Stop Stansted Expansion prepares to launch legal proceedings against Stansted airport, over compensation delays

Stansted Airport faces legal action on behalf of thousands of local residents denied compensation over devaluation of their property caused by airport expansion. The cost to the airport could run to hundreds of millions of pounds.  Stansted failed to meet a deadline (31st May) to make a public statement agreeing to introduce a compensation scheme for local residents after years of prevarication.  Since 2002, Stansted has used the excuse that it has no legal obligation to pay compensation until it has completed everything listed in its 1999 Phase 2 planning consent.  Completion of a small part of these works, the Echo Cul-de-Sac, has been repeatedly postponed – most recently until the mid-2020s – and has thus been branded the ‘golden rivet’ loophole. Stansted lawyers finally accepted this, but then immediately put forward a new excuse for rejecting compensation claims – that claims were now time-barred under the Limitation Act. This gave rise to withering criticism from the judge who remarked: “So, after years of telling people you can’t claim until the works are complete, you’re now saying Tee-Hee – you’re too late.” Due to Stansted stalling, SSE are now taking legal action,  to safeguard the interests of local residents. SSE’s preparations for a legal challenge ,on the airport’s use of the Limitation Act, are underway. They have appointed and briefed its legal team, which includes two expert barristers and one of the country’s foremost planning solicitors.
.

 

SSE PREPARES TO LAUNCH LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST STANSTED AIRPORT

Airport uses new ploy to deny compensation after losing ‘golden rivet’ loophole

7.6.2016  (Stop Stansted Expansion press release)

.
Stansted Airport faces legal action on behalf of thousands of local residents denied compensation over devaluation of their property caused by airport expansion. The cost to the airport could run to hundreds of millions of pounds.

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) announced the move after the airport failed to meet a deadline to make a public statement agreeing to introduce a compensation scheme for local residents after years of prevarication.

Since 2002, Stansted has used the excuse that it has no legal obligation to pay compensation until it has completed everything listed in its 1999 Phase 2 planning consent. Completion of a small part of these works, the Echo Cul-de-Sac, has been repeatedly postponed – most recently until the mid-2020s – and has thus been branded the ‘golden rivet’ loophole.

However, it transpires that the airport was wrong to use the ‘golden rivet’ argument as an excuse for not paying compensation. Lawyers for Stansted Airport finally accepted this at a hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice in March but they then immediately put forward a new excuse for rejecting compensation claims – arguing that claims were now time-barred under the Limitation Act. This gave rise to withering criticism from the judge who remarked:

“So, after years of telling people you can’t claim until the works are complete,
you’re now saying Tee-Hee – you’re too late.”

Brian Ross, deputy chairman of SSE, who attended the hearing, commented: “It was clear from the expression on the judge’s face that he could hardly believe what he was hearing, and nor could I. Accordingly, SSE immediately asked for an urgent meeting with the airport managing director. That meeting took six weeks to arrange and when we eventually met it was obvious Stansted Airport was stalling over the ‘golden rivet’ issue and over its use of the Limitation Act to reject claims.”

SSE gave Stansted Airport an ultimatum of 31 May to make a public statement with a commitment to introduce a compensation scheme, failing which SSE would itself make a public statement and do all in its power to safeguard the interests of local residents, including legal action.

A few hours before the expiry of this SSE ultimatum, Manchester Airports Group (MAG) the owners of Stansted Airport contacted SSE offering a further meeting to discuss the matter. This offer was declined. SSE took the view that the issues should no longer be discussed behind closed doors. In a subsequent telephone conversation, MAG made some important concessions to SSE but still refused to make a public statement. SSE therefore decided to make its own statement having regard to the long history of prevarication and broken promises on this issue.

.

[SSE held a press conference on Friday, 10th June at 12 noon at the Stansted Hilton Hotel  and revealed further details, including the legal action it intends to take, the legal team appointed, the postcode areas affected and the scale of the devaluation of local house prices. 

See the presentation 

.

SSE Chairman Peter Sanders commented: “Compensation has never been part of SSE’s natural territory but in this case the airport’s behaviour is so reprehensible that we cannot stand idly by. It beggars belief that a publicly quoted UK company could act in such a manner. Enough is enough.”

ENDS

.

http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/press491.html


NOTES TO EDITORS

SSE will this week be sending a briefing note to all of its members and on-line supporters. Local parish councils will also be briefed and SSE will be holding public meetings to explain the position more fully. Key local politicians and MPs have already been briefed by SSE.

SSE’s preparations for a legal challenge on the airport’s use of the Limitation Act are well underway. SSE has already appointed and briefed its legal team, which includes two expert barristers and one of the country’s foremost planning solicitors.

MAG is 35.5% owned by Manchester City Council, 29.5% owned by nine other councils in the Greater Manchester area and 35% owned by an Australian investment fund. As well as Manchester and Stansted, MAG also owns East Midlands and Bournemouth airports.

SSE has evidence showing that Stansted’s growth over the past 17 years (since 1999) has caused property devaluation over a wide area covering up to 15,000 local homes. The scale of the devaluation is over 20% for homes nearest the airport.

The potential cost of compensating residents is several hundred million pounds, which may explain why MAG was able to acquire the airport for such a relatively low price (£1.5bn).

Further information for potential claimants, including a downloadable compensation claim form will soon be made available on this.


BACKGROUND TO THE COMPENSATION STORY

This story begins in 1986, when Stansted Airport Ltd (STAL) obtained planning consent to expand to a throughput of 8 million passengers per annum (mppa). STAL acknowledged that this would adversely affect local house prices and, in accordance with its obligations under the 1973 Land Compensation Act, STAL agreed to compensate local homeowners for the resultant devaluation.

Local residents were invited to submit compensation claims and STAL (then owned by BAA) agreed to pay their legal and professional valuation costs. The first task was to establish where devaluation had taken place and agreement was soon reached on an area including most of the Hallingburys, the Broxted villages, Burton End Stansted, Birchanger, Hatfield Broad Oak, Hatfield Heath, Takeley, Elsenham and parts of Thaxted and Bishops Stortford.

Comparative valuations were carried out to arrive at a percentage devaluation (i.e. compensation payable) for each of those areas. Some 1,900 claims were submitted, two-thirds of which were successful.

All of the above related to Phase 1 of Stansted’s expansion. Subsequently, in April 1999, it was granted permission for Phase 2 of its expansion plan allowing it to grow from 8mppa to 15mppa. Within three months of that approval, Stansted had exceeded the 8mppa threshold and within three years it exceeded 15mppa. The airport has handled over 15mppa every year since 2002. Further planning applications have since been approved whereby Stansted now has a permitted throughput of 35mppa. This year it will handle about 25mppa.

However, local residents have only ever been compensated for an airport handling a maximum of 8mppa.

This injustice has arisen because, over the years, STAL has consistently advised local residents that compensation claims could and should not be submitted until completion of all of the works authorised by its Phase 2 planning permission. This was originally expected in 2001/02 but one small part of the approved development in the ‘Echo cul-de-sac’ has repeatedly been postponed.

The latest advice from STAL is that the Echo cul-de-sac (which has been dubbed as the ‘golden rivet’) is unlikely to be needed until the mid-2020s, some 25 years later than originally planned and 14 years after the airport surpassed the 15mppa threshold which, according to STAL’s 1999 planning application, could not be achieved without the Echo cul-de-sac development.

If STAL has its way, that injustice will now become staggeringly worse because instead of arguing that it’s too early for compensation claims to be submitted, STAL now says it’s too late to submit claims. STAL’s new position is that all Phase 2 works except the Echo works were completed by March 2007 and so claims could have been submitted one year afterwards, in March 2008, and the latest date for submitting compensation claims was six years after that – i.e. March 2014.

FURTHER INFORMATION AND COMMENT
Peter Sanders, SSE Chairman ? 01799 520411; petersanders77@talktalk.net
Brian Ross, SSE Deputy Chairman ? 01279 814961; M 07850 937143; brian.ross@lineone.net
SSE Campaign Office ? info@stopstanstedexpansion.com; www.stopstanstedexpansion.com

.


See also

Stop Stansted Expansion sets out details of Stansted’s devious attempts to avoid compensation payments from 2000

Stop Stansted Expansion have catalogued the appalling deceit and prevarication used by Stansted Airport, in its attempts to avoid making compensation payments to people affected by airport’s expansion. Work on Phase 2 was started in 1999, to take the airport up to 15 million passengers per year, and claims should then have been possible. But Stansted insisted that no claims could be made until one of the taxiway piers, Echo, was completed. Each year, from 2004 to 2011 the date when the Echo stand’s completion date was pushed further and further back (partly as Stansted had a dramatic fall in passenger numbers in the recession). Finally this April Stansted’s lawyers said ” …1 March 2007 is a relevant date at least in respect of some of the works in paragraph 1.8..” In other words Stansted finally concedes that it had been wrong to use the ‘golden rivet’ ploy to avoid paying compensation. But now Stansted has a new ploy to avoid paying compensation, saying any claim had to be brought within 6 years. The Deputy President of the Lands Tribunal remarked: “So, after years of telling people you can’t claim until the works are complete, you’re now saying Tee-Hee – you’re too late?” Stop Stansted Expansion gave the airport until 31st May to make a public statement reversing this stance – or face a legal challenge. No satisfadtory response was received in time from owners, MAG.

Click here to view full story…

Farmer at Stansted still awaiting compensation, due to airport loophole of not completing all work – to avoid paying

A farm owner who won £1 million from Stansted, because planes flying over his £2 million home slashed its value in half,  is still waiting for the pay-out 17 years later. Patrick Streeter, whose home is about 1.5 km from the end of the runway, was awarded the sum in 1999 but claims Stansted are using a wily “legal loophole”, which says the money needs to be paid only once all work is finished on the airport.  Because white lines have not been painted on a strip of airport apron, (presumably deliberately …) and a fuel pump has not been installed, Stansted has told Mr Streeter that he is not entitled to his pay-out yet.  He says the constant din of planes makes the place unbearable to live in, and he believes it would be almost impossible to sell.  Mr Streeter’s family home, a 13th century seven-bedroom farmhouse in Great Hallingbury, shakes so badly when planes take off that roof tiles are dislodged. “When we are sitting in the garden your coffee cup will wobble. The cargo planes are the worst.”   The airport is legally obliged to pay people living around it compensation because of the detrimental impact of the noise. Mr Streeter is now considering suing the airport .  A Stansted spokesman said: “We are aware of Mr Streeter’s application and the matter is being consulted by MAG (the airport’s owner).”   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/05/farmer-at-stansted-still-awaiting-compensation-due-to-airport-loophole-of-not-completing-all-work-to-avoid-paying/

Read more »

Stop Stansted Expansion sets out details of Stansted’s devious attempts to avoid compensation payments from 2000

Stop Stansted Expansion have catalogued the appalling deceit and prevarication used by Stansted Airport, in its attempts to avoid making compensation payments to people affected by airport’s expansion. Work on Phase 2 was started in 1999, to take the airport up to 15 million passengers per year, and claims should then have been possible. But Stansted insisted that no claims could be made until one of the taxiway piers, Echo, was completed. Each year, from 2004 to 2011 the date when the Echo stand’s completion date was pushed further and further back (partly as Stansted had a dramatic fall in passenger numbers in the recession). Finally this April Stansted’s lawyers said ” …1 March 2007 is a relevant date at least in respect of some of the works in paragraph 1.8..”  In other words Stansted finally concedes that it had been wrong to use the ‘golden rivet’ ploy to avoid paying compensation. But now Stansted has a new ploy to avoid paying compensation, saying any claim had to be brought within 6 years.  The Deputy President of the Lands Tribunal remarked: “So, after years of telling people you can’t claim until the works are complete, you’re now saying Tee-Hee – you’re too late?” Stop Stansted Expansion gave the airport until 31st May to make a public statement reversing this stance – or face a legal challenge. No satisfactory response was received in time from owners, MAG.
.

 

See also the SSE press release on 7.6.2016   here

The Stansted Airport Compensation Scandal

Briefing by Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE)

10 June 2016

http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/documents/SSE_Press_Briefing-10_June_2016.pdf

 

Historical Background

1986 – Phase 1 of Stansted expansion gets planning approval – 8 mppa capacity.

