The CAA’s disappointing PIR finally published, showing only one Gatwick route to be slightly changed
Since autumn 2013 there have been changes to flight paths for Gatwick airport, given provisional approval by the CAA. Routes have been altered, and flight paths have been more concentrated. This has been done without consultation of affected communities. The CAA has done a PIR (Post Implementation Review) that ended in January. It has finally, after delays, published its findings. These are regarded as very disappointing, as almost no concessions have been made and though hundreds of complaints were sent in, there are few changes to routes. GACC says: “In a 198 page report they devote only 2 pages to the possibility of dispersal – spreading the aircraft over a wider area – and to the possibility of respite – giving people a break from constant noise. And then reject both. We will now need to take the case to the Government and indeed will raise this when we meet the Minister for Aviation, Robert Goodwill MP …on 18 November.” The more concentrated noise has caused great distress for the people unlucky enough to live directly under the flight paths. The only change to a route is one which takes off to the west, and flies over Holmwood, Brockham and Reigate – Gatwick will be consulting on a revised route in the next few months. People are angry that the CAA, yet again, ignores input from the public.
The long awaited CAA review of departure flight paths from Gatwick has now been published.
It is at http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/
CAA misses opportunity to end misery
11.11.2015 (GACC press release)
‘It is a great disappointment that the CAA have rejected proposals for reducing the misery caused by new flight paths’ according to Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC. ‘In a 198 page report they devote only 2 pages to the possibility of dispersal – spreading the aircraft over a wider area – and to the possibility of respite – giving people a break from constant noise. And then reject both. We will now need to take the case to the Government and indeed will raise this when we meet the Minister for Aviation, Robert Goodwill MP, next week, on 18 November.’
New flight paths for aircraft departing from Gatwick were introduced in autumn 2013 and given provisional approval by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The fact that these routes are concentrated on very narrow tracks as a result of aircraft switching to satellite navigation (like Satnavs for cars) has caused great distress for the people unlucky enough to live directly under the flight paths.
The CAA has now published their much delayed review of these routes. Almost all remain unchanged. The only change is to the route which takes off to the west, and then turns right over Holmwood, Brockham and Reigate. The disturbance caused by this route led to the creation of a vigorous protest group, Plane Wrong. Gatwick will be consulting on a revised route in the next few months.
‘It is also disappointing that the CAA do not even mention the possibility of compensation. If a new motorway is built near your home, you are legally entitled to compensation for the loss of its value. The same should apply’ said Sewill, ‘when a new motorway is created in the sky.’
There is detail on each of the routes (with density maps) at
CAA decision on Gatwick Airport airspace departures review
Today the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced the conclusions of its review of the impact of a 2013 airspace change for departures from Gatwick Airport.
European and national projects are improving airspace infrastructure to deliver a more efficient use of airspace and enable environmental improvements including fuel and CO2 savings by aircraft flying more direct routes. As part of this work Gatwick Airport sought the CAA’s approval to implement changes to their departure routes which we approved on 14 August 2013.[There was a public consultation from October 2013 to January 2014].
These changes meant a move away from old ground-based navigation in order to utilise the improved navigational capabilities associated with satellite-based systems. Our approval was given after a consultation by the airport.
Around one year after implementation of such an airspace change the CAA reviews whether the anticipated impacts and benefits have been delivered. In this case the review included a comprehensive study of flight paths flown and assessment of the significant amount of feedback we received from the general public, particularly over noise concerns.
In summary our review has concluded:
• Six routes have delivered the aim of the change and will remain in their current state. These are routes 1, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9. [See details of routes below] • One route has not delivered the aim of the change and must be modified to an acceptable standard. This is route 4 which departs from the westerly runway and then turns right to head east to route north of the airport.
• Two routes have delivered the aim of the change to an acceptable standard but Gatwick has been required to consider whether modification could deliver a better outcome. These are routes 2 and 5. route 2 is from the easterly runway and turns right to route towards the south-coast and route 5 departs to the east from the easterly runway.
(For further information about each route, please see Notes to Editors section)
Gatwick Airport has been informed of our conclusions and is already working on the modifications we have required with a priority on route 4. Both Gatwick and the CAA will work to implement any acceptable modifications taking into account internationally agreed schedules for publishing changes to airspace.
The full review is available on the CAA website here
Phil Roberts, Head of Airspace, Air Traffic Management & Aerodromes, at the CAA, said: “We absolutely understand that aircraft noise disturbs many people and we have taken the required amount of time to fully assess the considerable amount of feedback we have received from across the local communities.
“As we have done throughout this review, we will continue to consider the environmental impact of all our airspace decisions and have called on the aviation industry and other decision-makers to be much more ambitious in confronting aviation’s environmental challenges.”
