Silence no more: Paris airport's neighbors brace as flights resume
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[June 26, 2020]
(Reuters) - French student Yanis
Darras is savouring the sound of birdsong around his home, because it
may be the last time he hears it for a while.
He lives next to Paris's Orly airport, and since the COVID-19 outbreak
forced it to shut, he and fellow residents of the town of Villeneuve-le-Roi
have had a welcome break from the sound of screaming aircraft engines.
That period of respite, though, is coming to an end.
With lockdown restrictions easing and Europe starting to open up its
borders, scheduled flights from Orly will resume on Friday after a
nearly three-month hiatus.
"Not having any noise at all has changed everything. Hearing the birds
singing and hearing the children running around where I live, it makes
all the difference," said Darras, who in normal periods is often woken
at 7:00 am by the noise of a jet.
Orly, the second biggest airport serving the capital, was shut to
passengers on March 31 and, though some planes kept using it, traffic
was sharply down.
In April there were 714 takeoffs and landings there, compared to 4,851
in the same month last year, according to environment ministry data.
In his office, Villeneuve-le-Roi mayor Didier Gonzales is bracing for
the resumption of passenger flights.
[to top of second column]
Transavia Boeing 737 aircrafts are seen parked at the bottom of the
control tower of Orly Airport before for its re-opening following
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, June 24,
2020. Picture taken June 24, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
"Life is completely different," he said, describing the noise when
Orly is in full swing. "We have planes every two minutes during rush
(Reporting by Melodie Sforza; Writing by Christian Lowe; editing by
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