Kent County Council withdraws backing for Gatwick 2nd runway, due to noise burden

Kent County Council (KCC) is intending to oppose plans for a 2nd Gatwick runway, in order to protect residents in west Kent from “intolerable” aircraft noise. A council policy paper sets out the position of the council and gives details of the over-flying problem, and the level of noise which has risen to unacceptable levels.  This will be discussed at a cabinet meeting next week. The recommendation states: “The Cabinet agrees that KCC opposes a 2nd runway at Gatwick Airport, opposes the increase in overflights across West Kent as a result of airspace changes, and supports a reduction in the number of night flights.”  KCC Leader, Paul Carter, said a potential doubling of the noise impacts over west Kent would be intolerable.  The number of night flights at Gatwick during the summer period is already three and half times as many as at Heathrow.  “Expansion of night flights must not happen.“  KCC said it will call on Gatwick to put in place operational procedures to provide respite for areas experiencing continuing over-flights day and night, to spread out the noise burden.
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Gatwick second runway: Kent County Council withdraws backing

24 November 2014 (BBC)

Changes in Gatwick flight paths have prompted Kent County Council to withdraw its support for a second runway at the West Sussex airport.

Council leader Paul Carter said the new flight paths had made life intolerable for people living in the Bidborough, Chiddingstone and Speldhurst areas.

The council previously support the second runway in its report, Bold Steps for Aviation, published in May 2012.

Gatwick said it regretted the council (KCC) had reversed its decision.

Night flights concern
The Airports Commission is considering three options for airport expansion in the South East – a second runway at Gatwick, a third runway at Heathrow, or an extension to one of the existing Heathrow runways.

KCC’s new policy is expected to be approved by its cabinet on 1 December and submitted to the Airports Commission as part of its three-week consultation.

“What has changed big time is that the National Air Traffic Control have started to implement changes in flight paths,” said Mr Carter.

“This has brought to our attention the concentration in flight paths but also that the number of night flights at Gatwick is about three and a half times the number at Heathrow, which is a massive issue.”

Five MPs from Kent, Surrey and Sussex also expressed their concerns about the new flight paths and the second runway, at a meeting in Crawley on Saturday organised by Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign.

Gatwick protest groupGatwick Area Conservation Campaign held a meeting to oppose a second runway attended by five MPs.

Gatwick protest group
Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign held a meeting to oppose a second runway attended by five MPs
Alastair McDermid, Gatwick’s airports commission director, said flight path changes had reduced the number of people who were affected by aircraft noise but those under the new routes did have more noise.

“There will be no further changes while we look at this and we try to learn would be the best way to implement them,” he said.

He said thousands of households affected by noise from a second runway would get £1,000 a year compensation and insulation grants.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30173769

 

Related BBC Stories


 

The summary text of the policy paper to the Kent County Council Cabinet  “Policy on Gatwick Airport”

This states

Summary:
Gatwick Airport Ltd has proposed a second runway which is now subject to a national
public consultation by the Airports Commission. A recommendation will then be made
by the Airports Commission to Government in summer 2015 on whether Heathrow or
Gatwick should have approval for additional runway capacity.

The proposal for a second runway along with proposals for changes to airspace
resulting in a concentration of flight paths; a high level of permitted night flights; and
an increase in over-flight and noise currently experienced in West Kent; has resulted
in Kent County Council opposing a second runway at Gatwick Airport.

The increase in over-flight across West Kent, the proposed airspace changes and night flights at Gatwick are also opposed.

The policy on Gatwick is stated in section 4.16 of this report and this will be added to
‘Facing the Aviation Challenge’ which states Kent County Council’s views on
aviation.

Recommendation:

The Cabinet agrees that Kent County Council opposes a second runway at Gatwick
Airport, opposes the increase in overflights across West Kent as a result of airspace
changes, and supports a reduction in the number of night flights.

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Kent County Council intend to oppose plans for a second Gatwick runway which could affect residents in Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells

24 November 2014  (Kent Messenger)

by Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas
Kent County Council is intending to oppose plans for a second runway at Gatwick Airport in order to protect residents in west Kent from “intolerable” aircraft noise.

