Gatwick CEO says planes over Reigate “could be from Heathrow” …? Just as likely to be Gatwick ….
Many residents living near Reigate have recently reported increased aircraft noise. This may have been due to planes arriving at, or departing from, Heathrow. That is the claim from Gatwick Airport’s chief executive Stewart Wingate, who has assured residents the offending noise is not due to flight path changes at his airport. The Heathrow “WebTrak” website shows (approximately – not 100% accurate) the positions and tracks of aircraft arriving at, or departing from, Heathrow. The Gatwick “Casper” website also shows the tracks of planes arriving at, or departing from, Gatwick. Both these websites show aircraft in the vicinity of Reigate. The WebTrak record suggests planes stacking, waiting to land at Heathrow, at about 9,000 to 9,600 feet. Planes taking off from Heathrow, flying near Reigate, would be a bit higher than 6,000 feet. Planes taking off from Gatwick are also shown in the area close to Gatwick, at 5,500 to 6,000 feet. So it appears people in the area south of Reigate may be subjected to planes using both airports.
Heathrow Airport’s Flight Tracking – Webtrak
Gatwick Airport’s Flight Tracking – “Casper”
by which flights taking off and landing can be seen, with a time delay.
Section of screenshot of some Heathrow flights on 3.8.2014 from WebTrak showing a plane (red) arrival, waiting to land at Heathrow. These planes are at an altitude of around 9,000 to 9,600 feet
Section of screenshot of some Heathrow flights on 2.8.2014 from WebTrak showing a plane (green) departing, having taken off from Heathrow. These planes are at an altitude of around 6,200 feet.
Section of screen shot from Gatwick’s”Casper” website, on part of 3.8.2014 showing tracks of planes departing from Gatwick, flying south of Reigate. Planes taking off and flying over Reigate would be at an altitude of approximately 5,500 to 6,000 feet. http://flighttracking.casper.aero/lgw/
Comment from a local resident:
GAL (Gatwick Airport) are reported to have said it is all Heathrow traffic´which is rubbish. I quite often check overflights over Redhill and there is as much Gatwick traffic as Heathrow traffuc – and it is usually lower. An Emirates A380 at 3,000ft climbing isn´t peaceful !
Gatwick CEO: ‘Planes over Reigate could be from Heathrow’
4.8.2014 (Surrey Mirror) By Chris Madden firstname.lastname@example.org
Aircraft disturbing residents in Reigate could be coming from Heathrow. That is the claim from Gatwick Airport’s chief executive Stewart Wingate, who has assured residents the offending noise is not due to flight path changes at his airport.
This week, the Mirror has received a number of letters from residents of Reigate complaining about aeroplanes waking them at around 5am. Gatwick is currently trialling a new flight path which allows aircraft to take off in a straight line – but airport bosses say they are climbing to the south west of the airport, over Warnham in Sussex. Mr Wingate said any appearance of more planes over Reigate was nothing to do with the test.
Though some Gatwick routes do currently pass close to the town, they are not new flight paths. “They are probably from Heathrow,” he said. “We, at Gatwick, haven’t got a [flight path] over the countryside at Reigate.”
The six-month flight path trial, which involves planes heading south away from the airport, began in February. It is being used to test new tracking technology which should make it easier for planes to fly directly along tighter, designated paths rather than in broad swathes as they do currently. No consultation was held for this trial because it is not a permanent change and is being used only to test new technology.
However, this route is one of those being considered in a separate airspace consultation being carried out by Gatwick.
The airport is currently consulting on new approach and departure flight paths – or noise preferential routes (NPR). The new proposed routes are narrower than the current corridors used by planes flying around Gatwick and could see more aircraft passing over a narrower area.
The Gatwick flight path trial ends on August 15 and the aim is that the new technology being trialled will help pilots fly along the newly defined narrower corridors. Maps showing the proposed routes – which were drawn up following an initial consultation in the spring – can be seen on Gatwick’s website.
Mr Wingate said: “The policy in the country is that airports are encouraged to take narrower flight paths over fewer people.” The first phase of the NPR consultation, earlier this year, allowed residents to outline areas which should be avoided. Now residents have two more weeks to have their say on proposed routes which could lead to more planes over Salfords and Sidlow, but a reduction over Redhill and Charlwood.
Heathrow had not responded to the Mirror’s request for a comment before we went to press.