1991 – Phase 1 completed – includes new terminal, train station etc.

1992 – Payments for house price devaluation become due to local residents under Land Compensation Act – i.e. 12 months after development is completed.

1992 → onwards: Stansted invites compensation claims from local residents and it receives some 1900 claims of which two out of every three are successful. The airport paid the legal and surveyors fees for successful claimants.

1999 – Phase 2 of Stansted expansion gets planning consent – 15mppa capacity.

2002 – Stansted reaches a throughput of 15mppa but refuses to pay the Phase 2 compensation until all the works approved for Phase 2 development are completed. Importantly the Echo cul-de-sac, which soon becomes known as ‘the golden rivet’ has not yet been completed.

2003 – Stansted gets planning consent for 25mppa and still refuses to consider compensation claims because the Echo works are still not completed.

2008 – Stansted gets planning consent for 35mppa and still refuses to consider compensation claims because the Echo works are still not completed.

2016 – Stansted will handle around 25mppa.

.

The area where devaluation was found included most of Broxted, Burton End, Great Hallingbury and Little Hallingbury, and parts of Birchanger, Bishop’s Stortford, Elsenham, Hatfield Broad Oak, Hatfield Heath, Takeley and Thaxted. The extent of the devaluation ranged from 2.0% of the value of the home in outlying areas to over 20% of the home value in areas close to the airport.

Stansted has handled over 15mppa every year since 2002, but, in compensation terms, local residents still live next to an airport handling less than 8mppa.


Stansted Airport’s advice to Local Residents

2004

“On land compensation, you will probably recall a presentation to STACC1 on the continued development of Stansted. You are right in saying that we do not now envisage completing works on the [Echo] aprons and taxiways until 2008/2009 and only after that will consideration be given to compensation.”

Mike Clasper, Chief Executive of BAA

7 June 2004

1 STACC = Stansted Airport Consultative Committee


Stansted Airport’s advice to Local Residents

2006

“In response to comments by a Member, it was indicated that some preliminary work on Taxiway Echo stands was underway, but that area would not become fully operational until 2009/10. That would then be the trigger point for land compensation claims.”

Terry Morgan, Stansted Airport Managing Director

26 July 2006

Extract from STACC minutes


Stansted Airport’s advice to Local Residents

2008

“… at present we anticipate that Echo will be completed in 2011/2012. At that time, individuals will be able to submit claims under Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973, demonstrating any diminution in value of their properties arising from the use of the new infrastructure which has been constructed and which forms the “Scheme”.”

Stewart Wingate, Stansted Airport Managing Director

14 November 2008

Letter to Sir Alan Haselhurst MP


Stansted Airport’s advice to Local Residents

2009

“Members noted that the crucial element which would trigger payments was completion of the Echo cul-de-sac. Members were concerned about the time being taken to do this despite it being part of the planning application to increase use to 15 million passengers per annum (mppa). …

STAL management* undertook to consider the points made but indicated that they were very unlikely to agree to make payments unless and until they were legally obliged to do so.”

*David Johnson, Stansted Airport Managing Director

Extract from STACC minutes

28 October 2009


Stansted Airport’s advice to Local Residents

2010

“The Echo Cul de Sac is the location of a number of aircraft stands. The construction of the Cul de Sac is split into a number of phases to provide aircraft stands in line with demand. … The latest forecasts are suggesting that all phases of Echo are due to complete around 2019/20.”

Nick Barton, Stansted Airport Commercial Director

7 June 2010

Letter to local resident in response to his enquiry about compensation


Stansted Airport’s advice to Local Residents

2011

“The first scheme for land compensation followed the opening of the “new” airport in 1991. … A second scheme was identified which includes the completion of Charlie, Delta and Echo culde-sacs together with the outer taxiway. Some of these developments have been completed but as traffic volumes have declined the need for such infrastructure has repeatedly slipped back and so therefore has the completion date of the second scheme. It is the completion date and bringing into use of this asset which triggers the compensation process. …”

Nick Barton, Stansted Airport Managing Director

14 January 2011

Letter to local resident in response to his enquiry about compensation.


2016

Stansted’s lawyers recently conceded that …

“…the evidence suggests that, since the mid-1990’s, STAL were clear and consistent in advising local residents that Part 1 claims could, and should, not be made until the final completion of the public works authorised by its Phase 2 planning permission.”

Submitted to Court by Stansted Airport’s lawyers

April 2016


2016

Stansted’s lawyers now also concede that:

” …1 March 2007 is a relevant date at least in respect of some of the works in paragraph 1.8..”

Submitted to Court by Stansted Airport’s lawyers

April 2016

In other words STAL finally concedes that it had been wrong to use the ‘golden rivet’ ploy to avoid paying compensation


… but they then come up with a new ploy to avoid paying compensation

“Pursuant to Section 9 of the Limitation Act 1980, the Claimants’ right to recover compensation (if any) under Part I of the 1973 Act must be brought within 6 years of the “first claim day”.

Submitted to Court by Stansted Airport’s lawyers

April 2016

Prompting the Deputy President of the Lands Tribunal to remark: “So, after years of telling people you can’t claim until the works are complete, you’re now saying Tee-Hee – you’re too late?”


Stansted’s lawyers then write as follows to a local resident: 

“… our client takes the view that the claim submitted by you is now out of time on the basis that, as far as we are aware, no reference to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) was made by you prior to the expiry of the relevant limitation period.”

Recent letter to local resident from Stansted Airport’s lawyers


At this point SSE decides to give STAL until 31 May to make a public statement reversing this stance – or face a legal challenge.


SSE’s Legal Team

• Paul Stinchcombe QC

• Richard Wold, Barrister

• Nigel Hewitson, Planning Solicitor

…(there are details of the extensive qualifications of this team …. link )

 


Public Announcement from Stansted Airport

on 9th June 2016

Claims relating to airport works dating from 1999-2007

STAL (Stagnated Airport Lid) recognises the there has been some uncertainty indecent years about the status of compensation claims relating to development works carried out at the airport in the 1999-2007 period.

Having reviewed the matter thoroughly, and in light of two recent legal decisions, STAL has decided to clarify the status of these clams to remove any uncertainty for local residents.

The relevant legislation is complex bu,t broadly, the owner of a residential property, at theme of the works, is entitled to compensation if they can show that the value of their house has been reduced as a d direct result of those works and provided they bring their claim “in time.”

STAL confirms it remains willing to consider claims from qualifying residents indwell, for the time being, treat them as having been made”intake.”  This means that residents who believe they may be entitled to compensation can now submit a claim.  Of course, residents will still have to show that their claims have legal merit.

STAL will announce more details on the process to be followed shortly, including the specified period for lodging claims which will be of sufficient duration to allow residents to take professional advice. STAL will also be discussing these issues with the Stagnated Airport Consultative Committee.

Stansted Airport Limited

9 June 2016


Impact on Local House Prices

SSE has a considerable quantity of evidence on the movement in house prices in postcode sectors near to around the airport compared to the average movement in house prices for Essex as a whole. 1

SSE compiled this information from quarterly Land Registry statistics over the period 1999-2007, as part of SSE’s evidence to the Stansted G1 Public Inquiry. 2

1  This was the comparison used by BAA in its 2004-2007 HVGS scheme

2   The full SSE Proof of Evidence submitted to the 2007 Stansted G1 Public Inquiry is on SSE’s website at http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/r1_public_inquiry4.html

.

There is a map showing local areas.

.


Impact on Local House Prices

1 July 2001- 31 December 2006**

North Uttlesford (CB10 1, CB10 2, CB11 3 and CB11 4)

• Average depreciation found = 7% (£13,000 per house)

(13,593 houses in the 2001 census)

.

South Uttlesford (CM6 1, CM6 2, CM6 3, CM22 6, CM22 7, CM24 8)

• Average depreciation found = 25% (£56,000 per house)

(14,796 houses in the 2001 census)

.

East Herts Border (CM23 5) = Part of B. Stortford & Birchanger

• Sample size too small to provide reliable data.

**The above is based on official Land Registry statistics from 1 July 2001 to 31 December 2006. SSE produced this analysis for the 2007 Stansted G1 Public Inquiry where its evidence on local house price impacts was unchallenged in cross-examination. However, factors other than the expansion of the airport may have affected house prices over that period and so the above should be viewed as illustrative. Potential claimants should take professional advice.

.

http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/documents/SSE_Press_Briefing-10_June_2016.pdf


Read more »

St Helena airport (for which UK spent £285 of aid money) to boost tourism – “indefinitely delayed” due to windshear danger

Back in 2010 the UK government approved some £285 million of the aid budget to be spent on building an airport on the remote island of St Helena (population 4,000).  Now it has emerged that the airport has been mothballed, and delayed indefinitely due to windshear problems for planes using the runway, because of the position of the runway at the top of an almost 1,000 foot cliff.  It is too dangerous for passenger planes to use.  The island, a UK overseas territory, is about 1,200 miles west of Angola, with the sea trip (3 times per week) to Cape Town taking 5 days.  It is one of the most remote populated places on earth. Keeping the territory going costs the UK money, and it had been hoped that the airport would mean enough inbound tourists could visit the island, bring in currency, boost the economy – and end up costing the UK less. The islanders were very excited about the prospect, and the logistics of building a large enough flat platform up on a cliff were complex. The amount of earth moving and concrete pouring etc, on this remote island, were technically challenging.  There would always have been difficulties in running a full air service, due to the inevitably short runway.  The island’s only connection with the mainland is the ageing Royal Mail ship St Helena which is soon to be retired. Questions are being asked about the wisdom of this use of UK aid money, to attempt to reduce the cost of the island to the UK.
.

 

 

More on the airport:

There is a lot more information about the history and the progress of the construction of the airport on Wikipedia at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Helena_Airport

St Helena airport costing £285m of UK money is delayed over safety concerns

British government approved development on South Atlantic island in 2010 but spending watchdog says windshear and turbulence make it too unsafe

Construction of St Helena airport.
Construction of St Helena airport.

An airport built on a remote South Atlantic island by the British government – at the cost £285m of public money – cannot be used because planes landing there are blown off course, Whitehall’s spending watchdog has found.

The development on St Helena was approved in 2010 by the then development secretary Andrew Mitchell and was one of the biggest single government investments ever made in a UK overseas territory.

The cliff-top landing strip was due to be opened last month as part of a plan to end the island’s dependency on UK government subsidies.

A report by the National Audit Office has found that safety concerns relating to windshear and turbulence have led to the mothballing of the airport.

Windshear is a sudden powerful change in wind direction that can destabilise large aircraft and has been responsible for crashes around the world.

Responding to the report, Diane Abbott, the shadow international development secretary, said: “It is extremely concerning that such a huge investment has been mismanaged by this government … ministers must urgently clarify the additional impact of the delay on St Helena.”

Tim Farron, leader of the Lib Dems, questioned why the government had failed to commission studies on windshear before the money was spent. “This is a serious misuse of the aid budget which is meant to be helping the poorest in the world, and will present an open goal to those who looking for cynical opportunities to criticise international aid,” he said.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said the financial stability of the island would depend on a number of factors including tourist numbers and how much they spend. “The airport’s planned opening date in May 2016 has been postponed as outstanding safety concerns are addressed, potentially adding to the project’s cost and delaying its benefits,” he said.

The island, which is home to around 4,000 people and is located 1,200 miles west of Angola, is known for being where Napoleon was exiled in 1815 after his defeat at Waterloo. He died there in 1821. It can only be reached by sea and has relied upon the ageing Royal Mail ship St Helena which is soon to be retired.

The NAO said the overall success of the scheme depended on attracting sufficient tourists to the island as well ensuring that they spent enough once they were there. While the island had enough hotel places for the numbers projected to visit during the first six years, the island government had admitted that it needed to improve the accommodation’s quality.

The former Tory party treasurer Lord Ashcroft, who was a vocal supporter of the airport in 2010, wrote on the ConservativeHome website last week that he was forced to abandon a planned visit to the island because of “serious concerns that the airport is too dangerous to use”. The Tory-led coalition approved the scheme with £250m from the development fund – the largest single investment it has made in overseas territories.

