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.
Section of screenshot of some Heathrow flights on 3.8.2014 fromWebTrakshowing 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 fromWebTrakshowing 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.
On 21st July Heathrow published a consultation on how it hopes to persuade thousands of people, who would be badly affected by increased aircraft noise from its operations, to accept money as compensation. It is offering £550 million, if it is allowed to build a 3rd runway, in various schemes. The £550 million is a one-off, not an annual sum. The aim is to buy off opposition. The existence of the consultation aims to convey the impression that a 3rd runway is inevitable, and that Heathrow is being stunningly generous. Neither is true. The community group dealing in particular with noise due to Heathrow, HACAN, has had numerous complaints from residents who are furious about the assumptions being made in the Heathrow consultation. They do not like being steamrollered into discussions about compensation for something they deeply oppose. HACAN will not be taking any part in the consultation, and not encouraging its members to do so. They feel the compensation discussion “puts the cart before the horse”. Providing Heathrow with assistance in how best to win over residents, whose quality of life will be reduced by a new runway, is not in the interests of those overflown, now or in the future.
Consultation ends 12th October
Campaign group refuses to discuss airport’s £550m runway compensation
Consultation “puts cart before the horse”, says Heathrow campaign group leader
Heathrow has launched a 12-week consultation on how the airport should shape a proposed £0.5bn compensation package in the event a third runway gets built but opponents have slammed the scheme saying it “puts the cart before the horse”.
The consultation is part of Heathrow’s updated submission to the Airports Commission where it committed to spending more than £550m for new noise and property compensation schemes, if the third runway gets approved.
The campaign group Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN) has come out against the entire debate and said it will play no part in the process.
The consultation, which began on July 21 and runs until October 12, will seek views on how that compensation fund should be used.
Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “We believe our proposal to expand is the right way to deliver the capacity Britain needs to connect to fast growing economies around the world.
“This must go hand in hand with treating those most affected by a third runway fairly.
“This consultation provides local people with an opportunity to let us know their views to develop the right compensation scheme.”
In all around 180,000 households and businesses will be contacted in the coming weeks with details of how to take part.
However, HACAN has hit out at the whole process after it said “furious” residents had complained to the group about the matter.
HACAN chairman John Stewart said that residents felt they are being steamrollered into accepting the fact that a third runway is inevitable before the government has even made a decision on the future of Heathrow.
He said: “We get a constant stream of emails from people throughout the year but rarely have we been deluged with so many angry emails as we have had this past week over this consultation.
“People are simply not prepared to discuss compensation arising from a third runway they simply don’t want.”
Mr Stewart added: “HACAN works with Heathrow Airport on issues like flight paths which can improve the quality of life for people affected by the existing Heathrow but we will not be responding to this consultation.
“We believe this consultation is putting the cart before the horse.”
Help shape Heathrow’s proposals for property and noise compensation
21st July – 12th October 2014
Heathrow has launched a new public consultation to help us shape the proposed compensation scheme as part of our updated proposals for a third runway at the Airport. The consultation provides an opportunity for local residents and businesses to give us their views on the principles behind our compensation proposals.
Our vision is for Heathrow to be a globally competitive world-class hub for the UK. Growth at Heathrow will provide the international connectivity that supports economic growth and maintains the UK’s position as a world economic power. The benefits will be local and national. A third runway will create thousands of new jobs, increase trade and tourism, and boost spending in the wider economy. But we understand that people living around Heathrow have concerns about airport expansion. In developing a third runway at Heathrow we must balance the wider benefits of a successful hub airport with the effects on our local communities.
A new runway, built on land beyond the current airport boundary, will have an impact on local homes and businesses. Flight paths for the new runway will expose new people to aircraft noise.
That’s why we’re committed to treating those most affected by our proposals fairly.
We’ve already said that we’ll spend £550m on new noise and property compensation schemes if the Government supports a third runway.
But we want to hear your views on the principles behind our compensation and mitigation schemes. We’re still at an early stage and we want to hear your views before we make those decisions.
The consultation survey and this consultation booklet contain information on our proposals that you might find helpful to read before you complete the survey. If you would like to be sent a copy of the consultation booklet and survey, please let us know by emailing us or calling the Heathrow Community Relations team on 0800 307 7996.
You can also learn more and let us know your views by visiting one of the public exhibitions we are hosting at venues across the local area during the consultation period. We’ll have copies of the consultation survey that you can complete at each exhibition.
You have until the 12th October 2014 to take part.
We really do want to hear your views on Heathrow’s future and hope you’ll take the time to tell us what you think.
We’re committed to treating those most affected by our third runway proposals fairly. That’s why, in our May submission to the Airports Commission, we promised to set aside £550m to cover the costs of property and noise compensation if the Government supports a third runway at Heathrow.
From this fund, £300m will go towards compensation for homes and small businesses bought to make way for the new runway. For anyone whose property is compulsorily purchased, we’re proposing to pay:
The ‘unblighted’ market value of the property;
Plus a 25% above-market value ‘home-loss’ payment;
All legal costs for moving;
Stamp duty towards a new property.
During this consultation we are seeking your views on a number of issues related to the operation of a property compensation scheme, including eligibility for a ‘home loss’ payment, compensation for those who rent their property and compensation for those who would be moved closer to the boundary of an expanded Heathrow.
(Based on their north west runway proposal).
On Noise Compensation, Heathrow says:
We’re committed to treating those most affected by our third runway proposals fairly. In addition to the £300m allocated for property compensation, our revised north-west runway plan also includes £250m to go towards noise compensation.We will use it to mitigate the effect of aircraft noise on homes in the highest noise areas and in areas exposed to significant new noise. ‘Noise compensation’ is a broad term covering three elements of mitigation:
An offer to buy people’s homes
Help with the costs of moving home
Noise insulation for people’s homes.
This consultation provides an opportunity for you to let us know your views on what would constitute a fair approach to noise compensation, how noise impact should be measured and how we balance compensation for those who are newly affected by noise with those who are already impacted.
We already have several schemes in place that meet or exceed Government guidelines. They provide noise compensation to over 40,000 homes around Heathrow (“Our schemes to help you“) . Compensation mostly takes the form of good-quality double glazing and loft insulation in people’s homes.
We accept that if a third runway is to be built, we’ll have to offer an even better noise-compensation scheme. This consultation will help us develop that scheme.
The big question is how the available compensation fund should be used. We want to hear what you think makes a fair compensation scheme.
The consultation document or summary sets out in detail the issues being considered by Heathrow as we shape our proposed compensation package and provides further information on our initial ideas for property and noise compensation. This consultation will be used to guide how the £550m Heathrow has promised for compensation, is spent.
If you would like to request a hard copy of the consultation document along with a Freepost consultation survey form, please contact our team using the details on the Contact Heathrow page.
