from customers and tour operators over noise levels from the airport, reports yesterday said.
State broadcaster CyBC said that the Paphos branch of the hotels association PASYXE met with civil aviation to discuss the issue.
The hoteliers’ Themis Phillipides reportedly said hotel owners near the airport were being given grief over the noise levels and had asked civil aviation, which has jurisdiction over air traffic control, to see if they could enact any changes that would reduce noise levels.
Phillipides and the civil aviation department could not be reached for comment yesterday however.
An industry player who was asked to comment said on condition of anonymity that that a question hung over why hotel owners were complaining despite their conscious choice to set up a hotel close to the airport.
“Basically, who was there first? The airport or the hotels? Shouldn’t the hotel owners have borne in mind they were building close to the airport?” the source said.
The source also added that bringing in more flights and more tourists benefits the hotel owners but it follows that if more tourists come, more planes will also have to land and take off from Paphos airport. “How are you going to bring tourists – are we going to parachute them down?”
Paphos airport has been located between Yeroskipou and Kouklia since 1983 when a decision was taken to facilitate tourism development on the island by setting up an airport in Paphos, in addition to the one in Larnaca. Since then, a number of hotels have been constructed in the area. Construction of a new Paphos airport in the same area was completed in 2008. It can now serve 2.7 million annually, according to operators Hermes airports.
The European Commission’s environmental noise directive regulates noise pollution levels and requires some member states to draw up strategic noise maps for airports using set noise indicators for day and night levels. The agriculture ministry which oversees the implementation of relevant regulations said in its latest available report, from 2011, that Hermes had drawn up the strategic noise maps, although they were not legally obliged because airport traffic was below the threshold set by the EU.