A DfID spokesperson said that some planes had been able to land on the island, including an airplane which successfully evacuated a sick child to Cape Town on Saturday. “As the report points out, the UK supports its overseas territories in line with international law,” she said. “We are helping St Helena overcome the challenge of being one of the most remote island communities in the world so it can develop its tourism industry and become financially self-sufficient, making it less dependent on aid.”

  • The headline on this article was corrected on 9 June 2016 to make clear that the opening of the airport has been delayed, not scrapped.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/jun/09/planes-unable-to-land-at-285m-cliff-top-airport-on-island-of-st-helena

.


St Helena airport delayed due to danger of high winds

9 June 2016 (BBC)

Footage shows a test flight at the airport, which set off the aircraft’s windshear warning system. Short film clip  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36490496 shows BA plane making unsteady landing

The opening of an airport on the British overseas territory of St Helena has been delayed indefinitely due to safety fears – amid warnings the cost to the UK government could increase.

The £285m airport is being paid for by the Department for International Development and was due to open in May.

However, the National Audit Office said the delay – due to high winds on the remote island – could add to the cost.

DFID said it was committed to helping St Helena become “self-sufficient”.

The development will provide access to St Helena for commercial airlines for the first time.

The remote island – which lies approximated 1,150 miles (1,850km) off the west coast of Africa in the South Atlantic Ocean – has previously only been accessible by ship, in a journey that takes five days from South Africa.

DFID agreed to pay £285.5m to “design, build and operate” the airport, in a bid to improve the island’s accessibility and boost its tourism industry.

The airport, on the remote South Atlantic island, welcomed its first large passenger jet aircraft land during testing in April

It hopes the development will allow the self-governing UK overseas territory to become self-sufficient and reduce its reliance on government subsidies.

In April, the St Helena government announced its opening had been postponed amid concerns wind conditions meant it was too dangerous for commercial airliners to land on the runway.

A revised date is yet to be determined. DFID and the St Helena government are currently looking at the options for dealing with the problem caused by the wind conditions but have yet to agree on a solution.

‘Limited’ precedents

As part of the plan, the Royal Mail Ship St Helena – which provides the only regular cargo and passenger link to the island – will not be replaced once it is taken out of service, which had been due take place next month.

Sir Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: “Estimating the likely costs and benefits of a project such as this is an inherently difficult task, particularly with a limited number of precedents for building an airport in a remote location.

“The airport’s planned opening date in May 2016 has been postponed as outstanding safety concerns are addressed, potentially adding to the project’s cost and delaying its benefits.”

A DFID spokesperson said: “As the report points out, the UK supports its overseas territories in line with international law.

“We are helping St Helena overcome the challenge of being one of the most remote island communities in the world so it can develop its tourism industry and become financially self-sufficient, making it less dependent on aid.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36490496

.

 

Read more »

Edinburgh airport starts 1st stage of consultation to get more RNAV routes in place by summer 2018

Edinburgh airport met strenuous opposition when it ran a trial that started in June 2015 of the TUTUR route. Now Edinburgh has put out a consultation (ends 12th September) of the first phase of a process of getting more airspace changes. The consultation is not on actual routes. The airport says: “The positions of the new routes have not yet been determined. We seek to inform the decisions regarding where best to position these routes by consulting with those impacted or who have an interest.”  The question in the consultation is “what local factors should be taken into account when determining the position of the route within the design envelope given the potential impacts, and why?”  They say feedback “will inform the detailed design process and will influence the design options.”  Once draft routes have been designed, a further consultation (probably summer 2017) will take place  on the detailed design of the routes. After the second consultation, Edinburgh Airport will submit an airspace change proposal to the CAA. They have been careful to get their consultation in quickly, before the CAA system of improving the airspace change process comes into being. “ The target date for the RNAV routes to come into operation is Summer 2018.” Consultees cannot comment on air traffic growth, airport expansion, or government policy on airspace noise (or the lack of it), or of PBN or the desirability of RNAV.
.

 

Edinburgh consultation on changes to airspace

Some info at http://www.letsgofurther.com/

The main consultation document is at 

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/edinburghairport/files/acp/EDI_ACP_Consultation_Document.pdf

This document states:

Mandate 1:

Initial consultation    We, Edinburgh Airport, need to understand the views of stakeholders concerning issues that may arise from altering arrival and departure flight paths so that we can analyse concerns gathered during the initial consultation (June – September 2016) and develop viable options by December 2016 so as to develop a flight path change consultation on options to effectively maximise operational benefits and minimise community impacts.

Mandate 2:

Further consultation    We, Edinburgh Airport, need to understand the views of stakeholders concerning viable options for arrival and departure flight paths so we can alter flight paths to maximise operational benefits and minimise community impacts by Summer 2017 so as to produce an airspace change proposal to the CAA which complies with relevant regulatory requirements and responds to consultee concerns.


“3.1 What is this consultation about?

This consultation concerns aircraft arriving to and departing from Edinburgh Airport. Existing routes (termed ‘conventional’ routes) rely on the 1950s technology of VOR and NDB radio beacons. More modern navigation systems can now provide RNAV which uses a combination of satellite and ground-based navigation technology to permit aircraft to follow a precisely defined path over the ground with far greater accuracy than is possible with conventional routes.

The benefits of RNAV are well documented (Ref. 6 and 7, on page 84), and the replacement of conventional routes with equivalent RNAV routes is in accordance with government and international (ICAO/Eurocontrol) guidelines (Ref. 6). This proposal seeks to replace the existing conventional routes with RNAV routes.

The positions of the new routes have not yet been determined. We seek to inform the decisions regarding where best to position these routes by consulting with those impacted or who have an interest.

We ask for your feedback regarding “what local factors should be taken into account when determining the position of the route within the design envelope given the potential impacts, and why?”

Government guidance provides generic objectives for airspace changes, such as the need to overfly the fewest people below 7,000ft above ground level (AGL) and to be as efficient as possible (i.e. minimising or not increasing CO2 emissions) above 7,000ft.

However, while the governmental guidance provides a starting point, we recognise that there may be specific local factors which could also have an influence on the optimum position of the routes. It is these local factors that this consultation seeks to identify, record and understand.

This consultation concerns changes which affect the profiles of aircraft arriving and departing from Edinburgh Airport below 7,000ft above ground level (AGL). See Appendix B for the legal requirements and how difference altitude cut-offs apply to this consultation.

These changes are fundamental to Edinburgh Airport’s continued development. Feedback from this consultation will inform the detailed design process and will influence the design options. Once draft routes have been designed, a further consultation will take place where we will give you the opportunity to comment on the detailed design options that we have developed taking account of your feedback.

After the second consultation, Edinburgh Airport will submit an airspace change proposal to the CAA in which we must demonstrate that the proposed design achieves the best balance possible for all.

3.2 What is this consultation not about?

This consultation is not related to air traffic growth or the airport’s growth in general. Government policy regarding the change to Performance Based Navigation (PBN) is outside the scope of this consultation.

This consultation is not about: RNAV as a future tool; any other or future development; any aspect of government airport or airspace policy; or the establishment of controlled airspace. Comments in responses not directly related to this initial consultation will be discounted from the analysis.


For those stakeholders who want a deeper knowledge of ATC, we have provided more in-depth background information on the consultation website. Also Ref. 9 (C AP1379, on page 84) is a document produced by the C A A to specifically help stakeholders in airspace consultations, such as this, understand today’s ATC route structure and operational techniques.

The consultation begins at midday on 6 June 2016 and ends at 23:59 on 12 September 2016, a period of 14 weeks.

.


2.2 Modernising for the future

We seek to upgrade our aircraft departure and arrival routes3 to take advantage of the improved navigational capabilities of RNAV and improve the efficiency and capacity of the airspace around Edinburgh Airport.

This consultation focuses on arrival and departure routes to Edinburgh Airport below 7,000ft above ground level (AGL).

We are keen to modernise our airspace as this will allow us to:

• ensure our airport can meet existing and future demand by increasing the capacity of its runway

• make improvements to routes to allow flights to depart more frequently with fewer delays

• make efficiency improvements to the arrival routes based on a newly-positioned hold pattern

• position aircraft more accurately allowing arrival and departure routes to be flown more accurately

• help minimise the impact to fewer people on the ground

• meet legal obligations to keep pace with changes across Europe.

Our aim is to meet these requirements, maximising benefits to Edinburgh and Scotland whilst minimising any negative impacts. Where we are seeking to change a flight path, we will be seeking to minimise the population impacted under the route.

When following RNAV routes, aircraft will follow the routes more consistently than they do today. This is due to the improved track-keeping ability of RNAV. Improved track keeping means that there will be less dispersion of aircraft either side of each of the routes; this would mean a reduction in the overall area regularly overflown, but an increase in the concentration of over-flights in some areas.

While RNAV routes are flown more accurately, they also open up the possibility of designing route configurations to specifically address local environmental issues, such as the provision of respite routes to share noise impacts more equitably (see Ref. 8, on page 84, for more detail about providing feedback on local environmental issues to be considered). This consultation seeks local information that will help us determine how to balance all benefits and impacts to provide the best solution for the region as a whole.

Many airlines are already equipped with RNAV technology and prefer to use it where they can  (because it is more accurate). As a result many aircraft currently flying from Edinburgh already use RNAV versions of conventional arrival and departure routes, so called ‘RNAV overlays’.

This proposal seeks to formalise the use of RNAV by superseding these overlays with officially certified RNAV routes, and in some cases introducing new RNAV routes. The new RNAV routes would represent a change to the published routes.

For this reason Edinburgh Airport has a duty, as prescribed by the Civil Aviation Authority, Safety and Airspace Regulation Group4 (C A A, SARG), to consult on any proposals for new routes.


2.3 The initial consultation 

In this initial consultation we are showing the design envelope (areas within which each flight path may be positioned). However, we do not yet know where within the design envelope the RNAV routes will specifically be placed. Following this consultation and taking into account your views, we will develop flight path options, which will then be the subject of further consultation. This means we are not consulting on specific flight paths at this stage.

Our objective of doing a two-phase consultation is to capture the feedback from stakeholders and consider the impacts before developing viable route options.

Ultimately the objective of these proposals is to have less noise impact across the region as a whole. Where possible, routes will be positioned to minimise the number of people overflown. In some areas flight paths will change – and this may mean some areas will be overflown more than today, others less, and some will not notice any significant change.

If these changes might affect you, we would like to hear your views. You can use our postcode search facility on our website, letsgofurther.com, which makes it easy to see how the proposed changes may affect you.

The principal question we’re asking is:

“What local factors should be taken into account when determining the position of the route within the design envelope given the potential impacts, and why?”

The focus of this consultation is to ask for your feedback on the design envelopes to inform the design for all Edinburgh Airport departure and arrival routes up to 7,000ft. 

.


What happens next?

A feedback report will be published on the Edinburgh Airport website (letsgofurther.com) once both consultation responses have been analysed. This will include details of the main issues that have been raised by stakeholders during both consultation periods.

Feedback from this initial consultation will inform the detailed design process and will influence the design options for the arrivals and departure routes.

Once detailed route options have been developed, a further consultation exercise will take place where we will seek views on the viable route options. After the further consultation, Edinburgh Airport will develop an airspace change proposal for submission to the CAA in which we must demonstrate that the proposed design achieves the best balance possible.

It is a requirement of the airspace change process that Edinburgh Airport provide the CAA with full details of the consultation (including copies of responses and correspondence) together with all documentation necessary for the promulgation of the proposed RNAV routes.

The CAA will then review the proposal (which can take up to 17 weeks) and reach a Regulatory Decision. If the proposal is approved, the implementation process could take a further twelve weeks. The target date for the RNAV routes to come into operation is Summer 2018.”

.

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/edinburghairport/files/acp/EDI_ACP_Consultation_Document.pdf

 and more info from Edinburgh airport on how to respond etc at  http://www.letsgofurther.com/


AirportWatch note:

The CAA is currently carrying out consultation and modification of its processes (called CAP 725) by which airspace is changed.  The CAA has been strongly criticised, not only by members of the public and local groups and organisations, but also by consultants, Helios, for the very low quality of their process of CAP 725.