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) is calling for an open debate about Stansted Airport’s long term plan, due to be published later this week. Manchester Airport Group (‘MAG’), which bought Stansted from BAA 18 months ago, will publish its ‘Sustainable Development Plan’ (SDP) for Stansted, setting out what it intends to do with the airport over the next 20-25 years. The SDP will initially be published as a draft for consultation, with a final version of the plan expected towards the end of the year. SSE welcomes this initiative by MAG and wants to encourage maximum public participation in the consultation process. It is understood that the SDP will be based on Stansted remaining as a single runway airport. This will be a great relief for the vast majority of local residents but it still leaves scope – within Stansted’s existing planning permission – for the airport to handle almost twice as many passengers and twice as many flights as it does today. (Up to 35 million passengers and 264,000 flights). SSE wants to see a gradual phasing out of night flights at Stansted and the return of some 270 homes bought near the airport, for a 2nd runway, to private ownership.
An opportunity for an open debate on Stansted’s future
30.7.2014 (Stop Stansted Expansion)
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) is calling for an open debate about Stansted Airport’s long term plan, due to be published this week. Manchester Airport Group (‘MAG’), which bought Stansted from BAA 18 months ago, will publish its ‘Sustainable Development Plan’ (SDP) for Stansted, setting out what it intends to do with the airport over the next 20-25 years. The SDP will initially be published as a draft for consultation, with a final version of the plan expected towards the end of the year.
SSE welcomes this initiative by MAG and wants to encourage maximum public participation in the consultation process. MAG will be making ‘roadshow’ presentations in a wide range of locations over the coming weeks and this will be an opportunity for local residents to let MAG know about any concerns they have about the current and future operation of the airport.
Importantly, it is understood that the SDP will be based on Stansted remaining as a single runway airport. This will be a great relief for the vast majority of local residents but it still leaves scope – within Stansted’s existing planning permission – for the airport to handle almost twice as many passengers and twice as many flights as it does today.
Night flights have long been the main bone of contention for those living around the airport and beneath its flight paths where ambient noise levels are low. SSE wants to see a gradual phasing out of night flights at Stansted and this issue will be high on our agenda in the consultation on the SDP.
MAG’s continued ownership of about 270 properties around the airport – mostly acquired in connection with the now-aborted second runway plans – is another highly contentious issue for many local communities around the airport, who want them returned to private ownership. The forthcoming consultation and roadshows will give those communities most affected an opportunity to persuade MAG to do the decent thing in this regard.
SSE Chairman Peter Sanders commented “We welcome this consultation on MAG’s long term plan for Stansted. It is being described as a ‘Sustainable Development Plan’ and we very much hope that’s what it genuinely is. Provided it respects all the current planning limits and confirms MAG’s commitment to Stansted continuing to be an ‘Airport in the Countryside’, there should be considerable scope for a constructive dialogue.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Stansted handled 17.8 million passengers and 131,900 Air Transport Movements (ATMs) last year. It has planning consent for 35 million passengers per annum (‘mppa’) and 264,000 ATMs. Stansted handled 24mppa in its peak year, 2006/07.
SSE submitted evidence to the Airports Commission last week (25 July 2014) in response to the Commission’s Discussion Paper on ‘Utilisation of the UK’s Existing Airport Capacity’. Much of this SSE evidence is pertinent to the Stansted SDP –see the SSE Evidence here.This is SSE’s eleventh evidence submission to the Commission – see theAirports Commission page here.
SSE calls for end to night flights at Stansted Airport as national survey backs more runways
Written by SINEAD HOLLAND
28.7.2014 (Herts and Essex Observer)
Stansted Airport – aerial view of main terminal building
ANTI-expansion campaigners are pinning their hopes on a new long-term development plan for Stansted Airport having just one runway – as a new national survey backs building of more terminals and airstrips.
In the next week Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which bought Stansted from BAA 18 months ago, is expected to publish its Sustainable Development Plan (SDP) for the Uttlesford hub, setting out what it intends to do over the next 20 to 25 years. The plan will initially be published as a draft for consultation, with a final version expected towards the end of the year.
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) chairman Peter Sanders said: “We welcome this consultation on MAG’s long-term plan for Stansted.
“It is being described as a sustainable development plan and we very much hope that’s what it genuinely is. Provided it respects all the current planning limits and confirms MAG’s commitment to Stansted continuing to be an ‘airport in the countryside’, there should be considerable scope for a constructive dialogue.”
He said it was understood the SDP would be based on Stansted remaining as a single-runway airport, although within existing planning permission there is scope to handle almost twice as many passengers – around 35 million a year – and twice as many flights as today.
SSE will be pressing for an end to night flights for those living around the airport and beneath its flight paths where “ambient noise levels are low”.
MAG’s continued ownership of about 270 properties around the airport – mostly acquired in connection with the now-aborted second runway plans – is another contentious issue and SSE says the forthcoming consultation and roadshows will give those communities most affected an opportunity to persuade MAG to “do the decent thing in this regard”.
A Stansted Airport spokesman said: “We will shortly launch a period of consultation with local communities and key stakeholders on our Sustainable Development Plan to consider the benefits and effects of how the airport might develop to make full use of the existing runway and look forward to that period of engagement to help us inform our plans.”
SSE’s calls come as a new public attitudes survey published by the Department for Transport, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, found that 57% of the British public – up from 47% in 2010 – agree with the view that “in order to boost the economy, new terminals and runways should be built”. Only 17% disagreed.
Gavin Hayes, director of pressure group Let Britain Fly, said: “While our politicians procrastinate on the issue of airports expansion, the British public increasingly agrees that Britain needs new runways to boost the economy and secure future jobs and growth.
“Indeed, this survey shows how strongly attitudes have shifted in support of airports expansion over the last four years. So if voters get it, why don’t our politicians?
“We believe it’s now time for our political leaders to listen to the public they represent and give a clear public commitment to build new runways – it’s a no-brainer.”
Meriden MP Caroline Spelman has demanded the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, calls a halt to Birmingham Airport’s flight path trials across her borough, since 1st May, after being handed a petition with over 1,500 signatures. The petition, which has been signed by a number of local action groups, calls on Transport Secretary to intervene in the trial following complaints over noise. The airport has been trialling two options for new flight paths for the past 6 months as part of the new runway extension. But residents claim the aircraft are not sticking to the routes accurately, causing planes to fly closer to their homes. Caroline Spelman says the fact the planes are not flying the accurate routes has invalidated the trial, and a review is needed of what has gone wrong. “. If the airport plumps for a compromise route which is different from the original two options there would need to be a further consultation.” The airport claims its new runway extension, as well as creating distressing noise and disruption for several thousand people, will ” deliver global connectivity and thousands of new jobs in the future for local people.” The CAA will finally decide on the flight paths.
MP calls for end to Birmingham flight path trials
The flight path trials are due to continue until October
Conservative MP Caroline Spelman has called for the transport secretary to stop flight path trials being carried out from Birmingham Airport.
The airport began a six-month trial for two potential new flight paths in May, as part of a runway extension.
But some residents claim noise levels have increased and have organised a petition calling for a rethink on the flight paths.
Ms Spelman called for Patrick McLoughlin’s “urgent intervention”.
Meriden MP Ms Spelman said it was “very hard for the community to tell” which flight paths were better or worse for residents.
“I think we need the transport secretary to intervene and review what has gone wrong here. We have had three months of trials and they aren’t going very well.
“The airport isn’t able to fly these routes accurately and we can’t afford to just let these trials drag on where it is not working properly.”