For more information, please email the CAA Press Office at email@example.com, or call 020 7453 6030. You can follow the CAA on Twitter at @UK_CAA
– Ends –
Notes to editors
UK airspace is a very limited and important part of our national transport infrastructure but the basic structure of the UK’s airspace was developed over forty years ago. Since then there have been huge changes, including a hundred fold increase in demand for aviation.Throughout Europe there is a move to simplify and harmonise the way airspace and air traffic control is used through the Single European Sky project. In the UK and Ireland we’re meeting those and other issues through the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS), which sets out a plan to modernise airspace by 2020. You can see more information at www.caa.co.uk/fas.
More information on UK airspace and how the CAA handles applications for airspace changes can be found on our website here.
Route1: Westbound traffic towards Southampton from the westerly runway.Route 2: Southbound traffic towards Seaford for routes across the English Channel from the easterly runway.
Route 3: Westbound traffic towards Southampton from the easterly runway.
Route 4: Eastbound traffic from the westerly runway which splits into four routes towards: Dover for eastbound traffic; Clacton for eastbound/northeast bound traffic; towards the Brentwood area for northbound routes and towards Biggin Hill for positioning flights to Heathrow.
Route 5: Eastbound traffic from the easterly runway which then splits into three routes towards: Dover for eastbound traffic, Clacton for eastbound/northeast bound traffic, and towards Biggin Hill for positioning flights to Heathrow.
Route 6: Eastbound traffic from the easterly runway which then turns north towards the Brentwood area for routes to the north.
Route 7: Southbound traffic towards Bognor Regis for routes across the English Channel (day time only) from the westerly runway.
Route 8: Southbound traffic towards Seaford for routes across the English Channel (night time only) from the westerly runway .
Route 9: Eastbound traffic towards Dover, northeast bound via Clacton or northbound via the Brentwood area from the westerly runway, but used as an overload route only.
The only route to be changed is Route 4, LAM.
The document about this is at http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/Annex1toCAP1346RouteReport4.pdf
The main PIR document says of this (Page 85) :
“9.49. Nonetheless for the reasons set out at paragraphs 9.11 – 9.13 above we have concluded that the environmental impact of this concentration and of the shift in traffic is not significant (within the meaning of Paragraph 9 of the Secretary of State’s 2001 Directions to the CAA) and after carrying out this PIR we have concluded that on balance the environmental impact of the changes to Route 4’s SIDs identified above should not be a reason to require withdrawal of the Route 4 SIDs.
9.50 However, as set out below in Chapter 10 Route 4, we do not consider that this SID is an acceptable replication of the nominal track of the conventional SID. The CAA requires modifications to the design of the RNAV-1 SID on this route to achieve an initial turn that is closer to the existing nominal track of the existing conventional SID and, if successful, we consider this will also have the effect of bringing the mean track of the final north-easterly leg of the traffic on the SID further south, further away from communities such as Leigh, Reigate and Redhill, that is more in line with where we expected traffic to be and as was the case prior to the introduction of the RNAV-1 SIDs.”
Sally Pavey’s comment on the CAA’s Gatwick PIR – it ‘ignored’ human cost of changed flight paths
Responding to the publication of the PIR (Post Implementation Review of Gatwick flight path changes since 2013, Sally Pavey (Chair of CAGNE) commented that it was “extremely disappointing”. It concluded that only the departure route taking off to the west, and heading north, had to change. Local group, Plane Wrong, welcomed that admission, but are dismayed by the CAA’s conclusion that the easterly departure route does not need to be changed. The PIR said a route towards the south-coast and another heading east were acceptable but should be reviewed by Gatwick; the remaining six routes did not need to change. Sally said the PIR now needed to be reviewed by the Aviation Minister, Robert Goodwill: “For a Government, in this day and age, to implement and subject residents to such an airspace concentrated system without any research into the noise readings or emissions from concentrated routes is beyond belief.” She added: “The noise shadow is far grater from a concentrated route than a dispersed route. It’s like having a country lane next to your home, which might see a few cars throughout the day and night, and changing it to the M1 overnight. The noise is relentless. Until the aviation industry recognise that concentrated routes create noise shadows these reports are pointless as they serve only the aviation industry and not the taxpayers.” The report offers little for people affected in West Sussex.
Gatwick flight paths comment deadline to CAA by 5th Jan 2015 on PIR (Post Implementation Review)
Gatwick airport carried out a consultation on changes to its airspace at the end of 2013, finishing in January 2014. They then carried out another consultation in May 2014. Gatwick is required to allow time for people to comment and give their feedback on the impacts of proposed airspace changes. This is called a PIR (Post Implementation Review). The deadline is 5th January 2015. After that date, the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) will review the comments – and the degree to which changes to flight paths have affected the public being overflown. The airspace changes are due to PRNAV (precision navigation) and PBN (performance based navigation) – meaning aircraft fly much more accurate routes than was possible before, and routes are also concentrated to be more narrow than before. People who have been adversely affected by flight path changes from aircraft using Gatwick are recommended to send in their comments again. (The CAA has not confirmed that they would consider earlier emails or letters). There is no specific consultation document or form to fill in. The address to email is mark.swan.GatwickPIR@caa.co.uk People need to not only write to the CAA, but copy this to their MP and to the DfT.