MILITARY helicopters have been flying over Weymouth and Portland late at night – sparking some sleepless nights from residents.

RAF Chinook and Puma helicopters have been heard flying over the area every night since Sunday, April 18 from around 10pm onwards.

Residents have reported hearing the aircraft, particularly around the town centre, Chickerell, Wyke Regis and around Portland.

A spokesman for RAF confirmed these are ‘essential’ training exercises to ensure its crews are ‘ready’ for future operations.

Chinook and Puma helicopter crews use a variety of helicopter landing sites and training areas around the whole of the UK for training and vary their routes and training locations to ‘maximise training benefit’.

WATCH BELOW - Military aircraft fly over Weymouth late at night 

The military training is however sparking some sleepless nights, with some unhappy with the ‘droning’ sound of the aircraft above their homes.

One Weymouth resident described the training as causing a ‘racket’ and added: “Anything that causes that level of noise should be carried out at sea or during the day.”

One resident, who did not want to be named, told Dorset Echo that he first noticed the military aircraft flying above his house on Sunday night.

He said: “They usually start flying over the area after 10pm and they appear to hover over an area before moving onto another.

“As a result, there’s a constant droning sound and it can be heard for at least an hour. It gets louder when the aircraft comes closer to my area.

“I can understand why they need to train at night, but I really think residents need to be warned beforehand like we are with any roadworks.”

A spokesman for RAF explained communities are told of flying military aircraft in advance ‘where possible’ but ‘will not offer full details for security purposes’.

He said: “RAF Chinook and Puma helicopters have recently been operating in the Weymouth area completing essential operational training events designed to ensure that our crews continue to be ready for global operations.”

He added that aircraft training in the area will continue but is unable to say how often this is likely to be used ‘as it depends on numerous factors.’