Ms Spelman said the flight path trials were not working
Dave Ellis, from Balsall Common Action Group, which has organised the petition, said noise levels had increased.
“The noisiest planes are outgoing ones because they are fully laden and there’s some new routes coming in,” he said.
The airport, which has been contacted for a comment, is expected to submit its findings to the Civil Aviation Authority following the trials.
Work to add an extra 400m to the existing runway began in November 2012, after years of planning.
Airport bosses hope the longer runway will allow it to provide flights to more long-haul destinations.
The airport insisted it would assess the impact of the trial once it had ended.
Caroline Spelman has demanded the Transport Secretary calls a halt to flight path trials across Meriden.
Meriden MP Caroline Spelman has demanded the Transport Secretary calls a halt to flight path trials across the borough after being handed a petition with over 1,500 signatures.
The petition, which has been signed by a number of local action groups, calls on Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to intervene in the trial of the new flight paths from Birmingham airport, following complaints over noise.
The airport has been trialling two options for new flight paths for the past six months as part of the new runway extension. But residents claim the aircraft are finding it difficult to stick to the routes accurately, causing planes to fly closer to their homes.
“I sympathise with the disruption to people’s lives from the noise nuisance and consider that the inaccuracy of the aircraft trying to fly the new routes has invalidated the trial,” the MP said.
“I want the Transport Secretary to call a halt to the trial and review what has gone wrong. If the airport plumps for a compromise route which is different from the original two options there would need to be a further consultation, but I hope this time the airport will consider trialling the option proposed by the community to minimise the noise nuisance.”
A recent statement from the airport said: “A trial to test the actual impact of two potential flight paths has been in operation since May 1st and follows a full consultation period last year with the local community on the two options, known locally as Option 5 & 6. The consultation gave local people the chance to give their views and the trial is in order for the airport to understand the actual impact of the options, rather than theoretical modelling, before submitting its final findings to the Civil Aviation Authority.
“The new flight path, to the south of the airport, is required as a result of the runway extension, which is now open and will deliver global connectivity and thousands of new jobs in the future for local people.
“The airport is aware of a petition circulating in the community and is recording and responding to all correspondence received by residents.”
The tests have been held in advance of new flight paths following the opening of the airport’s runway extension.
The petition, backed by Meriden MP Caroline Spelman, will be submitted to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. It calls on the Government to order a rethink by the Civil Aviation Authority.
The protest campaign was boosted by a public meeting last week at the Heart of England School, in Balsall Common, which attracted around 300 people.
David Ellis, of the Balsall Common Action Group, said: “It is really crazy. We used to accept noise but we are now getting twice the noise we had before. We know we can’t change things as they stand and we have to accept that is the law, but, on environment issues, the Secretary of State can order the CAA to call it in and look at it again.
“There is a lot of ill-feeling in the area. I was staggered by how many people attended the public meeting.
“I do not think that the airport realise that it is not just Balsall Common – it is also Hampton in Arden and Catherine de Barnes. Caroline Spelman is as angry as we are over this.”
An airport spokesman said: “A trial to test the impact of two potential flight paths has been in operation since May 1. The trial is in order for the airport to understand the impact of the options, rather than theoretical modelling, before submitting its final findings to the Civil Avitation Authority.
“The new flight path, to the south of the airport, is required as a result of the runway extension, which is now open. The airport is aware of a petition circulating in the community and is recording and responding to all correspondence received.”
Battle of Balsall Common’ over plane noise, from Birmingham flight path trial, goes to Parliament
July 8, 2014
The Battle of Balsall Common – which has triggered waves of complaints of noise nuisance from planes taking off at Birmingham Airport – is to go to Parliament. Angry residents are raising a protest petition to be sent to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, to ask him to look at this trial, and call it in. People affected say their lives are being made a misery by trials launched in May in advance of new flight paths being made permanent. This has happened because of the runway extension. People are deeply angry and anxious, because these flight paths are away from the NPR routes (Noise Preferential Routes), which everyone has known about for years. People have checked, in the past, to ensure they have not chosen to live near an NPR. Now, areas which nobody could have guessed would be overflow have planes overhead every few minutes. Campaigners took to the streets of Balsall Common last weekend to get signatures, in a bid to force a Government rethink of the new flight path. David Ellis, of the Balsall Common Action Group, said: ““We are told they are over 3,000 feet but that is not the point – the noise is the problem.” There will be a public meeting on July 16th on the problem.
Gatwick Airport held a consultation over April and May 2014, to try to get backing for its plans for a 2nd runway, and the option the airport wants – the wide spaced option with the runway used for both arrivals and departures. This has always been what the airport wanted, and the proposal the Airports Commission short listed. The consultation gave two options, that the airport did not want and has no interest in. The consultation also initially had no means for any respondent to express their opposition to any new Gatwick runway, but eventually a “none of these options” box was added – difficult to locate, far into the document. The survey results are now out. They are deeply irritating to the airport, as they show huge opposition to any runway. Of about 7,700 respondents, well over 80% said NO. Of the 7,700 or so, only 733 backed Option 3 ( the runway option Gatwick wants) and 2,165 did not want a runway at all. 4,003 responses came through the Woodland Trust and these are being discounted, unjustifiably, as though part of an e-campaign, many contained specific comments made by the respondents. Taking all the responses for no runway, they amount to some 85% of the total. Even discounting the Woodland Trust responses, 66% opposed a new runway.
6,168 said NO. This was 4,003 through the Woodland Trust, and 2,165 from the Gatwick figure in their chart.
Only 1,094 supported any of the runway options. That is about 14%.
The results of the Gatwick Airport runway consultation are contained in the independent report by Ipsos Mori. The number of responses in favour of each runway option was as follows:
Option 1 194
Option 2 167
Option 3. 733
None of these options. 6,168
Don’t know 45
Gatwick Mori says over 7717 responses were submitted.
This result is so embarrassing for Gatwick Airport Ltd that they have done all they can to conceal it. They did not mention it to the airport consultative committee or to the press. In their report to the Airports Commission it only appears in a pie chart on page 50, nowhere in the text.
Gatwick Airport Ltd claim that 4,003 responses were the result of a campaign by The Woodland Trust, and can therefore be disregarded.
Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) do not agree: many of these responses contained specific comments and were thus not just the result of clicking a button. They are a foretaste of the nation-wide opposition to any new runway.
Even leaving out the Woodland Trust responses, twice as many people voted for ‘none of these options’ as voted for all three runway options combined. And that was despite the ‘none of these options ‘ box being difficult to find. Somewhat unobtrusive, in Section 7 of the form.
761 people agreed that a new runway would benefit the local economy but 2,020 felt that it would not benefit them much or at all.
These are remarkable results! They prove a strong and determined opposition to any new Gatwick runway.
Gatwick say in their consultation report:
We explained in our consultation document
that Option 3 was our provisionally preferred
runway option and we stated that we would
use the responses to this consultation to help
us reach a firm view on the option we prefer.
We therefore confirm that Option 3 is our
preferred runway option. Section 3 of this
document further explains our reasoning and
rationale for this decision.
