Salfords parish council to enlist aviation expert to battle Gatwick Route 4 flight path change
Salfords and Sidlow Parish Council council is to pay up to £1,000 for an aviation expert to help battle “awful” Gatwick flight noise. They have agreed to hire someone to provide guidance on why Gatwick’s recent adjustment to Route 4 appears to be causing problems for residents, after receiving reports of “intolerable noise and disturbance”. Route 4 was modified 2 years ago to fly slightly further north than before, causing a lot of distress to those newly, and intensively, overflown. The route has now been moved further south, but is narrower than before, causing serious noise problems for the thousands affected. Salfords and Sidlow is one of the areas now worse affected, and they are badly affected – including late at night and in the early morning, with low planes overhead. People who bought their homes a year or two ago, when the areas was relatively quiet, did not anticipate this noise assault. Affected residents will not allow their lives to be ruined and their properties blighted by the introduction of this route using P-RNAV technology, which effectively allows aircraft to fly on a single track with no respite for those below. At the least, there must be period of the day without planes – respite. The most recent adjustment to Route 4 is not permanent and a six-month monitoring period runs until November – people need to send their views to Gatwick, which passes them to the CAA.
A parish council is to pay up to £1,000 for an aviation expert to help battle “awful” Gatwick Airport flight noise.
Salfords and Sidlow Parish Council has agreed to hire someone to provide guidance on why the airport’s recent adjustment to Route 4 appears to be causing problems for residents, after receiving reports of “intolerable noise and disturbance”.
Gatwick modified the flight path, which flies over the village as well as south Reigate, in May following the Civil Aviation Authority’s review of P-RNAV. This is a satellite precision-area navigation system that led to flight path modifications when it was brought in two years ago. After these changes caused thousands of complaints, the CAA conducted a review that required Route 4 to be returned to a closer replication of its pre-P-RNAV form.
But now that this has been done, Salfords and Sidlow villagers are up in arms and have contacted the council to complain about flight noise early in the mornings and late at night.
The issue dominated the August 8 parish council meeting, according to minutes on its website, with the discussion going on for more than an hour.
Residents are reporting seeing more flights than before, flying lower and in the middle of the night. Others are aggrieved at having purchased their properties between 2014 and May this year, suddenly experiencing more noise.
David Brown, parish council chairman, said: “Residents are being encouraged to let Gatwick Airport know that they will not allow their lives to be ruined and their properties blighted by the introduction of this route using P-RNAV technology, which effectively allows aircraft to fly on a single track with no respite for those affected.
“Gatwick Airport owners are lobbying hard for a second runway and we must ensure that those making decisions on aviation matters have a clear understanding of the dreadful impact such developments have on people’s lives. This route is making people very angry and must be changed with respite provided for those affected. It is just awful.”
The most recent adjustment is not permanent and a six-month monitoring period runs until November. Gatwick is continuing to send feedback from residents to the CAA.
A blog on Gatwick’s website about Route 4 said: “The airport is receiving a considerable amount of correspondence from a number of communities located beneath or adjacent to Route 4 who previously experienced reduced levels of overflight when the airport switched from conventional navigation to R-NAV1, and traffic moved outside of Route 4, resulting in the situation which the CAA asked us to address.
“These communities are now experiencing increased levels of overflight due to this amendment and the re-introduction of air traffic to Route 4, albeit with greater dispersal across the 3km wide swathe.
“To date we have received 3,000 pieces of feedback from individuals; this continues to be collated and forwarded to the Civil Aviation Authority on a monthly basis. Feedback should continue to be sent firstname.lastname@example.org”
A spokesman for Gatwick added: “This modification to Route 4 was required by the CAA in accordance with its regulations to minimise noise impact from flights outside the noise preferential route.
“As there is a change, some people will inevitably experience more noise than they did before its introduction.Our latest monitoring shows 95 per cent of Route 4 flights are now operating within the noise preferential route, whilst achieving the dispersal asked for by residents. During the current monitoring phase Gatwick will continue to collate community feedback, which is being sent to the CAA, while regular community updates can be found on our Route 4 blog.”
Gatwick Route 4 finally re-routed as local MP warns about noise misery dangers of a 2nd runway
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.