A paper published today sets out the position of the council and details how an increase in over-flights and noise experienced by communities in west Kent has risen to unacceptable levels.

It comes just two weeks after a major consultation exercise on the future of air transport was launched by the Airports Commission.

On the drawing board are two proposals for expansion at Heathrow Airport, and one at Gatwick – which will itself cost an estimated £9.3 billion, £2 billion more than predicted.

KCC said it will call on Gatwick Airport to put in place operational procedures to provide respite for those areas that experience continuing over-flights day and night.

The matter will be discussed by officers at a cabinet meeting next week, where a recommendation has been put forward for KCC to oppose “a second runway at Gatwick Airport, oppose the increase in overflights across west Kent as a result of airspace changes, and support a reduction a reduction in the number of night flights.

Leader of Kent County Council Paul Carter said:“The noise impacts on west Kent from Gatwick’s current single runway configuration are already unacceptable and a potential doubling of these impacts with a second runway would be intolerable.
“The National Air Traffic control service has started to implement changes in flight paths, which has brought to our attention two things – a concentration of flight paths over west Kent; and that the number of night flights at Gatwick during the summer period is three and half times those coming in and out of Heathrow, which is a massive issue.

“This change in flight paths has been intolerable for a significant number of residents in that area and brought us to the conclusion that if they are going to pursue this policy in line with the EU Single European Sky initiatives, expansion of this airport and expansion of night flights must not happen.“

Affected residents have reported that overflights have recently risen from 10 – 20 flights-a-day to a maximum of 150.

Mr Carter added: “It is quite clear that residents in west Kent are already suffering from significant levels of disturbance as a result of increased air traffic over the last few years and the recent changes in flight paths.

“We want Gatwick to provide respite for these residents by varying flight paths – and have met with the airport’s chief executive to discuss this.

“We want the NATS air traffic control service to re-design the airspace to include the use of multiple arrival and departure routes, to provide predictable, rotating respite, and spread the burden of over-flight more equitably between communities.

“The current number of permitted night flights is simply unacceptable and has resulted in a massive increase in the number of complaints from residents whose quality of life has been disrupted.

“It is quite clear that residents in west Kent are already suffering from significant levels of disturbance as a result of increased air traffic over the last few years and the recent changes in flight paths” – Paul Carter…
“We want the Department for Transport to reduce the night movement limit at Gatwick to at least a level that is comparable with Heathrow.”

“Lastly, there is a lack of adequate surface transport infrastructure enhancements to cope with the proposed additional demand and little obvious direct economic benefit to Kent.

“While we recognise the need for additional airport capacity in order to maintain UK PLC’s position as a major international hub, we cannot support Gatwick Airport Ltd’s proposal for a second runway.”

Many west Kent residents became concerned that their views were not being considered by the county council. At a Southborough Town Council meeting held in September, KCC member Matthew Balfour was questioned by many before stating the council’s support for the second runway was “history”.

The council’s cabinet committee papers state: “In terms of economic impacts, the West Kent districts of Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge and Malling did not even feature in the study area for the economic effects of a second runway in Gatwick Airport Ltd’s consultation on the runway options.”

Richard Streatfeild Chair of the High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group said he welcomes the news that KCC will oppose expansion at Gatwick.

He added: “Listening to the leader of KCC one could tell that the impact of hundreds if not thousands of letters and emails that the council had received from individuals, Parish and Town Councils as well as protest groups were key to their change of heart.

“They have heeded the reasonable arguments of reasonable people.”

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/tonbridge/news/kcc-to-oppose-new-gatwick-27496/

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Kent County Council opposes Gatwick’s plans for a second runway

24 November 2014  (Kent County Council website)

Kent County Council is intending to oppose plans for a second runway at Gatwick Airport in order to protect residents in West Kent from “intolerable” aircraft noise.

A paper published today (to be considered at a meeting of the cabinet on 1 December) sets out the position of KCC and details how an increase in over-flights and noise experienced by communities in West Kent has risen to unacceptable levels. The county council will call on Gatwick Airport to put in place operational procedures to provide respite for those areas that experience continuous over-flights day and night.

Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council, said:

“The noise impacts on West Kent from Gatwick’s current single runway configuration are already unacceptable and a potential doubling of these impacts with a second runway would be intolerable.

“In line with the EU Single European Sky initiatives, the National Air Traffic control service has started to implement changes in flight paths, which has brought to our attention two things – a concentration of flight paths over West Kent; and that the number of night flights at Gatwick during the summer period is three and half times those coming in and out of Heathrow, which is a massive issue.

“This change in flight paths has been intolerable for a significant number of residents in that area and brought us to the conclusion that if they are going to pursue this policy in line with the EU Single European Sky initiatives, expansion of this airport and expansion of night flights must not happen.”

Gatwick’s night time air transport movement limits (between 23:20 and 06:00) remains set until 2017, at 3,250 in winter and 11,200 in summer. This contrasts with far tighter night time movement controls at Heathrow – 2,550 in winter and 3,250 in summer.

Affected residents have reported that overflights have recently risen from 10 – 20 flights-a-day to a maximum of 150.

“It is quite clear that residents in West Kent are already suffering from significant levels of disturbance as a result of increased air traffic over the last few years and the recent changes in flight paths,” Paul Carter said.

“We want Gatwick to provide respite for these residents by varying flight paths – and have met with the airport’s chief executive to discuss this. We want Gatwick and the NATS air traffic control service to re-design the airspace to include the use of multiple arrival and departure routes, to provide predictable, rotating respite, and spread the burden of over-flight more equitably between communities.

“Also, the current number of permitted night flights is simply unacceptable and has resulted in a massive increase in the number of complaints from residents whose quality of life has been disrupted.

“We want the Department for Transport to reduce the night movement limit at Gatwick to at least a level that is comparable with Heathrow.”

Paul Carter said:

“Lastly, there is a lack of adequate surface transport infrastructure enhancements to cope with the proposed additional demand and little obvious direct economic benefit to Kent.

“While we recognise the need for additional airport capacity in order to maintain UK PLC’s position as a major international hub, we cannot support Gatwick Airport Ltd’s proposal for a second runway.”

Read the cabinet committee paper (PDF, 82.5 KB)

http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/news-and-press-releases/roads-and-travel-news/kent-county-council-opposes-gatwicks-plans-for-a-second-runway

 

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Earlier:

 

Residents and their MP in west Kent want Kent County Council to formally state their objection to a 2nd Gatwick runway

In 2012 Kent County Council produced a document called “Bold Steps for Aviation” in which it recommended to government the building of a 2nd runway at Gatwick airport (as well as high speed rail between Heathrow and Gatwick). It stated: “Capacity growth at Gatwick through the addition of a second runway after 2019. ” This has infuriated many people in west Kent who are increasingly badly affected by Gatwick, and its aircraft noise in particular. Now KCC’s councillor Matthew Balfour has said publicly that the support of KCC for a Gatwick 2nd runway is “history.” Sir John Stanley, Tonbridge and Malling MP, has sent a letter to Kent Council leader Paul Carter asking him to formally rescind the authority’s support of the 2nd runway. He has not received a reply. At a public meeting in Southborough, people were directed to the current document on the KCC website (Facing the Aviation Challenge – August 2014) that now states it currently has no preferred option.  “KCC gives support in principle to expansion at either airport as the right solution to the UK’s aviation needs” by 2030. Sir John Stanley MP does not feel that this new document is enough.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/09/residents-and-their-mp-in-west-kent-want-kent-county-council-to-to-formally-state-that-kcc-formally-state-their-objecition-to-a-2nd-gatwick-runway/

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Kent County Council’s 2012 paper, pro Gatwick 2nd runway

Kent County Council produced a deeply unpopular document called “Bold Steps for Aviation” in May 2012, that backed a 2nd Gatwick runway.

 

This called for: “Capacity growth at Gatwick through the addition of a second runway after 2019. “.

https://shareweb.kent.gov.uk/Documents/News/Bold%20Steps%20for%20Aviation%20May%202012.pdf