Option 3 consists of a new 3,400m runway
positioned 1,045m south of and parallel
to the existing runway. The new runway is
positioned at a sufficient distance from the
existing runway to enable the independent
operation of the runways. The method of
runway operation for Option 3 would be
mixed mode, meaning that both runways
would be used for arrivals and departures.
The Ipsos Mori report says: (Page 5)
The proposed runway options
When the details of the three options put forward by Gatwick were presented, more respondents who answered the question in the response form expressed a preference for Option 3 compared with Option 1 or Option 2.
However, most said that they would prefer none of these options and a small number of respondents said that they didn’t know.
The main reasons for support for Option 1 were that it would have less impact on the local area compared to other options; that it would be a better compromise, and that it would be the most sensible option. Among those who preferred Option 2, reasons for support were that this option would allow for separate take-offs and landings, and would include a new terminal building. While these aspects would also be realised with Option 3, some of those who preferred Option 2 said that it would be less disruptive in comparison to Option 3 in terms of noise and negative community impacts. Of those who preferred Option 3, the main reasons for support were that it would be the most practical or logical option, that it would lead to improved operational efficiency and that it would be the best solution to deal with capacity issues in the future. A number of respondents who preferred Option 3 also said that the other options would be too short-term, and that sufficient capacity increases would not be realised if those options were taken forward.
Most of those who preferred none of these optionswere opposed outright to an additional runway. A key reason for opposition related to concerns about noise impact. Other concerns included issues about land-take, and general disruption to local people, communities and businesses.
Because it was difficult and unclear how respondents should record their preference for no new runway – many went dutifully through the long form, filling in their comments on a range of issues relating to the three runway options.
The option to tick the “none of these options” box only appeared in Section 7.
The comments in earlier sections, of those who ticked the “none of these options” have been considered by Ipsos Mori, and some of the comments were deemed supportive of one or other option.
It can only be hoped that Ipsos Mori does not unjustifiably consider these comments – which were only made because the consultation form did not make it clear from the outset that a NO vote was possible.
It is illuminating that the Ipsos Mori report records the high number of people who were dissatisfied by the report, and complained about its short-comings and inadequacies.
Gatwick Airport’s air traffic control services are to be provided by a German state-owned company from next year. A 10-year contract for services below 4,000ft around the airport has been given to Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS). The service has been provided for more than 30 years by Hampshire-based NATS, which will continue to navigate air traffic above 4,000ft. NATS said it was disappointed, but it was too early to say if jobs would go. DFS is wholly owned by the German government and operates 16 airports in Germany as well as providing air traffic control across the country. Gatwick management said it was planned that, after a period of transition, DFS would start work in October 2015. The successful bid by DFS comes a year after a UK pension fund, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) beat DFS for a 20% stake in NATS. The Airline Group, which had owned 42% of NATS before the sale, chose USS rather than DFS to buy the 20%, which meant that a partial de-facto merger between two of the largest European Air Navigation Service Providers did not happen.
Germany’s Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) has triumphed over its British counterpart NATS to run air traffic services at London’s Gatwick airport.
The contest to provide air navigation services at the airport until 2025 represents the largest UK airport to consider handing its air traffic services to a foreign provider so far.
The services to be covered by the contract cover air traffic and approach services below 4,000 feet around the airport; these services are currently provided by NATS.
Gatwick’s airport owners said that following a transition period, DFS will start providing the new services from October 2015 for a ten year period. NATS will retain operations for all air navigation services above 4,000 feet, from its base in Swanwick.
“The decision follows an extensive tender process in which a number of companies were invited to submit proposals. The proposal submitted by DFS was considered superior to submissions from all other contenders,” it said, adding that submissions were assessed across a range of criteria which included safety, innovation, airport management, technical capability, cost, resilience and the ability to accommodate the requirements of a growing airport.
Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, the Chief Executive of DFS said: “With this contract, DFS is making its contribution to advancing the consolidation process in the European air navigation services landscape. We are pleased that the DFS Group has been awarded the contract for Gatwick Airport and are looking forward to providing safe and efficient air traffic control services with the Gatwick tower staff. The staff at Gatwick will transfer to the DFS subsidiary in close dialogue with the employees and their representatives and in keeping with our employee relations traditions.”
Gatwick chief execuitve Stewart Wingate said: “DFS is a company of great standing, operating an extensive network of air traffic control services in Germany. We are very impressed with the company’s technical capabilities, track record and safety standards within its existing operations along with the experience, efficiency and innovation it will bring to Gatwick.
“Gatwick operates the busiest and most efficient single runway airport in the world. Naturally safety comes first in everything that we do. DFS is a well-known and well-respected provider in this industry and across Europe and has demonstrated a forward looking approach to its business which matches our own ambitious plans to grow. We look forward to working with our new partners as we continue to grow and connect Britain to the future.”
Mike Stoller, NATS director of operations, airports, said UK air traffic control was extremely disappointed that the highly competitive bid it had submitted to Gatwick has been unsuccessful. “We have added considerable value to Gatwick in recent years, building it to the point where with 55 movements an hour it significantly out-performs every other single runway airport in the world,” he said.
The successful bid by DFS comes a year after a UK pension fund scored a victory over the German air traffic control agency in the race for a 20% stake in NATS, its British counterpart.
The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), Britain’s second-largest pension plan, secured the stake last year, managing to beat off DFS, even though it is understood to have submitted a higher bid and had given undertakings not to seek control of NATS.
While DFS had been tipped as favourite as it offered the opportunity to deliver big cost savings through the rationalisation of busy European airspace, it is thought that DFS was undermined by opposition from some airlines as well as NATS management.
The Airline Group, which had owned 42 per cent of NATS prior to the sale, ended up choosing USS rather than DFS to buy a portion of its stake which meant that a partial de-facto merger between two of the largest European Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP)s did not happen.
The move by the Airline Group followed a u-turn by the British Government which in 2011 announced it would reduce its 49 per cent stake in order to help reduce the UK´s national debt.
The Airline Group warned that any reduction in the UK Government´s stake would damage the influence that NATS has in the future development of European air traffic control and urged it not to reduce its stake below 25 per cent.
The workforce of NATS is mainly made up of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs), Air Traffic Control Engineers (ATCEs), Air Traffic Services Assistants (ATSAs) and Science Technical Analytical and Research Staff (STARs). Administrative and Support staff make up the remainder of the 4,500 or so staff employed by NATS.
NATS’ en-route business is regulated and operated under licence from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The terms of the licence require NATS to be capable of meeting on a continuous basis any reasonable level of overall demand. They are charged with permitting access to airspace on the part of all users, whilst making the most efficient overall use of airspace.
As a public private partnership the UK government holds 49% and a golden share, with 42% held by the Airline Group, 5% by NATS staff, and 4% by UK airport operator LHR Airports Limited.
NATS is split into two main service provision companies: NATS En-Route PLC (NERL) and NATS Services Ltd (NSL).
NERL holds the monopoly of civilian en-route air traffic control over the UK and is regulated by the CAA who, for example, determine the charges NERL can make. NERL is funded by charging airlines for the provision of air traffic services.
NSL competes for contracts in the free market to provide air traffic control at airports in the UK and overseas, as well as providing engineering, technical and education services in fields related to air traffic control.
