Thousands of responses against Farnborough’s airspace change proposals – especially from gliding clubs
12 MPs, South Downs National Park Authority, Goodwood Airfield and more than 3,000 people have responded to Farnborough airport’s proposal to control a vast amount of airspace across the South Downs. The airspace consultation period ended on 12th May, and there has been a high level of opposition. The proposal plans to lower and narrow the airspace spanning West Sussex, South Downs National Park and Hampshire, would allow private aircraft to make uninterrupted journeys across the designated area. Gliding clubs are very unhappy about the plans as the areas of sky available for them would change. They say the changes could ‘kill’ the activities of the club. They also claimed that this move will force other aircraft to fly lower increasing aircraft noise for residents living in the South Downs. Also that the proposals could significantly increase the risks of mid-air collisions by forcing general aviation aircraft to fly in much smaller ‘corridors’ of free airspace. “These proposals are just like a limousine company buying up two lanes of the M25 exclusively for the benefit of the wealthy and famous.”
Thousands respond to big South Downs airspace proposal
23.6.2014 (West Sussex County Times)
Twelve MPs, South Downs National Park Authority, Goodwood Airfield and more than 3,000 people have responded to a private airport’s proposal to control a vast amount of airspace across the Downs.
As the consultation period for Farnborough Airport’s application comes to an end, [it ended on 12th May 2014] a torrent of objections have flooded in opposing the controversial air space request.
The proposal which plans to lower and narrow the airspace spanning West Sussex, South Downs National Park and Hampshire, would allow private aircraft to make uninterrupted journeys across the designated area.
A spokesperson for Southdown Gliding Club (SGC) in Coolham, just outside Storrington, said the proposal is only for the benefit of the ‘wealthy and famous’ and could ‘kill’ the activities of the club. They also claimed that this move will force other aircraft to fly lower increasing aircraft noise for residents living in the South Downs.
A spokesman for the club said: “These proposals are just like a limousine company buying up two lanes of the M25 exclusively for the benefit of the wealthy and famous.
“If such proposals, as they stand, go ahead not only will safety and noise be an issue but there could be huge economic problems for Goodwood and Shoreham airports due to aircraft being put off visiting the south coast due to these risks.
“The proposals could also kill the activities of the SGC. This is the biggest threat to generalaviation in the south”.
The General Aviation Alliance (GAA) and the British Gliding Association have claimed that the proposals could significantly increase the risks of mid-air collisions by forcing aircraft to fly in much smaller ‘corridors’ of free airspace.
The consultation attracted well over 3,000 replies. They include those from 12 MPs, the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA), Goodwood Airfield, West Sussex residents, and many pilots of gliders and light aircraft.
The SGC spokesperson continued: “SDNPA are especially concerned.
“One of their goals is to create a park of tranquillity and the potential increased noise is of real concern to them.”
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert has also lodged his objection and written formally to the Civil Aviation Authority (CCA) to ask them to dismiss such proposals which could have a ‘devastating effect’ especially on the activities of the SCG, one of the oldest of its type in the country.
The owners of Farnborough, TAG, will now consider the responses and submit their proposal to the CAA.
The SGC spokesperson said they have ‘faith’ that the CAA have studied all the consultation policies and will do the ‘right thing’ for the club and other General Aviation users.
They said: “General Aviation activity is very important to the UK because it is this community which provides the inspiration for and the basic training of pilots.
“It also includes the emergency services and police helicopters, hot air balloons, gliders, and the aircraft which fly at air displays.
“If General Aviation were to suffer at the hands of a few private and non-UK owned companies such as the TAG corporation, then many peoples’ lives will be made poorer as a result and our aviation heritage will suffer greatly.”
For details about the club visit www.southdowngliding.co.uk
Farnborough airport consultation on hugely expanding its airspace, for questionable reasons
April 13, 2014
Farnborough airport is consulting on its plans to hugely increase the amount of airspace it controls. This will have considerable impacts on general aviation fliers and helicopters in the area, as they would not be able to fly in the new Farnborough airspace, as at present, but would have to make large detours and fly lower, causing more noise to those living nearby. The aim of the airspace grab by Farnborough is thought to be to speed up the arrival of departure of the private jets and business jets which are the users of Farnborough, so the very few passengers per plane (about 2.7 on average, on planes designed to take hugely more) are spared any small delay. The airport has had declining numbers of flights in recent years, and is nowhere near to its target number. It is therefore surprising that the airport feels the need for such a large increase in its controlled airspace.There are real fears that this is in preparation for Farnborough attempting to expand into commercial aviation. ‘Sky grabbing’ for future use for a much bigger operation? TAG could make a nice profit if it sells an airport with attached airspace!