However, Edinburgh says:

“At the time of writing a new version of C AP725 is being consulted on by the Civil Aviation Authority; however any resultant change to the guidance is not expected to be published until 2017; therefore in our consultation we refer to the extant guidance dated March 2016.”

So they hope to get this change in before the process has to be improved.

Read more »

Gatwick Chairman writes to David Cameron re-hashing unconvincing claims on desirability of its 2nd runway

Gatwick has made its last ditch attempt to persuade the government to let it have another runway. It is thought likely that some runway decision will now be made by early September at the latest, if it is not made before about 18th July.  Gatwick Chairman Sir Roy McNulty has written to David Cameron, hoping to persuade him that Gatwick will  not cost the air passenger any more than £15 per flight.  Gatwick claims they can manage the noise levels,  though are not entirely clear how. They hope sharing out the noise over more people will keep the numbers within the 57 dB and the 55 Lden to manageable levels. They hope to get the runway started before the next election, thereby not having given the electorate the change to vote on the matter – as the Airports Commission announcement  in July 2015 was deliberately after the last election in May 2015. They claim there will be no cost to the taxpayer, but there are estimates of possibly £12 billion by TfL for the necessary transport work to deal with another 40 million passengers.  Gatwick hopes its paltry £46.5 million offer will cover all that.  And Gatwick claims it will never have an air pollution problem – rather ignoring the pollution caused by the inevitable traffic, as there is inadequate public transport.  Looked at in detail, the offers (like those of Heathrow a few weeks earlier) are very threadbare  indeed.    AirportWatch comments, and links to evidence, on the letter copied below. 
.

 

 

Gatwick lobbies David Cameron with open letter on third runway

West Sussex airport makes eight pledges to bolster its case over Heathrow’s as pressure mounts on PM to make a decision
By Rowena Mason, Political correspondent
7.6.2016 ( Guardian)
Gatwick has mounted a fresh lobbying drive to secure a third runway instead of Heathrow, sending an open letter David Cameron in which it promises to speed up its timetable and cap passenger charges.
The airport set out eight pledges designed to sway the prime minister as he faces a tricky political decision soon after the EU referendum.
With pressure for him to settle the matter within weeks, both Gatwick and Heathrow have begun to step up their efforts to convince politicians and the public of their case.
Howard Davies’ airport commission recommended a third runway be built at Heathrow, but Cameron eventually delayed the decision until this summer.
Despite promising a decision in 2015, the government said it needed more time to examine the environmental case. In reality, however, the new timetable prevented a clash between Downing Street and the Tories’ London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith.
With officials, business and infrastructure experts urging him to make up his mind, Cameron and his cabinet will likely have to make a decision over the summer, depending on whether the government is ousted or in turmoil in the aftermath of the EU vote.
Gatwick’s letter commits to capping the number of people affected by aircraft noise at much lower levels than Heathrow, [how on earth could it fail to do that, bearing mind that more people live around Heathrow in the suburbs?] keeping passenger charges at a maximum of £15 [that is £15 inflation- linked, and if there is some as yet unspecified agreement with the government] and no requirements for taxpayer subsidy [that may be true for the runway and terminal, but the extra costs of all the infrastructure including road improvements, rail improvements, social facilities, hospitals, schools etc will not be paid by Gatwick at all].
Stewart Wingate, the airport’s chief executive, said choosing Gatwick would solve a political conundrum for the prime minister and end up “securing his legacy”. [Meaning an appeal to personal vanity – actually, whose legacy?] 
“He would be able to break ground on a new runway before the next general election, and whoever is prime minister after him would be able to open the new runway before the following election in 2025,” he said.
Choosing Gatwick would mean Cameron did not have to go back on the “no ifs, not buts” pledge he made in 2009 not to allow a third runway at Heathrow. He might also find it easier to get through parliament, given the number of senior Tory MPs in marginal seats who oppose Heathrow expansion. London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, is also against a third runway at Heathrow.
There have been reports, however, that Heathrow is now considered to have overcome the environmental hurdles that were holding back a decision in its favour late last year, and many in the government are convinced of the economic case for a hub airport. [Heathrow has not been able to meet the requirements. It has not control of much of the extra traffic, and therefore the NO2 pollution; it cannot add 50% more planes over increasingly densely populated areas without increasing noise; and it has only made very implausible and carefully worded offers on limiting night flights, which are less generous than they would appear at first sight. Link ]. 
Heathrow has already agreed to curb night flights [but actually very little better indeed than now  Link ] if permission is granted for a third runway, and has announced measures it says meet all the conditions set by the airports commission for its expansion plan.
As well as banning all arrivals and departures before 5.30am, the west London airport has said it would support the introduction of an independent noise authority, and pledged not to add new capacity unless it can do so without delaying UK compliance with EU air quality limits.
It also revealed that it would accept any government decision to rule out building a fourth runway in the future.
Those with knowledge of the decision believe it will ultimately be a choice for the prime minister himself, but in theory it will be agreed by an airport subcommittee made up of Cameron; the chancellor, George Osborne; the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin; the environment secretary, Liz Truss; the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Letwin; the communities secretary, Greg Clark; and the chief whip, Mark Harper.
The whole cabinet, including members such as Justine Greening, Theresa May, Greg Hands and Philip Hammond, whose constituencies are affected by Heathrow flight paths , are also meant to agree the choice.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/07/gatwick-lobbies-david-cameron-with-open-letter-on-third-runway
.

.

Gatwick Board writes to the Prime Minister setting out eight new pledges guaranteeing Britain a new runway by 2025

07/06/2016  ( Gatwick Airport Press Release)

On behalf of the Board and Shareholders of Gatwick Airport Limited, Chairman Sir Roy McNulty has today written to the Prime Minister setting out a series of pledges which offer a road map to delivering a new runway for Britain.

The pledges to the Prime Minister that Gatwick has outlined today represent a fair deal for the UK and cover:

  • The deliverability of Gatwick’s new runway
  • Guaranteed and balanced economic growth across the UK
  • A cap on passenger fares with more competition
  • The pledge that Gatwick will require no taxpayer funds
  • Gatwick’s legal air quality
  • A cap on the number of people most affected by noise
  • An industry-leading compensation scheme, and
  • Shareholder commitment to the second runway project.

The full text of Gatwick’s letter to the Prime Minister can be accessed here.

http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/press-releases/2016/16-06-07-gatwick-board-writes-to-the-prime-minister.aspx

.


The letter:

The Rt Hon Mr David Cameron MP Prime Minister

No 10 Downing Street
London
SW1A 2AA
REF: AC-LGW-298
Dear Prime Minister
I am writing to you on behalf of our Board and shareholders to set out eight pledges Gatwick is prepared to make in the event of a Government decision for a second runway this summer. We have submitted a considerable amount of new and updated material to the Department for Transport over the last five months. We have set out in more detail how Gatwick would create a second world class airport for the UK and meet the future aviation needs of the country.  [Gatwick is not geographically well located to serve the needs of the country – anyone coming from the north has to pass Heathrow first, and probably Stansted too.  On very congested roads or rail networks.] These new pledges are in large part based upon this further work.
Airport expansion has defeated successive Governments for decades. [Probably for the good reasons that no new runways were needed, and there are insurmountable environmental reasons against].  The reason is very simple. The environmental challenges of expanding Heathrow and flying 350,000 more planes directly over the world’s foremost capital city have proved insurmountable. The legal test and public concern around air quality mean these hurdles are higher than ever today. At last, there is a credible alternative. The expiry of a 40 year moratorium on a new runway at Gatwick means Britain can finally solve this policy problem and secure the economic growth it  [Freudian slip in that the subject of the word “it” is ambiguous ….] needs at a fraction of the environmental cost of the alternatives.   [Two wrongs do not make a right]. These pledges offer the route map to making that happen.
1. A Deliverable New Runway for Britain
Subject to a Government decision by this October and the normal planning timetable, Gatwick gives an undertaking that its second runway will be operational by 2025 with planning consent granted within this Parliament. This means ground could be broken at Gatwick before the next election and the runway officially opened before the election after that.  [That is deeply undemocratic, as there was no debate about the runway issue at the May 2015 election, so this important issue would be decided without the electorate having the opportunity to choose MPs who take their point of view on this] .Our confidence in an accelerated timetable is based on further analysis of our programme, validated by independent planning and construction experts. Our scheme is comparatively simple in terms of planning and construction risks. There are no legal issues with air quality that would run the risk of being challenged in the courts. As the Airports Commission stated ‘The Gatwick Second Runway is not forecast to cause any exceedances of legal limits by 2030’. A decision for Gatwick means Britain can finally get the guarantee of the new runway it needs, providing London with two world class airports. Given the history of this debate, the importance of a runway scheme that is deliverable cannot be overstated.  [A document by Jacobs for the Airports Commission showed already that there are areas of roads to the east of Gatwick that already breach the EU air quality limit for NO2 of 40micrograms per litre.  See image on Page 9 of  link  and details at link ]. 
2. Guaranteed Economic Growth across the UK
A deliverable runway means Gatwick can pledge that Britain gets the economic boost it needs as early as possible. Given that growth in aviation is outstripping forecasts, [that is, until the next recession or the price of oil rises] this is vital. As we now know from the work of the Airports Commission itself, once corrected in accordance with the standard Treasury Assessment, the economic benefits of Heathrow and Gatwick expansion are broadly the same – as they both deliver the same amount of traffic and connections to meet the aviation needs of the UK.  [That really is not true. The Airports Commission regarded Gatwick as an airport with few long haul routes, and being predominantly a low cost leisure airport. See Sir Howard Davies letter to Patrick McLoughlin in Sept 2015   Link  ].  The Airports Commission evidence also shows that Gatwick expansion will provide the biggest boost to regional connectivity including direct services from regional airports. Norwegian Airlines  [the only airline of any size to support Gatwick’s bid for a runway] announced in March that it will base 100 new short haul and 50 new long haul aircraft at Gatwick if it has a second runway and we can be confident that other airlines will move quickly to secure a share of the additional capacity.  [Not if the fares rise. Both EasyJet ‘s Carolyn McCall and BA’s Willie Walsh, the two largest airlines at Gatwick, say they will not pay the extra costs and do not back the runway]. 
3. A Cap on Passenger Fares with More Competition
Expanding Gatwick would write the next chapter of aviation competition – one of the great success stories of recent years, as the recent Competition and Markets Authority Report highlighted. Competition keeps choice high and prices low. The consumer benefits of the BAA break up have been considerable. We want to build on this so Gatwick has put forward detailed commercial proposals that guarantee passenger charges would be subject to an inflation linked £15 firm price limit from the opening of the new runway in 2025 through to 2050.  [What Gatwick actually said, when they first made this claim in early 2015, was that if there is some unspecified agreement with Government  Link –  (Sir Roy said it is “in return for Government agreeing a 30 year contract” though exactly what that means is not explained) perhaps not to allow much competition – then they might be able to manage to keep the charges to £15. Other estimates – including the Airports Commission  -suggest the price might be perhaps £23 or higher per passenger.  Link  ]. We would expect charges to be well below this cap. We can give this guarantee as both our current charges – and the cost of our second runway scheme – are comparatively low in the context of other major European airports.
4. No Taxpayer Subsidy
Gatwick commits to funding the scheme privately and in full, with no need for billions of pounds of public subsidy. Our estimates for the Gatwick scheme include the full cost of all incremental surface access requirements. We are strongly of the view that runway expansion should be privately funded – indeed we consider that state aid within the competitive airports market would be illegal. As part of its detailed commercial proposals, Gatwick would now also be prepared to bear substantially all of the long term risks related to traffic levels, market pricing, construction and operating costs for the overall project.  [Gatwick has offered only a tiny sum, £46.5 million   Link  – (Gatwick has removed the original document offering this ) – which would scarcely scratch the surface of all the costs the taxpayer would have to fund.  Link   Transport for London anticipated costs of many billions of £s would be needed on public transport alone.  TfL estimated the cost could be £212.4 billion  Link  ].
5. Legal Air Quality
Gatwick pledges that, with a second runway, the airport will not breach the air quality limits the Government has set out. Given that this is a test of legality, there is perhaps no more important issue in this debate. In light of the vehicle emissions scandal – which arose after the Airports Commission Report was published – the UN recently called the problem of air quality ‘a global and increasing pandemic’. Gatwick has never breached air quality limit values [Just not true – research for the Airports Commission shows they have.  See above] and, working in cooperation with our neighbouring local authorities, we can be confident of delivering on this pledge with a second runway. We would not want to put Government in a position where it embarks on a new runway expansion proposal with no way of knowing whether it can be operated legally until after the runway has actually been built. This is what the relevant conditions stated by the Airports Commission mean in terms of Heathrow expansion.
6. A Cap on the Number of People Most Affected by Noise
Expansion will inevitably mean more people significantly affected by aircraft noise. The total numbers currently affected at Gatwick, whilst a fraction of Heathrow, are still considerable (3,300 at Gatwick against 270,000 at Heathrow at 57 decibels LEQ). We are acutely aware that noise is a major environmental concern around airports. Should Gatwick get a second runway, we would therefore pledge to introduce a noise contour cap of 70kmsq covering 15,000 people experiencing 57decibels LEQ noise and a wider contour cap of 175kmsq covering 40,000 people experiencing 55 decibels LDN. These limits would materially affect how a two runway Gatwick would operate in the future and would be an important consideration in the annual planning cycle around flight paths and aircraft flight frequency. We would obviously want to work out the details of how this would best be managed in consultation with local people and within the formal planning process.  [ Seems to be saying that there is a plan, but Gatwick has not yet worked it out.  Somehow it might be possible to spread the noise around enough to massage that, discredited, 57dB contour so the numbers just about fit.   This is more a matter of spreading around the misery more deviously, rather than reducing the problem.  Gatwick is pinning its hopes on the Arrivals Review recommendations, which have not yet been acted upon or tried out.  Link ].
7. An Industry Leading Compensation Scheme
We recognise, however, that noise contours are not enough [noise contours don’t DO anything] and that we need to go further. Uniquely, alongside a wider programme of compensation, Gatwick is pledging to pay £1000 per annum towards the Council Tax of those most affected by noise (57 decibels LEQ) from 2025.  [This is so old. They first made this offer in March 2014.  It is nothing new at all.  Link  All the offers are just re-hashes of what Gatwick has said months or years ago. There are no new generous concessions.]  This will apply to tenants as well as homeowners. We believe this is the most progressive approach to compensation proposed by any major infrastructure project in the UK. [For those whose health is adversely affected, and whose house value has fallen by say £50,000, the offer of £1,000 will be regarded with the derision it deserves. Proper compensation of a substantial % of the house price, would not be contemplated by Gatwick]. 
8. Shareholder Commitment to the Second Runway
Project Gatwick’s shareholders, all of whom are leading global investors in long-term infrastructure and active in the UK, have been closely involved in the development of the Gatwick second runway proposal and have expressed their ongoing commitment to support the timely delivery and financing of this critical infrastructure project.  [By selling Gatwick for the highest price possible, if it gets planning consent?  Would the bosses stay after their massive bonuses?  Link ]
Aviation is changing fast and Gatwick offers a future proofed solution for Britain. The pledges we are making today represent a fair deal for the country – for passengers, the taxpayer and local communities.  [Seems unlikely that local communities would agree – Gatwick has not asked them, for fear of getting the “wrong” answer.  Most local councils are firmly opposed to the runway, as are all local MPs.  Link  ].  Critically they guarantee that the UK’s next runway can actually be built and operated legally so that Britain can grow.  [More cheap leisure flights by Brits, taking their spending money out of the country at an even faster rate, is not actually good for the UK economy, and certainly is not    good for jobs in the UK tourism sector. In 2015 the tourism deficit was £16.9 billion, with most of that due to air travel]. This is something everyone can unite around.
I am copying this letter to Patrick McLoughlin Secretary of State for Transport, the Airports Cabinet Sub Committee and the Cabinet Secretary. In light of the widespread interest in the debate I am also making it public.
Yours Sincerely,
Sir Roy McNulty Chairman
cc. Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport
Airports Cabinet Sub Committee
Sir Jeremy Heywood KCB CVO, Cabinet Secretary
.