There are two control locations in the UK operated by NERL:
Worries that German air traffic control might buy up large share in NATS
Labour has accused the UK Government of yet another policy U-turn after it was suggested George Osborne was getting cold feet over a £1 billion plan to sell off the Coalition’s 49% controlling stake in NATS. Industry sources claimed that the Treasury was rethinking the proposal to sell it off as it was fearful the German equivalent to NATS would make a move to take over the UK’s air space after it was suggested the 7 British airlines, which form the Airline Group, might sell their collective 42% share to Germany’s state-controlled DFS. One industry source said: “It would not be a good idea to hand control of Britain’s skies to Berlin.
In the Government’s response to the Airports Commission’s December 2013 interim report, Patrick McLoughlin announced that plans to more than double the number of ‘night flights’ at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports have been postponed until 2017. Under proposals outlined in the Commission’s interim report the number of planes allowed to land at the airport before 6am each day would have increased from 16 to 35 from 2015. The government now says it wants to ensure “regulatory stability” at south east airports while the Commission makes its final recommendations on which airport should be recommended to be allowed to build a new runway. The government is also extending the ban on “rare movements made by older noisier types of aircraft.” McLoughlin said: “This decision will help give certainty around the night noise environment for those living near the airports, as well as ensuring operational capacity at these airports is not affected pending decisions on any new airport capacity in light of the commission’s final report.” The government has also postponed the Commission’s recommendation for an Independent Aviation Noise Authority.
Restrictions on UK ‘night flights’ extended until 2017
By Tom Newcombe (Buying Business Travel)
16 July 2014
Government plans to more than double the number of ‘night flights’ at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports have been postponed until 2017, the transport secretary has confirmed.
Under proposals outlined in the Airport Commission’s interim report, which was published in December 2013, the number of planes allowed to land at the airport [Heathrow] before 6am each day would have increased from 16 to 35 from next year. [Airports Commission'sinterim report with night flight section around page 148]
The government has now put those plans back three years, stating it wanted to ensure “regulatory stability” at southeast airports while the Airports Commission makes its final recommendations on which airport should be used to increase capacity for the UK.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, said: “The government is confirming today that we will be maintaining the existing restrictions on night flights at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports for a further three years until October 2017, as well as extending the ban on rare movements made by older noisier types of aircraft.”
He added: “This decision will help give certainty around the night noise environment for those living near the airports, as well as ensuring operational capacity at these airports is not affected pending decisions on any new airport capacity in light of the commission’s final report.”
The government has also postponed the Commission’s recommendation for an Independent Aviation Noise Authority. It said: “The government believes that it would be more appropriate to consider the role for such a body alongside the commission’s final recommendations on long-term capacity.”
McLoughlin was responding to the Airport Commissions interim report published in December.
Plans to double night flights at Heathrow are shelved
July 15, 2014
By Robert Cumber
Government has also postponed its decision on creating an independent aircraft noise regulator until at least next summer
Plans to more than double the number of night flights at Heathrow from next year were today shelved by the Government.
The number of planes allowed to land at the airport before 6am each day would have increased from 16 to 35 from next year, under proposals outlined in the Airport Commission’s interim report in December.
In return, residents living under the flight paths would have been guaranteed respite from early morning arrivals, with a different runway used each week.
However, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin today announced he would wait for the commission’s final recommendations next summer before deciding whether to introduce the measure, known as ‘smoothing’.
He also postponed decisions on creating an independent aircraft noise regulator and allowing both runways to be used simultaneously for arrivals to reduce delays, both of which were recommended in the commission’s interim report.
In his response to the interim report, published this morning, Mr McLoughlin said: “In relation to the commission’s recommendation for an Independent Aviation Noise Authority, the government believes that it would be more appropriate to consider the role for such a body alongside the commission’s final recommendations on long term capacity.
“Similarly, we believe that any further government decisions on using the runway designated for departures (eg enhanced TEAM) and for a trial of early morning schedule smoothing at Heathrow should also be considered at that point and in the context of the commission’s recommendations on long-term capacity.”
He added that the current night flight restrictions would remain in place until at least 2017.
Hounslow Council welcomed the delay but said it would continue to fight for a complete ban on night flights.
Gavin Hayes, director of pro-expansion campaign group Let Britain Fly, was not impressed by Mr McLoughlin’s response.
“Instead of bold political leadership, the Government has decided to kick the can down the road for another year,” he said.
“We so desperately need a clear direction of travel and an in-principle commitment to build additional runways to boost our international connectivity and secure future jobs, growth and prosperity. Instead, we have yet more political procrastination.”
The Airports Commission was set up by the Government in 2012 to consider the case for aviation expansion in the short, medium and long term.
It has short-listed two sets of plans for a third runway at Heathrow and one for a new landing strip at Heathrow, and is due to decide this autumn whether to short-list proposals for a new Thames estuary airport.
The commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, is due to make its final recommendation next summer, shortly after the general election.
Government to make no significant change to night flights regime at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted until Airports Commission report
11.11.2013In January 2013 the DfT put out the first part of its consultation on the night flight regime at the UK’s 3 designated airports, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. The DfT said then that the 2nd consultation would be published later this year, to include specific proposals for the new regime, such as the number of permitted night flights – informed by the evidence from the first consultation. The DfT has now published this 2nd stage, but instead of any specific measures, it proposes no significant change to the night flight regime at Heathrow until 2017. It says it does not want to pre-empt the findings of the Airports Commission which is due to publish its final report in summer 2015. It gives the impression of passing the buck to Sir Howard Davies. The current night flight regime for the 3 airports ends in October 2014. Normally a new regime is put in place to cover the next 5 – 6 years. This time the Government has decided in effect to roll-over the existing regime until 2017. The only change for Heathrow is a proposal “to extend the operational ban on the noisiest types of aircraft to include an extra half hour, the 23.00-23.30 period.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=18310
Airports Commission publishes interim report
17 December 2013 (Airports Commission press release)
DfT announces start of 3 month consultation on night flight regime at Heathrow, Gatwick & Stansted
22.1.2013The government has begun a 3 month consultation into night flights at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports. It is calling for views and evidence on “the effectiveness of the current regime, the costs and benefits of future options and airlines’ fleet replacement plans”. The consultation closes on 22nd April 2013. Transport Minister Simon Burns says: “This consultation includes a review of current evidence on the costs of night flights, particularly noise, and the benefits of these flights. It sets out our thinking on how we would expect to appraise the policy options for the next night flights regime.” The government will publish the 2nd consultation later this year. It will include specific proposals for the new regime, such as the number of permitted night flights. The proposals in the 2nd consultation will be informed by the evidence received from this 1st stage consultation. The Dft says it aims to strike “a fair balance between the interests of those affected by the noise disturbance and those of the airports, passengers and the UK economy.” http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=706..see also
Heathrow residents disappointed there is still no night flight ban in the Dft consultation
Date added: January 22, 2013
Commenting on the publication today of the DfT’s consultation into a new night flight regime at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, HACAN (the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) said is was disappointed that the Government has still not committed itself to a night flight ban. However, they have welcomed the fact that the Government is prepared to look at measures which could mitigate the noise. These include increasing the angle of descent on approach; guaranteed respite periods; changing the existing scheduling or operating bans which affect the noisiest aircraft types. John Stewart, Chair of HACAN, which represents residents under the Heathrow flight paths, said: “We are very clear that we want a ban on night flights before 6 o’clock and a progressive reduction between 6am and 7am. Many people under the Heathrow flight paths don’t need an alarm clock; the first plane wakes them at 4.30 am.”
