Heathrow flight path trials branded an “omnishambles” by councillors, given no prior warning (and then asked to back 3rd runway)
During a full Bracknell Forest Council meeting on 17th a motion put forward by Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker to ensure the borough’s residents views are considered by the airport was unanimously carried. The motion came after councillors received complaints from people in Winkfield, Warfield, Binfield and Ascot who noticed a large amount of planes flying over their homes in July. Local MP Adam Afriye, who himself lives in Old Windsor, knows the problem. He has said he will continue his 10-year campaign to fight any changes in flights which expose residents to higher levels of aircraft noise. He has received extensive correspondence from distressed residents who feel the aircraft noise pattern has changed and is now unbearable. Bracknell councillors are very angry they were not consulted by Heathrow in advance of the trials. One councillor said he was disgusted to receive no information about the trial, but at the same time get a letter asking him to back Heathrow’s campaign for a 3rd runway. He said: “This has been an own goal in PR terms, the only way to describe it is an omnishambles….The irony of neighbours receiving this letter should not escape any of us.”
Heathrow Airport flight path trials branded an “omnishambles”
A trial of flight paths by Heathrow Airport which has increased air traffic over Bracknell Forest has been branded an “omnishambles”.
During a full council meeting last night a motion put forward by Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker to ensure the borough’s residents views are considered by the airport was unanimously carried.
The motion came after councillors received complaints from people in Winkfield, Warfield, Binfield and Ascot who noticed a large amount of planes flying over their homes in July.
Cllr Brunel-Walker’s motion also demanded Heathrow Airport admit it should have consulted Bracknell Forest Council about the trials which are expected to last until January.
Cllr Rob McLean, who represents Warfield Harvest Ride, said he was disgusted to receive no information about the trial at the same time as receiving a letter to back Heathrow’s campaign for a third runway.
He said: “This has been an own goal in PR terms, the only way to describe it is an omnishambles.
“The irony of neighbours receiving this letter should not escape any of us.
“The purpose of this is to make it perfectly clear they have screwed up because they didn’t tell us about this trial.
“Our residents were given no warning of this, they didn’t even know it was a trial period and have struggled to find any information about what is happening and why.”
Councillors, who asked to be kept up-to-date with discussions, also used the debate to encourage as many people as possible to attend a meeting next month with representative from Heathrow Airport, the National Air Traffic Control Service (NACS) and the Civil Aviation Authority to voice their concerns.
The meeting, at Ascot Racecourse in High Street, will begin at 7pm on Monday, October 13.
Cllr Brunel-Walker’s motion stated: “Bracknell Forest Council supports the continued success of Heathrow but regrets it was not consulted about the current trial of new flight paths over the parishes of our borough.
“Members have received approaches from many residents and the council is resolute in making sure their voices are heard as part of any consultation.
“Therefore, the council asks Heathrow Airport and NATS to confirm they are taking fully into account the views of our residents in this trial and will in future ensure this council is informed of all such changes to flight paths, timings etc. that have the potential to cause concern to our residents.”
Issues can also be raised about the trials by contacting the airport on 0800 344 844 [goes through to answerphone, as the airport is swamped by complaints] or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adam Afriyie: I know only too well how intrusive low-flying aircraft can be
As we are all aware, Heathrow is trialling new flight paths over the constituency, with the current phase due to last until January 2015.
As a resident of Old Windsor, I know all too well how intrusive low-flying aircraft can be; not only does it disrupt our sleep late at night and in the early hours of the morning, but it has an impact on our work and social lives, too.
It is disturbing, therefore, to have received so much correspondence from distressed residents who tell me that the aircraft noise pattern has changed and is now unbearable.
Having already contacted Heathrow Airport to request more information about the current trials and to address the concerns of those who have contacted me directly, they will now be carrying out a more in-depth analysis of flight patterns in the area, the results of which it plans to share with residents.
I know our hard-working councillors have also been receiving lots of calls and emails and, as always, they are being incredibly proactive in responding to the issues affecting our local area.
Bracknell Forest Councillor Tony Virgo is doing a fantastic job at representing constituents’ concerns to Heathrow and the Civil Aviation Authority, and liaising with Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to arrange a public meeting at which Heathrow can answer some key questions.
The meeting will give residents a chance to voice their concerns, and allow Heathrow to share its analysis and clarify the reasons for these trials. Heathrow Airport Ltd must take local concerns seriously, and I urge them to find a solution that is acceptable to the community.
A third runway will affect one million people within the crucial 55 decibel noise zone and hundreds of thousands are likely to be exposed to aircraft noise for the first time.
I will continue my 10-year campaign to fight against any [changes] in flights which expose residents to higher levels of aircraft noise.