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Lydd Airport – New Flight Paths

19.1.2010 (Lydd Airport Action Group press release)

Since the publication of the Shepway District Officer’s Report on July 1st, 2009, the CAA has approved new instrument approach procedures (flight paths) for

Lydd Airport. This is material new evidence. LAAG believes the planning application’s determination
should be delayed until the impact of these flight paths has been evaluated.



The new RNAV(GNSS) approach procedures mean

Lydd Airport now has an instrument approach procedure for both runways – runway 21 and runway
03 – whereas previously it only had instrument approaches to runway 21.



The new runway 21 RNAV procedure is offset 14 degrees from the centre line and
is inland of the current 5 degree offset ILS approach. This is another non standard
approach procedure, required due to the presence of restricted airspace over the
Hythe military range, and means that the noise and pollution footprint of

Lydd Airport will extend over a wider area of Romney Marsh and outlying areas.



The new RNAV procedures at Lydd are unlikely to make the airport more attractive
to commercial operators for the following reasons:



·             The runway 21 approach is significantly offset from the runway centreline, making
it even more challenging to fly than the existing ILS approach.



·             The runway 03 approach is only usable when the

Lydd Range is not active.



·             These are non-precision approaches, with no vertical guidance.



·             The minimum heights to which aircraft are permitted to descend on the RNAV approach
to runway 21 are the same as, or higher than, the minima for the ILS approach,
so offer no advantages in that respect.



·             The minimum visibility in which the RNAV approach can be used is between 1200
and 1600 metres, compared to 900 metres for the ILS approach, so it requires better
weather conditions



Therefore, like the existing ILS approach, the RNAV approach to runway 21 is
likely to lead to more missed approaches, diversions and cancellations of flights
than would be the case with a conventional straight-in approach procedure.   The availability of an approach procedure to runway 03 will do little to alter
this as it will only be available when the Lydd Military range is closed.    



We understand that Lydd Airport does not plan to redesign is current ILS, this
means passenger aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus 319 would be unable
to fully utilise the proposed extended runway on landing, further reducing the
commercial attractiveness of the airport and its employment prospects.



LAAG believes

Lydd Airport’s employment prospects are poor and inferior to

Kent International Airport (Manston), the existing

regional airport located less than 50 miles away, which has struggled to attract




Louise Barton


Lydd Airport Action Group


The Hook


Madeira Road




Kent TN28 8QX


01797 361 548





Notes to Editors:



(1) RNAV(GNSS) stands for Area Navigation (Global Navigation Satellite System) instrument approach procedures.



(2) Following the introduction of the RNAV procedures, there will be three instrument
approach procedures to runway 21, (the 14 degree offset RNAV procedure, the 5
degree offset Instrument Landing System (ILS) plus a 22 degree offset Non-Directional
Beacon approach) as opposed to two in the past, and one instrument approach procedure
to runway 03 (5 degree offset RNAV approach), as apposed to none in the past.



(3) Lydd Airport submitted a planning application in December 2006 (Y06/1647/SH
& Y06/1648/SH) for a 444m extension to its runway and a new terminal to increase
its passenger numbers from <2000 per annum in 2008 to 500,000 passengers per
annum (ppa). This planning application represents Phase1 of the airport’s Master
Plan objective to increase passenger numbers to 2million passengers per annum




Lydd Airport’s planning application was scheduled to be determined on July 9th, 2009. This was delayed at the behest of

Lydd Airport to September 23rd, later changed to September 24th. On September 8th 2009 Shepway District Council announced that the determination would again be
delayed until February/March 2010 allegedly to allow

Lydd Airport’s new Managing Director Jonathan Gordon to assess the paperwork associated with
the applications. On October 28th, 2009 Shepway District Council confirmed that the planning application would
be determined on March 3rd, 2010.





Airport is located less than three miles from the Dungeness Nuclear Power Complex with
a height restriction of 2000ft and less than two miles and eight miles respectively
from the Lydd (D044) and Hythe (D141)

Military Ranges with respective height restrictions of 4000 ft, and 3200ft. The airport is surrounded
by unique natural habitats protected under European and national laws and is located
under the main bird migratory route in the south of

. All these factors make the location unsuitable for a regional airport.



(6) LAAG is an action group formed in late August 2004 to oppose the large scale
development of

Lydd Airport.   LAAG has over 2850 active members.