Economic costs of sleep deprivation to be included in night flights review
In a Lord’s debate (28/5/12) the Government announced it would consider the economic loss due to sleep loss when it reviews night flights later this year. This will be the first time this has been done. The issue was first raised in a CE Delft Report published by HACAN. Welcome move.
O’Hare airport in Chicago has been upsetting residents to the northwest of the city, by changing flight paths, so some people are being over flown a great deal than before. This is the result of the O’Hare Modernization Project that took effect in October 2013. The changes mean that 85% of O’Hare arrivals and departures between 11 pm and 6am will fly over homes in certain suburbs. Those living under these flight paths face not only the noise, the annoyance, the potential impacts on their health and the loss of sleep, but also a decrease in their property prices. The local community campaign, FAiR (Fair Allocation in Runways) has been touring affected neighbourhoods giving out door hanger signs encouraging people to get active and fight the flight paths, or else “kiss your property values goodbye.” They plan to hand out door hangers to 50,000 homes. They also have “yard signs” (placards to stick in the front garden) for the campaign, selling these to raise campaign funds. Just as in London and near other UK airports, people are devastated by the new noise pollution. One commented that even with noise insulation, it was impossible to avoid the noise in the neighbourhood, even by going shopping, going swimming, going to the park. It cannot be avoided.
Now, Schneider is looking to sell her Edgebrook home at the end of the year, and she’s worried about her property value.
“I’m greatly concerned that if anybody comes during this onslaught, I’m going to have some issues selling my home,” she said.
Schneider was one of more than 100 community members who voiced concerns about the noisy planes Saturday as an advocacy group moved through the neighborhood to distribute thousands of door hangers urging people to appeal their property taxes.
A door hanger (cut out holes for door knob)
The self-funded community organization, Fair Allocation in Runways Coalition, has been fighting to keep the volume down since the project took effect. The group began with seven members about 15 months ago, and now has around 200, organizers said.
Jac Charlier, a member of FAiR’s leadership team, came ready to pass out 30,000 door-hangers, but has 20,000 on top of that to distribute the rest of the summer. This amount, he said, is three times as many as the coalition printed last summer.
In addition to door-hangers, coalition member Susie D’Alessandro came to the event with yard signs and asked for $5 donations for each sign. All of the yard signs had sold by the time the meeting ended.
Not unlike Schneider, former English teacher Colleen Mulcrone, 40, moved to the neighborhood with her husband and two small children because it had a lot to offer.
FAiR organizer Jac Charlier speaks to Northwest Side residents about their options regarding the jet noise from O’Hare during an event at the Edgebrook library Saturday.
The most appealing part of living in Jefferson Park, Mulcrone said, is being within walking distance to neighborhood parks like Wilson Park and Portage Park as well as their childrens’ school, the grocery store and the public library, among other places.
When the planes began flying overhead with greater frequency beginning last October, Mulcrone said her family was “devastated;” she felt “robbed” and cried every night for two weeks.
“Now there’s no place we can go where I can escape the planes,” Mulcrone said. “If I go shopping at Target, there are planes there. If I take my kids to swimming, there are planes there. On the Northwest Side of Chicago, there is no escaping them.”
Mulcrone said she’s grateful that her major home renovations fell through due to permit delays because she was able to use a “big chunk of that money” towards sound-proofing her daughter’s room and installing new dry-wall.
While sound-proofing helps reduce noise, it does not eliminate it.
“You still have ambient noise all of the time in the background,” Mulcrone said.
At this point she said there are a few options for her and her family: she can either “choose to be a prisoner” in her own home, fight for change or move.
She said her husband is already ready to “walk away” from their home, but she is continuing to fight.
“The mayor and (U.S. Transportation Secretary) Ray Lahood and anyone else who is saying this is a great project for Chicago say it’s going to create all of these jobs and all of this revenue,” she said. “At what cost?”
Other officials, including Ald. Margaret Laurino (39th), Ald. Mary O’Connor(41st) and U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago), have called for renewed hearings about the jet noise. Last month, O’Connor said the expansion project should be put on hold until more hearings can be held.
Federal aviation officials said the flight patterns at O’Hare are designed to ensure the airport operates as efficiently and as safely as possible.
FAA spokesman Anthony Molinaro said that federal and local officials held several meetings on the Far Northwest Side last year before the new runway opened.
Chicago Aviation Department spokeswoman Karen Pride said her agency “supports holding a public hearing and has been working with the aldermen and congressmen to schedule a date for the hearing that works for all parties involved.”
Kate McClure, who has lived in Sauganash for 52 years, says moving is not an option. She loves the neighborhood, she said, and is optimistic that the group will force change.
But the planes, she said, fly so low that “you can see people eating their meals in the little windows.”
Patrick Loftus, 58, of Sauganash, and John Ceisel, 54, of North Park, agreed that the constant noise is “completely unacceptable.” They both have been living in these neighborhoods since the late 1980s.
Ceisel said not only do the planes disrupt his sleeping patterns, but he it also affects “whether this is a neighborhood people want to live in.”
“The city is struggling from an education perspective,” said Ceisel, who is a retired corporate educator. “This is one more reason for me to the move to the suburbs.”
See also a short 2 minute 30 seconds video on YouTube of a song (great lyrics) called “Highway over our heads” made by some Chicago residents disturbed by the aircraft noise. This is what FAiR call their new anthem.
Coverage of our meeting yesterday. 113 citizens jammed into the FAiR Summer 2014 Door Hanger Campagn Kick-Off Event in Edgebrook on Saturday, July 12. This is the start of our 50,000 door hanger distribution to areas impacted by more planes, more noise and more pollution from O’Hare all without any real community input.
FAiR seeks a real voice at O’Hare to secure an equitable distribution of takeoffs and landings, day and night, east and west, and using all existing runways including the diagonals. FAiR is the leading voice for residents on this issue.
What does FAiR believe?
It is our Coalition’s experience that citizens and civic organizations concerned about the severe impact on our communities from increased noise and air pollution occurring as a result of the new October 2013 runway configurations have not had a real seat at the table in the development and implementation of how O’Hare takeoff and landing patterns were designed. FAiR supports the economic engine that is O’Hare, but we believe that as our neighbor, the airport must work with the community to determine when and where those engines fly over our homes, yards, schools, parks and businesses. FAiR’s desire is to obtain acceptable solutions to community concerns as well as future plans so they do not become an issue. To date, that conversation with communities has been non-existent, with the unfortunate viewpoint given that the communities will simply have to live with the consequences resulting from October 2013 and O’Hare Modernization Plan (OMP) changes yet to come. The FAiR Coalition seeks to replace that antiquated institutional practice so common in Chicago and Cook County with a democratic approach involving a modern assessment of the risks and rewards for both O’Hare AND our communities. FAiR’s goal is a better future founded upon a real voice for communities and solutions arising out of collaboration between the citizenry and our government. Solutions to these types of challenges are not solely technical in nature but are more importantly democratic in substance.