.

Letter in the Times by Brendon Sewill, Chairman of GACC:
Brendon letter 8.6.2016

Comment from Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE:

IMG_0001 (1)

Read more »

Teddington Action Group (TAG) questions the necessity of low-flying heavy aircraft from Heathrow

Teddington Action Group has questioned the necessity of low-flying aircraft from Heathrow and state that they are flying lower compared to other airports causing more noise, more suffering and more CO2 emissions than at almost any other airport in the World.  TAG wants the Heathrow Airport London (Noise Abatement Requirements) Notice 2010 to be amended and tightened so as to require planes to climb from Heathrow at a rate of up to three times that which exists at present. This will bring Heathrow into line with other major international airports.  TAG is asking that:  (1). All aircraft must attain at least 2,500 ft [up from 1,000 ft] by 6.5 kilometres from start of roll.  And (2).  Thereafter all aircraft must keep climbing at a rate of at least 12% [up from 4%] until 6,000 ft [up from 4,000 ft].  Currently planes using Heathrow have some of the lowest flying and lowest climbing rates of any airport in the world and as a result cause more noise pollution locally.  For economic reasons, heavy long haul flights find it cheaper to burn more fuel on a slower initial climb, but save on engine maintenance.  Lighter short haul planes may benefit from steeper initial take-offs.  The current rates of climb, under the 2010 regulations, are so undemanding that even very ancient aircraft can attain them. 
.

Teddington Action Group (TAG) questions the necessity of low-flying aircraft from Heathrow

Teddington Action Group has questioned the necessity of low-flying aircraft from Heathrow and state that they are flying lower compared to other airports causing more noise, more suffering and more CO2 emissions than at almost any other airport in the World.

Subsequently,  TAG asks what impact this is having to those on the ground who are experiencing this increase in noise and its effects on health.

In a paper (full extract here) to all mayoral candidates as well as the Department for Transport, and the Environment Select Committee, TAG have analysed,using tools used by Heathrow airport and NATS  which are recognised by the aviation industry,  to demonstrate how much lower and consequently noisier flights are in and out of Heathrow.

The paper asks that the Heathrow Noise Regulations issued in 2010 be tightened so as to require planes to climb from Heathrow at a rate of up to three times that which exists at present. This will bring Heathrow into line with other major international airports.


Some extracts from the TAG report:

Full report here

Are Low Flying Planes at Heathrow Causing Us Harm?

The answer is a resounding YES!

Planes using Heathrow have some of the lowest flying and lowest climbing rates of any airport in the world and as a result cause more noise pollution and more damaging climate changing gases than are necessary.

A significant number of planes take off, climb to about 900ft, then level off into a slower rate of climb for the next 5 miles before starting to climb again. Planes from Heathrow take off at a rate of climb that is significantly lower than the rates of climb at other airports in the world.

This change together with new or different overflights happened almost overnight starting in June 2014, causing mayhem, damage and destruction of happiness to huge numbers of people.

Complaints have soared by over 1,500%1 and numerous protest groups have sprung up. This is nothing to do with “NIMBYism”. The impetus for protest is because the Heathrow flight path changes have put people in a completely different position than before, without any discussion, compensation or indeed any explanation. The Aviation Environment Federation have described it as “One day, you wake up and overnight bulldozers have turned your road into a motorway with car after car rushing past your house.”2

There are required minimum rates of take-off at Heathrow set out in the Heathrow Airport London (Noise Abatement Requirements) Notice 2010. The requirements are that planes climb to 1,000 feet by 6.5 kilometres from the point at which they start their take off run or “start of roll”.

Once they reach 6.5 kilometres from start of roll, aeroplanes are required to climb at a rate of not less than 4% or 1 in 25.

The trouble is that these rates of climb are so low and out of date that even a World War II Lancaster Bomber fully loaded could make that.

We in the Teddington Action Group have taken details from both WebTrak and Flight Aware.3  WebTrak is preferred by Heathrow and following an audit from NLR Netherland Aerospace Centre is stated to be 99% accurate.  However, WebTrak is not available at all airports. We have therefore used both sources.

There is a notable difference in the rate of climb for smaller aircraft out of Heathrow than larger aircraft. Steeper climbs give savings in fuel burn and consequently reduce CO2 emissions.4

However, the Civil Aviation Authority (“CAA”), charged with “the licensing of air transport, the licensing of the provision of accommodation in aircraft, the provision of air navigation services, the operation of aerodromes and the provision of assistance and information5” states that the servicing requirements are substantially increased if steep climbs are used.6

There is some thought, also expressed by the CAA that steeper rates of climb increase the emission of NOx, but this is likely to be marginal since the majority of NOx is emitted from vehicles on the ground.7

There are cost balances. The take-off time for a short haul flight to northern Europe is a relatively larger proportion of the total flight time compared to that of a long haul flight. It therefore makes commercial sense to take off quickly, save fuel and pay the extra servicing costs.

For long haul, the take-off time represents a smaller proportion of total flight time. It therefore is more commercially economic to take off slowly, burn more fuel, pump more CO2 into the air and pay extra fuel charges while saving on the servicing costs of a shallow take-off.

According to Flight Aware, Heathrow is right at the bottom of the league table, for rate of climb.

The list below compares the initial rates of climb by feet per minute achieved by large planes from airports after the first 900’ have been achieved:

  • 777 out of Santiago 2,800’ per minute
  • A380 out of Charles de Gaulle 2,082’ per minute
  • 777 out of Buenos Aires 1,962’ per minute
  • 747 out of Frankfurt 1,800’ per minute
  • A380 out of JFK New York 1,612’ per minute
  • 747-400 out of Santiago 1,385’ per minute
  • A380 out of Amsterdam 1,000’ per minute
  • A380 out of JFK New York 1,000 per minute
  • A380 out of Heathrow 774’ per minute

Web Trak shows measurements as aircraft climb. Taking heights of planes measured through Web Trak at either 12 kms from start of roll or 9 kms from point of take-off 8, the results again show Heathrow occupying the bottom position by a substantial margin:

  • 777 out of Madrid 1,770 metres or 5,800’
  • 738 out of Chicago 4,900’
  • A320 out of Eindhoven 1,410 metres or 4,620’
  • 788 out of Heathrow to Delhi 4,400’
  • A340 out of Madrid 1290 metres or 4,230’
  • 777 out of Chicago to Shanghai 3,900’
  • A380 out of Madrid to Dubai 1,200 metres or 3,900’
  • 747 out of Heathrow to Bombay 3,700’
  • 747-400 out of Brussels 960 metres or 3,140’
  • 777 out of Chicago 3,100’
  • 767 out of Heathrow to Madrid 2,300’
  • A380 out of Heathrow 2,200’
  • 789 out of Heathrow to Johannesburg 1,900’
  • A380 out of Heathrow 2,000’
  • 747 out of Heathrow 1,800’
  • 777 out of Heathrow to Houston 1,600’

Prior to May 2014, flights of heavier aircraft were much higher. We have recorded, again through Web Trak, some flights prior to the 31st May 2014 with an A380 to Dubai at 3,100’ at Swan Island, Twickenham (12 kilomteres from start of roll). A Boeing 747 to Kuala Lumpur was at 4,300’ at Swan Island and an A330 to Cairo was at 4,500’ at Swan Island. Heathrow conducted its own investigation by a company called PA Knowledge, which concluded that heights of planes on departure had reduced and showed one plane flying recently as low as 1,423’ by Swan Island.

