GACC warns that new flight paths proposed by NATS and Gatwick airport could affect thousands around Gatwick
GACC has reacted strongly to proposals to revamp many of the existing flight paths around Gatwick , which have been put forward for consultation jointly by NATS and Gatwick Airport Ltd. These plans, which are nothing to do with a 2nd runway, include new flight paths over areas which are at present peaceful – in order to increase the number of aircraft able to use the runway; more concentrated flight paths based on more accurate aircraft navigation, which will effectively make life hell for many people affected; a major reform of the pattern of aircraft queuing up to land, which will bring aircraft noise to many areas currently not affected; and the possibility of ‘respite’ by using two flight paths on alternate days. This consultation includes nothing to show where the new flight paths might be. Instead it is couched in general terms, asking people to comment on broad concepts. There are no maps, and it is apparently intended that no maps will be produced until after the end of the consultation, and NATS and Gatwick do not intend to hold a second consultation. GACC is advising its members to study the new consultation and to express their views forcefully.
NATS overall consultation areas, for Gatwick to the south, and London City Airport, Biggin Hill and Southend airports, to the east.
The London Airspace Consultation
New flight paths could affect thousands around Gatwick
20.10.2013 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)
GACC has reacted strongly to proposals for plans to revamp many of the existing flight paths around Gatwick put forward for consultation jointly by the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and Gatwick Airport Ltd. link These plans, which are nothing to do with a second runway, include:
– New flight paths over areas which are at present peaceful – in order to increase the number of aircraft able to use the runway. GACC has warned that such changes are liable to cause extreme anger as people find their peace shattered and their houses devalued.
– More concentrated flight paths based on more accurate aircraft navigation. GACC says that even if this would mean fewer people affected it would make life hell for those under the new flight path. Some way must be found to compensate the few who will suffer for the benefit of the millions who enjoy cheap holidays.
– A major reform of the pattern of aircraft queuing up to land. GACC says this could bring new noise to wide areas of Sussex, and to parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire.
– The possibility of ‘respite’ by using two flight paths on alternate days. GACC gives a cautious welcome to this idea but only if there are no new routes over peaceful areas, and only if there is proper research into potential health impacts and into whether people actually like having twice as many aircraft overhead on a Monday in order to have none on Tuesday.
This consultation includes nothing to show where the new flight paths might be. Instead it is couched in general terms, asking people to comment on broad concepts. There are no maps, and it is apparently intended that no maps will be produced until after the end of the consultation, and that there will be no further consultation.
John Byng, GACC vice-chairman, however said: ‘I am delighted that the airport consultative committee has backed our demand that this should be the first of two consultations. (GATCOM meeting 17 October 2013.) Once the responses have been analysed there must be a second consultation on the maps showing the proposed flight paths.’
GACC is today advising all our members to study the new consultation and to express their views forcefully.
Brendon Sewill, GACC chairman, added: ‘This is a warning of worse – perhaps – to come. If there were ever to be a new runway it would mean twice as many aircraft in the sky and double the number of flight paths.’ [GACC has published maps showing where the new flight paths for a new runway might be, see www.gacc.org.uk/latest-news ]
Sally Pavey, GACC committee member from Warnham: ‘This is about not sharing the load of planes taking off from Gatwick but about a commercial organisation endeavouring to profit from a greater number of flights – at the expense of home owners.’
Another GACC committee member commented: ‘I am not happy with consultations which give the appearance of democratic process while actually asking people questions to which they cannot know the answers.’
Last time NATS undertook a consultation on new flight paths, in 2008, it was in relation to flight paths north of the Thames. That time they did publish maps showing the proposed flight paths and got back about 15,000 objections – so many that they had to drop the scheme. So this time they are trying to get away with no maps.
Airspace consultation launched by NATS and Gatwick Airport – for Gatwick, London City, Southend & Biggin Hill airport areas
Date added: October 16, 2013
NATS, the UK’s provider of air traffic services, and Gatwick Airport have started a joint consultation today on proposed airspace changes over southern England. It is called the London Airspace Consultation (LAC) and it will run for 14 weeks, until January 21st, 2014. The public can respond. The consultation is on swathes of airspace – not exact routes – which will be determined after consideration of the consultation feedback. That makes commenting difficult. NATS says this is the first stage in a wider programme of proposed changes to deliver the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS), which is being developed by the CAA. The intention is that the FAS will help airlines make efficiencies in fuel use, and perhaps reduce noise for those over-flown. New European legislation requires all member States, including the UK, to revise airspace and maximise the use of new technologies, to get noise and CO2 benefits. The current NATS consultation involves airspace around Gatwick and also London City Airport. Later stages will deal with other areas of airspace in other parts of the London airports network, and should be completed by 2020. Local residents fear the real motive is to pack in more flights.
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Main parts of the consultation
There are many documents and a rough map of areas affected at London Airspace Consultation
- Part A (PDF, 1 MB)Part A: Executive Summary and Introduction
- Part B (PDF, 4 MB)Proposed changes in the vicinity of Gatwick Airport below 4,000ft
- Part C (PDF, 4 MB)Proposed Changes to London Gatwick Routes between 4,000ft and 7,000ft over parts of Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey and Kent
- Part D (PDF, 2 MB)Proposed changes to London Gatwick Routes above 7,000ft over parts of Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey and Kent
- Part E (PDF, 5 MB)Proposed Changes to London City and London Biggin Hill Routes between 4,000ft and 7,000ft over parts of Essex and Kent
- Part F (PDF, 3 MB)Proposed changes to London City, London Biggin Hill and London Southend routes above 7,000ft over parts of Kent, Essex and Suffolk
- Part G (PDF, 728 kB)Justification and further detail for proposed changes including effects on aviation
Going back to the TCN (Terminal Control North) consultation in 2008
NATS publishes consultation on changes to the Terminal Control North airspace region
[AirportWatch held a workshop on the NATS proposals, on 8th April in London. ]
NATS have put their proposals for changes to the Terminal Control North airspace
region out to public consultation. The Terminal Control North area covers a
large part of London, southern and eastern England, an area with a population
of 12 million people and home to some of the UK’s busiest airports. The consultation ran till 22nd May 2008.
NATS said they were seeking feedback on their proposals before submitting them to the UK airspace regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, for a decision.
Map below shows the old, and the proposed, holding stacks in the TCN region.
Source – NATS