What can you do?
As a neighbor, resident and fellow citizen, We ask you to Join FAiR. Then…
Sign our online petition
Report noise complaints
Contact your elected officials
Like us on Facebook
Put up a FAiR yard sign
Tell your neighbors about how our democracy has been imperiled
Chicago O’Hare airport new runway & flightpaths creating huge opposition by those now over-flown
26.5.2014Chicago O’Hare airport currently has many runways but not all can be used simultaneously. The airport has been building more, reducing the lengths of others, to get three parallel runways that can be used together. There has been a lot of controversy about the plans over many years, with compulsory purchase of land, from residents who did not want to move. There is now huge protest against the noise. A group representing city and suburban home-owners, the Fair Allocation in Runways Coalition (FAiR), is asking the Chicago Aviation Commissioner to resign or for the Mayor to fire her. FAiR say there is “mounting frustration over the lack of response from the Mayor on possible remedies concerning “the ceaseless airplane noise” since air-traffic patterns were changed last autumn. The Aviation Commissioner has refused to consider altering the use of runways at night to spread out jet noise instead of concentrating it over one or two air corridors. FAiR says she has made up her mind that there will be no change at O’Hare no matter how many citizens demand change, no matter what solutions are proposed and no matter how devastating the impact of her decisions on families, children and seniors, and even entire neighbourhoods.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=21599
The Gatwick flight path trial, and other intensified flight paths associated with Gatwick, continue to cause not only annoyance but real distress to perhaps thousands in the area. In an article reported in part of the aviation media, some of the anger and frustration comes across, as well as the callous manner in which Gatwick airport appears to view people who live in the countryside, and whose quality of life has been attacked by plane noise. Stewart Wingate is reported as saying “Why would you choose to fly a quarter of a million more planes every year over one of the world’s most densely populated cities (London) when instead you can fly them mostly over fields.” His ignorant comment about the area over-flown by Gatwick planes as just fields has enraged people. The article says Mr Wingate “appears to suggest sacrificing the lifestyle, peace and quiet of those who have chosen to live outside cities for the profit of a few - the foreign owners of Gatwick Airport.” The airport has already started the process of ‘Air Grab’ over a number of Sussex towns and villages. That is a frightening prospect when Mr Wingate has said his ambition is to make Gatwick larger than Heathrow is today.
Gatwick Airport admits to sacrificing the lives of those in countryside to satisfy its expansion plans
10.7.2014 (Airside International, in EVA International Media) by Nick Smith
[This article is in the aviation press; it is not a press release from an airport community group, though that's what it comes across as !]
Gatwick airport has launched its opening salvo in its bid for a second runway by declaring open season on the countryside. Its chairman Stewart Wingate appears to have publicly stated that flying over the countryside in Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Hampshire is of little consequence compared to his ambitions to enlarge the airport. Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, said: “Why would you choose to fly a quarter of a million more planes every year over one of the world’s most densely populated cities (London) when instead you can fly them mostly over fields.”
As Laura Standing, who has a daughter with a sensory processing disorder and lives in West Sussex, and is currently experiencing a new trial flight path directly over her house, says: “Those fields that Wingate is so disparaging about have houses on with people living in them.
Stewart Wingate is living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks that Surrey, Kent and Sussex are compiled of empty fields devoid of people. “I appreciate that Gatwick airport is seeking to maximise its profits, but at any cost to the lives of those who have chosen to live in the countryside? My home, which has enjoyed peace and quiet to date, was ideal for my daughter who requires tranquility and stability to help with her autism. But this has been blown asunder by Wingate’s new flight path which flies directly above our home at under 3,000 feet. Whilst the incessant plane noise is ruining our lives it is destroying my daughter’s.”
Wingate’s assault on the countryside is being met with firm resistance. As Sally Pavey, a resident of Warnham in West Sussex says: “Firstly the planes from Gatwick are flying directly over Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), major conurbations and countless villages. To say that the route that Gatwick’s planes take is only over farm land and open fields is simply ludicrous.
“In addition, the assumption to be drawn from his comments that plane noise doesn’t travel or deviate from some perpendicular line directly under the plane is just barmy. We all know aircraft noise is loud, travels a huge distance, is intrusive and very tiring on those who receive scant relieve from it.”
Wingate appears to suggest sacrificing the lifestyle, peace and quiet of those who have chosen to live outside cities for the profit of a few - the foreign owners of Gatwick Airport.
With much of the South East already plagued by consistent aircraft noise Wingate also confirmed that Gatwick would seek to increase flights by at least another 250,000 a year, making the skies some of the busiest and most congested in the world. During a recent interview on Radio 4′s Today programme Wingate said his ambition was to make Gatwick Airport larger than Heathrow.
Caroline Tayler, who lives in the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex suggests that Stewart Wingate is just demonstrating his obvious lack of knowledge of the countryside in the South East and how densely populated its small towns, villages and hamlets actually are.
She says: “His implication is that the lives of those living in the countryside don’t matter, that somehow their lives are less important than those living in towns or cities.“He also doesn’t seem to realise, or chooses not to care, that many rural businesses rely on tranquility as part of their appeal. The increase in air traffic from Gatwick and its constant expansion plans will simply just ruin the countryside and many of its businesses.”
And not content with proposing a huge increase in air traffic Gatwick Airport, as part of its ongoing bid to secure another runway, has begun trials to widen its arc of flight paths – which is already substantial. If these flight paths are given permanent status then even more of the countryside will be burdened with additional plane noise.
Sally Pavey explains: “There is nothing stopping Gatwick Airport applying for additional flight paths anywhere in the South East. It has already started the process of ‘Air Grab’ over a number of Sussex towns and villages and it doesn’t even have approval for a second runway. If it did gain approval then the open season on the countryside will gain pace and it is unlikely that any household in the South East will be immune from repeated plane noise.”
Gatwick Airport’s first ‘Air Grab’ has targeted a number of Sussex villages which previously had been bypassed by aircraft. The planes now fly directly, or within a couple of hundred metres, over two schools and thousands of homes and businesses whilst still under 4,000 feet. And this is not the odd flight; they can come every minute for hours on end. Gatwick Airport is a 24 hour airport; unlike Heathrow which gives residents a respite from aircraft during the night. The roar of large aircraft now punctuates christenings, weddings and funerals in many Sussex villages hitherto not affected by Gatwick Airport.
And according to rules laid down by the International Standard Organisation an extra 10 decibels would be added to any recorded noise because of the reduced ambient noise in the countryside.
But this is scant comfort to David Lawton who recently moved his young family to Rusper and over the last four months reckons he has had in excess of 4,500 flights directly over his house and at a very, very low height. He says: “I knew we were buying a house near an airport and there would be some noise. Prior to purchasing I even checked the Noise Preference Routes and flight paths. But since Mr. Wingate has introduced his new trial flight path – without any warning or consultation - my family has had trouble sleeping with flights starting before 6am and continuing until after 10pm. We are all squabbling more and feel very run down from the near continual noise.