……….

and there is a lot more detail  ……

concluding: 

Health Consequences

The health consequences of excessive noise have been well documented. Lack of sleep causes extensive harm and there are substantial learning deficiencies in children who have been exposed to excessive noise. Even the Airports Commission published evidence of this albeit after it had issued its Interim Report and only one month before its Final Report.9  The health costs from aircraft noise across the UK have been conservatively estimated to be in the region of £540 million each year and at least one million people’s health in the UK could be affected by aircraft noise 10. [AEF report on aircraft noise and health. Jan 2016]

Cost Consequences

It is clear that Heathrow have not even scratched the surface on compensation to be paid to people suffering the consequences of Heathrow’s operations. The whole budgeting of the operation of the airport and proposals for expansion are based upon people just “putting up and shutting up”. Properties up to 30 miles away may need to be insulated because of the operations of Heathrow. The likely cost is £2 billion after the proposed expansion rather than the £700 million proposed by Heathrow  11. (HACAN compensation estimates] 

It would be perfectly possible for all planes (apart from possibly one to be discussed below) to meet substantially increased rates of climb. So:

What do we want to happen?

What needs to happen is for the Heathrow Airport London (Noise Abatement Requirements) Notice 2010 to be amended to provide:

  1. All aircraft must attain at least 2,500’ [up from 1,000’] by 6.5 kilometres from start of roll
  2. Thereafter all aircraft must keep climbing at a rate of at least 12% [up from 4%] until 6,000’ [up from 4,000’]

Unless this is done, planes will not revert to a proper rate of climb. Both the CAA and Heathrow have repeatedly said that they have no control over airlines on how they operate departure climb rates over the Noise Notice minimum (extraordinary as that may seem, if it is indeed true). Heathrow do not appear to oppose the principle of raising the minimum rate of climb saying of it “I think we’re all agreed [it] could be a positive step”.

From Sheet 2, it can be seen that all the large planes can manage, and do regularly manage, the suggested increased take off rate apart possibly from one, so there is nothing in this that cannot be done, with the one exception dealt with below. It is being regularly done at other international airports. Heathrow subjects more people to more noise than any other airport in the World. There is no reason why it should not meet proper standards of environmental cleanliness. The benefits of proper conduct to surrounding communities are enormous. It is not as if we are asking for anything new. All this was being done prior to June 2014.

It would stop the cost cutting abuse of the current system. Not only is the current system of low flying wreaking havoc amongst the communities on the ground, it is damaging to the climate by producing more CO2 than is necessary12 as well as impeding the diminution of climate change in accordance with our protocol obligations13. It is also contrary to the Government’s current stated policy of limiting and where possible reducing the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise as is evidenced by the rise in complaints set out in the first paragraph above.

The aviation industry has long failed miserably to pay its way through taxation and to act responsibly within the environment. It is not going to be able to comply with the targets set out in the Kyoto Protocol or the Climate Change Act 2008. The Committee on Climate Change’s Fifth Carbon Budget report of November 2015 says with typical muted urgency that:

“Emissions from international aviation should continue to be allowed for by setting the budget on the path to meeting the 2050 target with international aviation emissions included. However, the accounting for these emissions remains uncertain, so they should not be formally included in the fifth carbon budget.” and

“Aviation. While UK demand for international aviation is likely to grow considerably, there will be a need to limit emissions. Previous analysis by the Committee concluded that aviation should plan for emissions in 2050 to be no higher than those in 2005. That requires strong efficiency improvements to balance demand growth of about 60%.”

Why does this Government deliberately allow planes to fly low, harm its population, damage the development of its children and needlessly pump extra CO2 into the atmosphere? Does it not take its obligations to reduce the harmful effects of excessive noise and its responsibilities for the reduction of climate change seriously?

Does the evidence show that all planes can make the proposed rates of climb?

Yes, it does from the above apart possibly from one plane. That one plane is the Airbus A380. It is our view that the A380 has been erroneously granted a noise Quota Count of 2 on departure and 0.5 on arrival15. That is half that of the older 747s and is supposed to indicate that at 2 versus 4, the A380 is half as loud as the 747. Experience and measurements have shown that it is anything but. It is a monstrously noisy plane that travels at low altitude on departure. How or why the A380 got past the authorities and got a noise quota count of 2 must remain conjecture at this stage – maybe misconduct is involved somewhere. One thing is for certain. It should never have been given a Noise Quota Count of 2 on departure and 0.5 on arrival. It is a noisy beast and should not enjoy the privileges associated with a Noise Quota Count of 2 on departure that allows it to fly at night out of Heathrow. The aircraft in its current form should be strictly limited in its operations at Heathrow, with no flying between 8pm and 8am.

for full report and all references:  http://www.teddingtonactiongroup.com/2016/06/06/tag-questions-the-necessity-of-low-flying-aircraft-from-heathrow/

 

 

Read more »

Times speculation on runway decision, Cameron, referendum, Boris, legal challenges and reshuffles

The Times believes that Heathrow and Gatwick made their final submissions to the DfT last week, and government officials say they are ready for a Cabinet decision. The environmental problems at Heathrow have meant there are very real dangers of successful legal challenges, not least from local councils. Heathrow recently put forward some pledges of how it could meet its environmental challenges, but they were over-optimistic and do not bear careful scrutiny. The question is whether the government thinks it could get away with a decision that is neither considered to be a bad one, or one on which they could face legal embarrassment. The Times believes the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, has told David Cameron that he should not postpone the decision again. There is likely to be a window of opportunity for a runway decision, after an EU referendum Remain victory and before a “reconciliation reshuffle” probably in September, to reunite Conservatives. The Times believes if Boris is given a Cabinet post before a runway decision, he will make it difficult. So it would be easier to decide on a runway, before including Boris. However, there are a lot of other issues to be dealt with between 24th June and 21st July, including an anti-obesity strategy, policies to counter Islamist extremism and a vote on Trident. 
.

 

Whitehall increases pressure to approve Heathrow runway

By Francis Elliott, Political Editor (The Times)

6.6.2016

Whitehall officials have cleared all the hurdles for a third runway at Heathrow and are putting David Cameron under pressure to make a decision days after the EU referendum.

Heathrow and its rival Gatwick completed their final submissions to the Department for Transport last week and well-placed sources said that Mr Cameron would be told by officials that he could now approve either expansion.

 

……………..

Mr Cameron will almost certainly be forced to resign if he loses the Brexit vote, and will face an urgent need to start healing his party if he wins. Downing Street is preparing to bring forward the vote on Trident, an issue on which the Conservatives are united and Labour divided, to start to mend fences in the week after the referendum.

Full article at 

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/whitehall-puts-pressure-on-cameron-to-approve-runway-3lm0lkqvb

Read more »

Gatwick provides more details of the setting up of the Noise Management Board, from the Arrivals Review

One of the recommendations of the Arrivals Review was that Gatwick should set up a Noise Management Board (NMB), on which community representatives could sit. Gatwick, in its Final Action Plan on the Arrivals Review,  has now set out details of how the NMB will work. It will have no more than 14 members; 5 will be institutions; there will be 2 places for County Councils. There will be 4 places for District, Borough, Town and Parish Councils, and Community Noise Groups, with two from the east and two from the west of Gatwick.  Gatwick says the NMB: “should be a body with real influence over operational stakeholders around the airport ….” Nothing says it will have any powers or any real influence. Gatwick says it will: “seek to positively influence the noise environment of stakeholders by assisting the development of consensus among the various organisations represented through its membership” [whatever that means in practice?]. The NMB will: “seek to facilitate better understanding by residents through more consistent communication and verifiable data.”  Nothing in the stated objectives says noise will reduce, or that the interests of communities will be given equal weight to those of airlines etc.  If the NMB cannot reach consensus on a matter, it can be agreed by 75%. The community groups only make up 25% or less.
.

 


Gatwick’s initial response to the Arrivals Review, on 31.3.2016 is at

http://www.gatwickairport.com/globalassets/publicationfiles/business_and_community/all_public_publications/2016/gatwick—response-document-action-plan-final-31mar2016.pdf

.

Gatwick’s Final Action Plan, on the Arrivals Review , on 2.6.2016 is at

http://www.gatwickairport.com/globalassets/publicationfiles/business_and_community/all_public_publications/aircraft_noise/arrivals-review/gatwick-airport-arrivals-review-final-action-plan-01june2016-final-copy.pdf


Below are some extracts from the Gatwick Arrivals Review “Overview and Final Action Plan” – June 2016 on the issue of the establishment of a Noise Management Board

(Pages 40 43)

RECOMMENDATION Imm-18

“The establishment of a Noise Management Board (NMB) by summer 2016, to be operated under independent Chairmanship and comprising representatives from each of the institutions able to effect change for Gatwick arrivals, as well as the chair of the Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM), and both elected council members and residents’ representatives”.

Accept/Reject

This recommendation is accepted.

Benefits/Issues

1. Establishment of an NMB should assist in improving alignment of the responsibilities and initiatives of the key organisations able to effect change in the impact of aircraft noise.

2. An NMB can assist in ensuring that community concerns about aircraft noise are fully understood by those key organisations, and in developing a more co-ordinated set of visions and strategies for noise management around Gatwick – focused initially on implementation of recommendations from the Arrivals Review, but then extending to other important noise management issues.

Implementation Plan

1. Following analysis of feedback from many respondents, a planning meeting was held on 18th May 2016 for invited participants to discuss NMB membership and develop a final draft Terms of Reference for consideration and adoption by the NMB at its meeting on 21st June 2016. The Annex following contains the final draft Terms of Reference agreed at the planning meeting, and the attendance list for that meeting.

2. Participants at the NMB planning meeting welcomed an increase to the community group representation to four NMB seats,  [the initial plan had been for just two, to include all District and Parish councils, as well as all community noise groups.  AW note] and agreed that these should reflect a rural, urban, departure and arrival representation. Community Groups at the meeting agreed to develop a consensus on how the increased representation on the NMB will be utilised and to inform the chair by 14th June. If no consensus is forthcoming, an interim solution will be used until a permanent representation can be jointly agreed.

3. Hold the first NMB meeting on 21st June 2016.

Responsibility: GAL Complete: June 2016


Annex – Imm-18 Gatwick Noise Management Board (NMB)

Terms of Reference (Final Draft for consideration by the NMB at its first meeting June 21st 2016)

Purpose

The purpose of the NMB is to develop, agree, oversee and maintain a coordinated noise management vision and consequent strategies for Gatwick, for all stakeholder organisations, intended to improve the situation for those affected by noise from aircraft using Gatwick.

This should include joint and coordinated reports through the NMB on progress of the implementation of these agreed strategies and, should seek to ensure consistent communication across all stakeholder groups, using verifiable data and transparent policies, to support the facilitation of their understanding by residents. This may also include when necessary, research and independent verification of information to be published.

The NMB can assist in ensuring that community concerns about aircraft noise are fully understood by key stakeholder organisations considering issues that may affect noise management around Gatwick.

The NMB will focus initially on the implementation of recommendations from the Arrivals Review, but then extending to other important noise management issues. The NMB should assist in the progressive development of consensus across its membership, to improve the alignment of responsibilities, initiatives and priorities of the key organisations able to influence change in the effect of noise from aircraft using Gatwick, whether for arrivals, departures or related to aircraft ground noise.


Objectives

1. The objective of the NMB is to develop, agree and oversee a coordinated noise management vision and consequent strategies for Gatwick, for all stakeholder organisations

2. The initial focus will be on the implementation of the Arrivals Review Recommendations

3. The NMB’s remit extends to all important noise management issues related to Gatwick, including those related to departures, and aircraft ground noise, as well as arrivals

4. The NMB should be a body with real influence over operational stakeholders around the airport such as on airspace and aircraft operational issues

5. The NMB should influence and monitor the effective use of noise awareness training policies for staff of all Gatwick stakeholders and reported through NATMAG

6. The NMB should be consulted on all Gatwick noise related matters, such as compensation policy, noise insulation and community support

7. The NMB should be a main channel through which GAL, NATS, ANS, Airlines, DfT and CAA communicate actions that are being taken to address the effects of noise from aircraft using Gatwick

8. The NMB should seek to ensure the joint and co-ordinated reporting by stakeholders through the NMB, initially on progress of the Arrivals Review implementation and then on other noise issues and initiatives, and seek to facilitate better understanding by residents through more consistent communication and verifiable data

9. The NMB should establish a mechanism to identify and address unintended and unexpected consequences of noise improvement initiatives

10. Particular care will need to be taken by the NMB to avoid conflicting with the remits or duties of any of the other bodies already involved in noise matters related to Gatwick

11. If and when the Government establishes an Independent Noise Authority the NMB should ensure appropriate alignment between its own Terms of Reference and the remit of such a body

12. The NMB should agree and establish a process to set its SMART objectives and to regularly review and report its progress  [ AW note. SMART generally means 

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
  • Assignable – specify who will do it.
  • Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved. ]

13. The NMB should establish and maintain a transparent mechanism to adapt these Terms of Reference when agreed by members of the NMB

14. The NMB will seek to positively influence the noise environment of stakeholders by assisting the development of consensus among the various organisations represented through its membership

15. In the event that it is not possible to reach NMB consensus on any matter, after exhausting all reasonable efforts, a majority decision can be made provided that it represents at least 75% of the NMB Membership  [ AW note: There are 13 organisations listed below as members. Four of those are community groups. They can therefore always be out-voted by the others ] .

