praising his comic timing yesterday, its disappointing to see that Elfyn Llwyd has stepped up his campaign to ban the RAF from conducting low-fly training in Snowdonia by now claiming that the aircraft sorties are damaging some of his resident's hearing.
A cursory Google search reveals that technicians working on Hawk training aircraft (the planes used at RAF Valley) are exposed to noises ranging between between 93 and 108 dB -- and presumably they are standing a lot closer to the aircraft than people being flown over at super-sonic speeds in Meirionnydd. For comparison purposes the noise generated by a chainsaw is around 100 dB (which would require a continuous exposure of over two hours for a risk of hearing damage to develop), a football game in a loud stadium can generate 115 dB (risk of hearing damage after 15 minutes), and rock concerts and some MP3 players generate volumes in excess of 120 dB (risk of hearing damage after just 7.5 minutes). Strangely enough despite this Llwyd is not on record calling for the Radio 1 Big Weekend in Bangor to be banned to protect his constituent's hearing.
I would have a lot more respect for CND supporter Llwyd if he would just admit that he wants to see an end to low-fly jet training - not because of the spurious argument that it may damage his resident's hearing - but because he does not want British military bases on Welsh soil. As we all know RAF Valley is one of the last large employers and investors on Anglesey - so will Anglesey AM and Leader of Plaid Cymru, Ieuan Wyn Jones, speak up for his constituency against his colleague? I, for one, will not be holding my breath...
UPDATE: I note that Plaid now has a press release about this matter up on their home page so I can only conclude that pressuring the Ministry of Defence to dramatically reduce the amount of training it can carry out from RAF Valley is now official Plaid Cymru policy. As it is also official Plaid policy to oppose nuclear energy in Wales, the party our AM, Ieuan Wyn Jones, now wants to forcibly close both of the only remaining large-scale employers on the Island. God help us!