“There has been a flagrant disregard for the local community with spin, deception and poor corporate practice surrounding the introduction of the flight path trial. Gatwick has also shown no interest in engaging in a meaningful way with the affected residents, which number thousands. “Thanks to Mr. Wingate we are now living in hell. And, he now plans to make the trial flight path permanent. ”
Perhaps equally disturbing are reports from residents that planes are flying so far off their pre-determined trial routes. There are reports of residents complaining to Gatwick about flights over their houses and being sent route maps which differ considerably from reality.
The CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) has already had over 2,700 complaints with the figure rising rapidly. Perhaps it is the start of a clarion call for Stewart Wingate and his Gatwick brethren to rethink the effects they are having on Laura Standing’s daughter.
Campaigners against London City Airport expansion fear years of night time disruption if a planning application is approved. The group “Stop City Airport” say long-suffering residents in the area are already facing increased noise issues due to Crossrail works and from the proposed Chinese business park by ABP (Associated British Ports). Stop City Airport raised its latest concerns after a letter from Newham Council was made public, expressing fears over night-time construction work. Campaigner Alan Haughton said: “There will be no relief for residents. Aircraft noise all day long and as soon as that finishes, non-stop piling for three years at least.” The council’s senior development manager Chris Gascoigne said the airport was proposing a construction programme lasting up to 7 years, with 3 of those being 24 hours a day. He commented: “In our view the proposed night time construction noise impacts are not acceptable and represent a potential reason for refusal of planning permission.” The airport has been asked if it can reduce operation hours, to do construction during the day, but council officers have yet to get a reply. The airport’s plans include 7 new aircraft parking stands, a 3-storey passenger pier, noise barriers and a 260-bedroom hotel.
Newham Council warns London City Airport over expansion disruption
Campaigners against London City Airport expansion fear years of night time disruption if a planning application is approved.
Stop City Airport released a statement (see below) last week saying long-suffering residents in the area were already facing increased noise issues due to Crossrail works and from the proposed Chinese business park by ABP.
It raised its latest concerns after a letter was made public from Newham Council, expressing fears over night-time construction work.
Campaigner Alan Haughton said: “There will be no relief for residents. Aircraft noise all day long and as soon as that finishes, non-stop piling for three years at least.
“There’s already outrage in the area, not just over the airport, but the Crossrail works, which is probably why Newham has stepped in.”
The council’s senior development manager Chris Gascoigne has written to planning consultants working on behalf of the airport.
He said the airport was proposing a construction programme lasting up to seven years, with three of those being 24 hours a day.
He wrote: “In our view the proposed night time construction noise impacts are not acceptable and represent a potential reason for refusal of planning permission.”
The airport has been asked whether it can reduce operation hours in order to carry out construction during the day, but officers have yet to receive a response.
When asked about the letter, both Newham Council and City Airport played down the row.
A council spokesman said: “The planning application process is ongoing, so residents should ensure their views are known.”
He recommended residents lodge their opinions with the council.
A statement released by the airport said: “London City Airport is working closely with Newham to mitigate the effects of noise on the community during the construction phase of the City Airport Development Programme.
“The airport is committed to using best practicable means to deliver an acceptable programme of construction hours and reducing noise impacts, and is in dialogue with Newham as to how this can best be delivered.”
The airport’s plans include seven new aircraft parking stands, a three-storey passenger pier, noise barriers and a 260-bedroom hotel.
London City Airport residents face up to 7 years of night time construction work
July 1st 2014 (Stop City Airport)
London City Airport residents face up to 7 years of Night Time Construction work.
Newham Council have warned London City Airport that the impacts of night time construction work may see them refuse planning permission for their new Development. 
London City Airport’s current Development planning application will see construction work carried out over a 7 year period, including 3 years of full 24 hour work, where noise intensive construction activities like piling will occur at night.
Newham Council have found that the resulting noise impacts are considerable and would significantly impact on residents in North Woolwich. North Woolwich residents currently suffer from the Airports operational noise as well as construction noise from Crossrail. Further construction work like the Chinese ABP development could also see them impacted.
London City Airport is not willing to temporarily alter its business operations to facilitate construction at it’s own development and have submitted noise mitigation measures which Newham Council have rejected.
THE FUTURE WATCHES THE AIRPORT – 21st July at 11am
There will be a protest against the expansion of London City Airport. Newham Council will soon decide whether it should expand. A group of local campaigners, working with the affected local community, plans to protest – to show the airport that whatever the Council’s decision – there will be uproar if they try to expand.
If Newham Council allow the airport to expand it will mean more air pollution, more noise pollution and more road traffic – especially for the communities who live around the airport – who are some of London’s most vulnerable. It will also mean that people will lose their homes to allow for the airport’s expansion.
London City Airport now re-consulting on its expansion planning application
June 5, 2014
London City Airport has a planning application, initially submitted in July 2013, originally with 28th October as the comment deadline, for “Works to demolish existing buildings and structures and provide additional infrastructure and passenger facilities at London City Airport without changes to the number of permitted flights or opening hours previously permitted pursuant to planning permission.” The comment deadline was extended to 18th December. The local authority, Newham Council, has now announced that it will be re-consulting on the application. The deadline for comment is now 10th July, with the application expected to go to committee on 23rd July 2014. There have so been 1,282 responses to the application, all of which appear to be objecting to it. The airport said last year they were extending the deadline so”as many local people and wider stakeholders as possible can make their voices heard.”
Public consultation on London City Airport planning applications extended to 18th December
October 30, 2013 Newham Council are extending their public consultation on London City Airport planning applications to midday on 18 December 2013. The deadline had been 28th October, but the application is mainly online, and the council planning website was down during some of the time. The planning application was presented in such an impenetrable manner on the Newham website that it was effectively impossible for ordinary people to understand what was proposed. Now Newham says that : “Due to the number of responses to the London City Airport planning consultation, including many who have asked for extra time to submit a response, we have decided to extend the deadline…. The major planning applications propose additional infrastructure, passenger facilities and a new hotel at the airport. We will shortly be publicising the extended consultation deadline including writing to more than 25,000 homes in the local area.” Local campaigners welcomed the extension and said the impacts of the expansion by London City Airport will affect the local area for generations to come, so it is important that local residents have the opportunity to get their voices heard.
London City Airport expansion plan – inadequate consultation by Newham – but campaigners have produced guidance on how to respond
October 26, 2013
London City Airport applied back in July for expansion. While the application does not propose to increase the number of flights, it crucially changes the split between scheduled jets and jet centre movements leading to a change in the 2010 baseline public safety zone. The application is to demolish some buildings and structures, and upgrade four aircraft stands, adding 7 new aircraft parking stands. It would also mean extension and modification of the existing airfield, including the creation of an extended taxi lane.There would be changes to parking and vehicle access, and an extension to the terminal building. The consultation in on the Newham Council website (though on some days it has not bee accessible) – it ends on 28th October. There is a huge list of documents, with no accessible detail, making comment by ordinary people nearly impossible. London City Airport campaigners have located the key information, and produced a simple response email which anyone can (adapt and) use. There are real fears of more noise from the airport and building space removed form the enlarged public safety zones. Do send in a reply if you agree these proposals should be opposed.