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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Chelyabinsk Sues Air Force over Jet Noise

RIA Novosti

15:58 01/06/2012

CHELYABINSK / MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - A regional court in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk has temporarily suspended a case brought by local people, who had complained about noise from air force Su-24 bombers based nearby, until new checks can be made into the sound levels, the court said on Friday.

Local residents started complaining to the city authorities about the noise made by combat aircraft overflying the city, after the jets were moved to the Shagol aerodrome in Chelyabinsk in November 2010. The citizens claim the air force is violating their right to a positive living environment.

The residents say the intensive roar produced by aircraft flying over the city at low altitudes every 10-15 minutes frightens children and triggers car alarms. They say training flights are sometimes even carried out at night.

Testing by the Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology in the Chelyabinsk region has confirmed that aircraft noise exceeds acceptable levels. However, the military argues that the aircraft noise measurements did not take account of specific factors. Both sides have agreed to a comprehensive noise level survey.

The air base commander said earlier that the flights pose no threat to the city residents, and said it would be impossible to move the base from its current location any time soon.

The loudest noise is made when aircraft turn on their afterburners while taking off, and also during landing, but the flight path cannot be changed, he added.

The Su-24 is a Soviet-built strike aircraft designed to deliver missile and bomb attacks at low altitudes. Sixteen accidents involving Su-24/24Ms have occurred since 2000.

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