Flight paths over the region are to change but people living near the airports are concerned

The changes will affect flights leaving Luton. Credit: ITV Anglia.

A number of flight paths for aircraft in southern and eastern England have been changed in a bid to reduce the impact of noise and improve efficiency, the UK's aviation regulator has announced.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) claimed the new routes would cut the number of low level flights and remove 30,000 tonnes of CO2 from the airline industry each year.

Under the changes the flight paths for departures from Stansted will see aircraft climbing higher and sooner, with those heading to the south using the existing easterly route during the day.

The changes cover airspace over parts of Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Kent, Sussex and Hampshire and will affect commercial aircraft using London City, Stansted, Luton, Southampton, Bournemouth, Northolt and Biggin Hill airports from February 4 next year.

They were approved by the CAA as part of the UK's future airspace strategy which bids to modernise the sector by 2020.