RESIDENTS living under the flight path of Bournemouth Airport could have a rude awakening next summer should newly proposed timetables get the go-ahead.

Thomson Holidays and First Choice, both owned by TUI Travel, have announced they will be increasing their capacity from Bournemouth Airport in 2010, incorporating new routes to Antalya and Bodrum in Turkey, Corfu, Tunisia and Sharm el Sheikh.

While holidaymakers and the airport, which is currently undergoing a £45 million expansion project, have welcomed the news, some residents could face more frequent early morning arrivals.

According to Thomson's website, weekly flights from Corfu will be arriving at the airport at 4.05am, arrivals from Sharm el Sheikh flying in at 1.30am, Paphos at 1.20am, Tenerife at 1.25am with passengers from Turkey touching down at 1.10am from next summer.

One local woman, who did not want to be named, said: “When I read that I could go on holiday to these places from Bournemouth I was really excited and went to get a brochure to have a look.

“I live directly under the flight path in Poole and seeing the arrival times for some of the new routes really concerned me.

“I’m all for the expansion of the airport – we all want something better – but not at the cost of sleepless nights.”

Airport spokesperson Sally Windsor said: “First edition brochures which are issued so far in advance of summer 2010 do not always have precise flight times and we are still in discussion with the tour operator regarding optimum operating schedules for next summer.”

Since Christchurch Borough Council granted planning permission for the airport expansion in 2007, an annual quota for night flights was introduced, which restricts the amount of noise from the airport.

As long as this limit is not exceeded then the airport can schedule night flights at its discretion.

A spokesperson for Thomson said: “As these destinations are further away than the short haul destinations currently on offer, it can often mean later arrival times back to the UK.

“Whilst we always try to minimise the amount of night flights through any airport, we need to balance this with offering an excellent choice of destinations to our customers.”

As part of a compulsory noise action plan, Bournemouth Airport launched a 16-week public consultation this week (6/7) and says it already has a range of noise management measures in place, including “noise preferred routes”, which involve aircraft flying specified departure routes to avoid affecting residents as much as possible.

Cllr Sally Derham Wilkes, Christchurch Borough Council’s representative on the airport advisory committee, said: “We understand that the airport is still in discussions with Thomson and First Choice about their schedules and we are confident that the airport will ensure that the night flights fall well within these quota limits.

“We are also pleased to see that the airport has just begun a public consultation on its draft plans to manage the impact of aircraft noise and the council will be submitting its own views to the consultation.”