.

Meetings and Reporting

16. The NMB should meet every 2 months, or at intervals agreed by the members

17. The agenda and minutes of NMB meetings should be published on the (NMB website)

18. NMB meetings will not be open to the public, unless agreed by the NMB members for specific dates or specific topics

19. It is expected that at least one public meeting will be conducted each year by the NMB, to facilitate community dialogue, a reasonable understanding in communities of the work areas of the NMB, and to report NMB progress and plans Membership

20. The NMB will comprise a nominated individual to represent the following organisations:

Institutions

a. GAL

b. Aircraft Operator with a minimum of 10% of the movements at Gatwick

c. ANS – Tower ATC provider

d. NATS – Air Navigation Service Provider

e. CAA

f. DfT

g. GATCOM

Community Members

h. County Council Representative #1

i. County Council Representative #2

j. Community Representative #1 East of Gatwick

k. Community Representative #2 East of Gatwick

l. Community Representative #3 West of Gatwick

m. Community Representative #4 West of Gatwick

 

21. Each member shall have a single named alternate, who can attend the NMB as an observer, or can participate when the member is not available

22. The number of NMB members should ideally not exceed 14; above that the NMB’s effectiveness will increasingly be at risk

23. It is important that all representatives are of sufficient seniority, and where appropriate, is empowered, to reach decisions

24. Care should be taken to ensure that a balanced geographical representation is always achieved for Community members of the NMB.

25. The term of NMB membership is 3 years, renewable. Individuals shall not serve more than 2 terms

26. Care should be taken to ensure continuity of NMB competence during any periods of membership transition

27. Institutional member organisations shall be invited to nominate their representative Alternates will attend NMB when the respective member is not available

28. The County Councils of Kent, Surrey, West Sussex and East Sussex should have either a member or Alternate participation on the NMB. Alternates must not be drawn from the same Council

29. District, Borough, Town and Parish Councils, and Community Noise Groups are each invited to nominate from their proposed NMB representative member, and an Alternate, for East and West of Gatwick

30. NMB meetings will be open to non-members only by specific invitation of the Chairman

31. GAL shall appoint the Independent Chairman and Secretary of the NMB by agreement of the NMB members

32. NMB membership terminates automatically for any member that fails to attend more than three consecutive full meetings of the NMB.

 

http://www.gatwickairport.com/globalassets/publicationfiles/business_and_community/all_public_publications/aircraft_noise/arrivals-review/gatwick-airport-arrivals-review-final-action-plan-01june2016-final-copy.pdf

Read more »

Gatwick provides more details of the wider swathe of arrivals onto the ILS, from the Arrivals Review

The main reason why Gatwick had to set up the Independent Arrivals Review was the fury and anguish, largely from areas around 10 – 14 miles from the airport, due to changes in 2013 to the distance at which planes joined the ILS (the final straight line flight path onto the runway). NATS and Gatwick had decided, allegedly for safety but in practice to make maximum use of the runway at busy times, to get most planes to join the ILS at 10 nautical miles out, while before that, some joined as close as 7 nm. The concentrated noise over some areas, not previously over-flown, caused unprecedented opposition.  The Arrivals Review recommended that the swathe, both east and west of Gatwick, be widened to 8 – 14 nm, and that there should be more fair and equitable distribution of the noise of planes joining the ILS. A large part of the “Final Action Plan” deals with this. It attempts to allay fears that, to save fuel, many planes will try to cut a corner, and concentrate around the 8nm area. It tries to allay fears that there will be concentrated parts of the routes, and that people living relatively near Gatwick – (around 7 – 9nm or so) will suffer unduly from noise of both arrivals and departures. However, Gatwick says it is “not possible to predict precisely the distribution of aircraft within the swathe” and this will be “carefully monitored and reported to the Noise Management Board” which in turn will publish its findings and any conclusions.
.

 

 

Gatwick’s initial response to the Arrivals Review, on 31.3.2016 is at

http://www.gatwickairport.com/globalassets/publicationfiles/business_and_community/all_public_publications/2016/gatwick—response-document-action-plan-final-31mar2016.pdf

.

Gatwick’s Final Action Plan, on the Arrivals Review , on 2.6.2016 is at

http://www.gatwickairport.com/globalassets/publicationfiles/business_and_community/all_public_publications/aircraft_noise/arrivals-review/gatwick-airport-arrivals-review-final-action-plan-01june2016-final-copy.pdf


Below are some extracts from the Gatwick Arrivals Review “Overview and Final Action Plan” – June 2016 on the issue of the wider arrivals swathes

(Pages 22 – 32)

RECOMMENDATION Imm-10

“That GAL explores with NATS the potential for aircraft to be vectored to be established on the ILS at a minimum of 8nm from touchdown outside of night hours, rather than the current 10nm. This adaptation to vectoring methodology will extend the arrival swathe 2nm further to the west for Runway 26, and east for Runway 08, and will increase the arrivals dispersal to more closely emulate the circumstances prior to 2013 change. Hence the arrival swathe would normally extend from a minimum of 8nm to 14nm, with aircraft joining on a straight in approach when traffic permits”.

Accept/Reject

GAL accepts this recommendation. Following coordination with airlines, NATS, ANS and the CAA, further analysis and quantification of this proposed change and the expected consequences are now much more fully understood. GAL has been able to confirm that the proposal to widen the arrivals swathe will create a fairer and more equitable distribution of aircraft noise, more closely emulating that experienced by communities prior to 2013. As a part of the implementation process, new monitoring procedures will be developed to quantify the extent and volume of actual flight distribution for regular review by the NMB.

Benefits/Issues

To address the concerns arising from the increased concentration of arrivals that occurred in some locations after a change of radar vectoring methodology in early 2013, the planned adjustment of the present swathe is expected to reduce the concentration of aircraft that resulted from that change. The intended impact of this action is to recreate a greater geographical dispersal of arriving aircraft tracks, so that they are more closely aligned with the arrivals tracks which existed at Gatwick prior to 2013. The benefit is expected to be a reduced concentration of arriving aircraft in the swathe, prior to joining the final approach track, supporting the fairer and more equitable dispersal of aircraft sought by many communities. Because the associated considerations are complex, a more detailed explanation of the issues is provided in the Annex that follows.

Implementation Plan

1. Complete a thorough analysis of the issues associated with this action item.

2. Assess findings of analysis against feedback from the period of community engagement.

3. GAL to request NATS to utilise the increased swathe from minimum 8nm to 14nm when straight in approach is not applied, for arrivals to both Runway 26 and Runway 08. Responsibility: GAL Complete: May 2016

4. NATS and ANS to complete the associated Safety Case for review and approval by CAA.

5. Confirm planned implementation date

6. The NMB will monitor the impact to verify that the intended fairer and more equitable dispersal is being achieved.

Responsibility: GAL Complete: December 2016

————————————————————————–

RECOMMENDATION Imm-10

Annex

This recommendation is intended to reverse much of the aircraft concentration and noise consequences of the approach stabilisation initiative taken by GAL and NATS in 2013, thereby more closely emulating the distribution of arriving aircraft that occurred previously.

Changes to the Arrivals Joining Point in 2013

The approach stabilisation initiative of 2013, adopted for both safety and operational reasons, extended the daytime ILS final approach minimum joining point of aircraft from 7nm to 10nm from touchdown. The core night time minimum joining point has been located at 10nm (23:30-06:00 local time) since before 2004. The effect of this 2013 change was to concentrate daytime arrivals distribution into a narrower swathe, increasing the number of aircraft above particular areas.

The effect of the reduced dispersal of aircraft tracks is discernible in Figures 4-7 below, which depict the actual arrivals track density for Runway 08 and 26, as measured in the summer of 2012, and contrasted with measurements for the same period in 2015.

Many requests were made to the Independent Arrivals Review by residents seeking to reverse the 2013 change in the Instrument Landing System (ILS) minimum joining point change, which is described in the previous section. Residents making these requests explained that the prior arrangement (with a wider spread of joining points, and more random radar vectors to the ILS final approach track, both east and west of Gatwick) was a much more acceptable means of fairly and equitably dispersing aircraft noise.

The Independent Arrivals Review recommendation

This recommendation calls for an adaptation to NATS radar vectoring methodology to use an ILS joining point located between a minimum of 8nm from touchdown and 14nm, which should, in effect, largely recreate both the locations and the width of the arrival swathes seen at Gatwick before 2013.

In addition, when traffic conditions permit, aircraft from the east for Runway 26 will join on a straight in approach even further east, and for 08, straight-in further from the west.

The changes made in 2013 were subject to a safety assessment, which precludes a return to the even closer 7nm minimum joining point previously used. An updated safety case is required, for approval by the CAA, before any reduction to the current 10nm ILS joining point can be made. This safety case work is currently underway.

Feedback on this recommendation

A summary of the feedback on this recommendation and the principal issues raised is provided at the end of this Annex. Although feedback to the Independent Arrivals Review regarding the proposed change has been largely positive, a number of concerns were raised. The main issues are set out below, together with a discussion of the points raised.

.

Issue 1:

That aircraft will not use the full width of the swathe as a result of this change, but that aircraft will be concentrated at the 8nm joining point in order to fly the shortest route to the runway and to reduce CO2 emissions.

 

Concerns have been raised in feedback to Gatwick that aircraft will be concentrated at the minimum joining point and that this will be done to allow aircraft to fly the shortest route to the runway, in order to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The concern being that the planned 8nm joining point will create a new concentration of aircraft

Analysis has shown that sustained joining point concentration has not been the case previously, and that it has no basis in actual flight data.

The effect of the 2013 joining point distribution change is illustrated in the chart at Figure 8, which compares the actual distribution of arriving aircraft seen before the joining point change, using 2010 information, with a corresponding analysis of data for 2015. This analysis shows clearly that aircraft were removed from areas closer to the airport in the range between 6nm and 10nm from touchdown, but also shows that aircraft were not concentrated at the 10nm minimum joining distance applied from 2013. The analysis reaffirms that from 2013, a concentration effect has been created further from the airport, which is the background to this recommendation.

The historical aircraft track data shown in Figure 9 further indicates that no such minimum joining point concentration has occurred in any of the years between 2010 and 2015, for either a 7nm or a 10nm minimum joining point, East or West of Gatwick. As can be seen from the analysis, aircraft can and do join the ILS final approach track at multiple distances from touchdown as a result of their flight route and normal traffic patterns.

As to the future, concentration at the minimum 8nm joining point would be contrary to the aim of ‘fair and equitable dispersal’. NATS has confirmed to GAL that in their view, following the proposed change to an 8nm minimum joining point, the arriving aircraft distribution at Gatwick will continue to vary with the traffic patterns, as it has always done. For example, at busy times aircraft tend to join the final approach further from touchdown, something that is expected to continue to be the case. As a consequence, aircraft are not expected to be concentrated at the new minimum joining point. The NMB will, however, need to keep this under review.

Later it adds: 

As it is not possible to predict precisely the distribution of aircraft within the swathe, the effects of the change planned for 2016 will be carefully monitored and reported to the Noise Management Board (Imm-18), which in turn will publish its findings and any conclusions.

Gatwick east arrivals map 2.6.2016

Gatwick west arrivals map 2.6.2016

Issue 3:

That the proposal favours communities that are a considerable distance away from the Airport, whilst further disadvantaging those that suffer noise from aircraft below 4,000 ft, and that this is contrary to Government Policy on noise.

In fact, analysis shows that the 2013 change of minimum ILS joining point significantly affected communities further from the airport, by relocating aircraft in the arrivals swathe away from communities closer to the airport. Figure 8 clearly shows the distribution of flights before and after that 2013 change, and the disadvantage of the increased numbers of flights affecting more distant communities.

The Independent Arrivals Review, with a significant level of community input to its Terms of Reference, set out to achieve a fairer and more equitable distribution of aircraft noise through a greater dispersal of aircraft, and thus alleviate the disproportionate concentration that some communities experienced after the 2013 change.

Figures 1 and 2 showed earlier, over which communities arriving aircraft normally descend through 4,000 ft. Figure 3 showed actual aircraft height information related to aircraft distance from touchdown.

Government Policy on aircraft noise has not changed during the period in which aircraft at Gatwick were using the 7nm minimum joining point in 2012 or the 10nm minimum joining point from 2013, and it has not been suggested to us that either of these situations was contrary to Government policy.

A change to the 8nm minimum joining point for aircraft in 2016 is not currently subject to any additional specific Government Policy on aircraft noise, and we conclude therefore that it too is compliant.

Gatwick illustrative percent on SID routes mid 2015

Issue 4:

That the communities that would be impacted by the 8nm joining point are principally the same ones that already suffer PRNAV on departures

It has been argued that some communities closer to the airport will now be subjected to the overlap of concentrated arrivals around the 8nm joining point, as well as current intense departures below 4,000 ft.

We have explained under Point 1 above why we do not expect arrivals to be concentrated around the 8nm joining point.

In order to address the issue of overlap, an analysis of the implications of any potential for overlap of arrival and departure routes below 4,000 ft has been undertaken. This analysis has set out to verify the extent to which any community located close to the airport might experience the effects of aircraft operating below 4,000 ft, whether arriving or departing. The objective has been to verify whether communities that are affected by arriving aircraft operating below 4,000 ft in the arrivals swathe, will also be potentially affected by departing aircraft operating below 4,000 ft.

Figures 12 and 13 indicate the locations at which both arriving and departing aircraft operate below 4,000 ft. It can be seen that a change to a minimum joining point of 8nm is not expected to relocate significant volumes of arriving aircraft in the swathe to areas experiencing departures at the same altitudes.

———————————————————–

The two illustrations below show how arrivals and departures may not affect the same people, or not very much.

Gatwick west arrivals and departures 2.6.2016

 

Gatwick east arrivals and departures 2.6.2016

 

 

Read more »

Gatwick produces Final Action Plan to implement Independent Review of Arrivals recommendations

On 31st March Gatwick, made its initial response to the Arrivals Review, carried out by Bo Redeborn and Graham Lake.  Gatwick then had to hold la 6 week consultation on the Proposed Action Plan, which ended on the 16th May. Gatwick has now produced its Final Action Plan. It confirms it has accepted all the Review’s recommendations. As well as accelerating the retrofitting of Airbus A320 planes to remove the “whine”, two issues in the Review that generated the most public input were widening the “swathe” for arriving planes as the join the ILS to 8 – 14 nautical miles, and the setting up of a Gatwick Noise Management Board (NMB), on which a few community representatives can sit.  Gatwick says the NMB will “oversee joint strategies to deal with noise around the airport.”  It will be chaired by Bo Redeborn, and its first meeting will be on 21st June.  In response to extensive feedback, community representation on the NMB has been increased from two representatives to four, and further analysis has been carried out to quantify more fully the impact of widening the arrivals swathe. There remain concerns by those living near the airport that some people will suffer from noise of both arrivals and departures, and Gatwick has produced maps to illustrate that it anticipates this will not be a problem for a large area.
.

 

See also

Gatwick provides more details of the setting up of the Noise Management Board, from the Arrivals Review

Gatwick provides more details of the wider swathe of arrivals onto the ILS, from the Arrivals Review



Gatwick produces Final Action Plan to implement Independent Review of Arrivals

02/06/2016

  • Airport has accepted all of the recommendations of the Independent Arrivals Review
  • Noise Management Board to have its first meeting in June
  • Gatwick grateful for constructive community feedback and engagement

Gatwick Airport has produced a Final Action Plan in response to the recommendations of the Independent Arrivals Review which was commissioned to help address the issue of aircraft noise for local residents.

The Final Action Plan follows a constructive and generally positive period of community engagement to the Proposed Action Plan which ran from 31st March to 16th May 2016 and sought input from a wide range of stakeholders.

The Independent Arrivals Review, commissioned by Gatwick Airport Chairman Sir Roy McNulty, was led by Bo Redeborn and Graham Lake and proposed a timeframe for the introduction of its recommendations, many of which could be operational within a twelve month period, including:

  • improved use of continuous descent arrivals generating significantly less noise and increased flexibility for sequencing and spacing of arrivals
  • accelerated aerodynamic modification for the Airbus A320 family of aircraft to reduce the noise they produce during the approach phase of flight
  • broadening the approach “arrivals swathe” to extend between 8-14nm
  • reduced aircraft holding over land
  • development of a comprehensive online complaint management system, and;
  • the establishment of a Noise Management Board (NMB) to oversee joint strategies to deal with noise around the airport.

Feedback and engagement has confirmed that the community response to the Arrivals Review and the Proposed Action Plan has been largely positive.

In response to that feedback, community representation on the Noise Management Board has been increased from two representatives to four, and further analysis has been carried out to quantify more fully the impact of some recommendations such as the widening of the arrivals swathe to between 8-14nm.

An initial planning meeting for the NMB has already taken place. The NMB is intended to include representatives from Gatwick Airport, the CAA, NATS, ANS, DfT, elected council members and community representatives, with Bo Redeborn being proposed as the Independent Chair. The first meeting of the NMB is planned to take place on 21st June.

Feedback from the local community also indicted strong support for the acceleration of aerodynamic modifications to the Airbus A320 family of aircraft to reduce the noise they produce during the approach phase of flight.

Gatwick Airport Chairman Sir Roy McNulty said:

“I am grateful for the constructive feedback to Gatwick’s Proposed Action Plan from the local community which has helped to ensure the Final Action Plan is designed to meet the needs of local people affected by aircraft noise.

Taken together, the practical steps recommended by Bo and his review team can make a real difference for local people, which is reflected in the positive community response to the review. Gatwick is now committed to working with the local community, the new Independent Noise Management Board and other partners to implement the recommendations of the review.”

Bo Redeborn said:

“The review team is pleased that the review’s recommendations have been accepted and that work is already underway to implement many of the 23 recommendations.

Ultimately, these recommendations are about reducing the impact of noise on local people, and the ongoing input of community groups and representatives has played a significant role in shaping the review’s recommendations and Gatwick’s Final Action Plan.”

.

Notes for Editors

The Final Action Plan can be found here.

The full Independent Review of Arrivals report can be found here.

Bo Redeborn brings extensive experience and understanding of air traffic control having previously served as Principal Director of Air Traffic Management for EUROCONTROL. Amongst other current activities, Bo is currently an independent member of Gatwick’s Environment, Health and Safety, and Operational Resilience Committee. From 2011-2014 he was Principal Director Air Traffic Management in EUROCONTROL and, before joining EUROCONTROL in 2004 as Director ATM Strategies, he was Manager Air Traffic Management and later Manager ATM Support and Development in the Swedish CAA (LFV).

The review was commissioned in August 2015 to determine whether;

“1.  Everything that can reasonably be done to alleviate the problems which local communities are raising is in fact being done, whether this involves action by the airport or by other parties most closely involved – National Air Traffic Services (NATS), UK Civil Aviation Authority (UKCAA), the Department for Transport (DfT) or the airlines, and

“2.  The mechanisms which Gatwick has adopted for providing information to the local community and for handling of complaints have been fully adequate for the task.”

http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/press-releases/2016/16-06-02-arrivals-review-final-action-plan.aspx

.


.

The “Overview and Final Action Plan”

The Gatwick “Overview and Final Action Plan” says three of the proposals generated the most responses.  One was the fitting of the Airbus A320 series with small devices to stop the hated “Airbus Whine”. The other two were the widening of the arrivals swathe, and the formation of a Noise Management Board.

Imm-10 – widening of swathe

This recommendation is regarding the wider arrivals swathe. As outlined on page 32 of this document, the vast majority of respondents support this approach.

Imm-18 Noise Management Board

Imm-18 proposed the coordinated consideration and oversight of possible implementation of all of the recommendations will be the responsibility of the proposed Noise Management Board. During the engagement period, a template email was issued by a campaign group, nominating a different Board composition (2 Parish Councillors instead of 2 County Councillors) and specific members to the NMB roles. GAL received 361 responses in this format, with a small number of variations regarding the individuals represented to the Board. Whilst this is not the process by which the Board representatives will be determined, nevertheless, it has indicated that special consideration must be taken when pressing forward with Board appointments.


On RECOMMENDATION Imm-10    (Pages 22 – 32)

“That GAL explores with NATS the potential for aircraft to be vectored to be established on the ILS at a minimum of 8nm from touchdown outside of night hours, rather than the current 10nm. This adaptation to vectoring methodology will extend the arrival swathe 2nm further to the west for Runway 26, and east for Runway 08, and will increase the arrivals dispersal to more closely emulate the circumstances prior to 2013 change. Hence the arrival swathe would normally extend from a minimum of 8nm to 14nm, with aircraft joining on a straight in approach when traffic permits”.

In their Final report, Gatwick says:

Accept/Reject

GAL accepts this recommendation. Following coordination with airlines, NATS, ANS and the CAA, further analysis and quantification of this proposed change and the expected consequences are now much more fully understood. GAL has been able to confirm that the proposal to widen the arrivals swathe will create a fairer and more equitable distribution of aircraft noise, more closely emulating that experienced by communities prior to 2013. As a part of the implementation process, new monitoring procedures will be developed to quantify the extent and volume of actual flight distribution for regular review by the NMB.

While in the initial response from Gatwick to the Arrivals Review, on 31st March, Gatwick said: 

“GAL is minded to accept this recommendation. But its implementation is a complex matter and GAL will therefore seek to ensure that its impact is fully understood before a final decision is taken. Implementation is a matter for NATS, so GAL will also seek confirmation from NATS as to when the recommendation can be implemented, as intended by the authors of the Report.”

.


On RECOMMENDATION Imm-18    (See Pages 40 – 43)

“The establishment of a Noise Management Board (NMB) by summer 2016, to be operated under independent Chairmanship and comprising representatives from each of the institutions able to effect change for Gatwick arrivals, as well as the chair of the Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM), and both elected council members and residents’ representatives”.

“Accept/Reject This recommendation is accepted.”

In their final report, Gatwick says:

Implementation Plan

1. Following analysis of feedback from many respondents, a planning meeting was held on 18th May 2016 for invited participants to discuss NMB membership and develop a final draft Terms of Reference for consideration and adoption by the NMB at its meeting on 21st June 2016. The Annex following contains the final draft Terms of Reference agreed at the planning meeting, and the attendance list for that meeting.

2. Participants at the NMB planning meeting welcomed an increase to the community group representation to four NMB seats, and agreed that these should reflect a rural, urban, departure and arrival representation. Community Groups at the meeting agreed to develop a consensus on how the increased representation on the NMB will be utilised and to inform the chair by 14th June. If no consensus is forthcoming, an interim solution will be used until a permanent representation can be jointly agreed.

3. Hold the first NMB meeting on 21st June 2016.

Responsibility: GAL

Complete: June 2016

 

While in the initial response from Gatwick to the Arrivals Review on 31st March 2016 Gatwick said: 

Implementation Plan

1. Continue dialogue with NATS, CAA, DfT, airlines and community stakeholders seeking suggestions for NMB Membership, Terms of Reference, Independent Chair and Frequency of Meetings.

2. A planning meeting is proposed on 18th May 2016 for invited participants to discuss NMB membership and terms of reference. Responsibility: GAL Complete: May 2016

3. Finalise the above in the light of stakeholder feedback, publish the agreed outcome with the aim of holding the first NMB meeting on 21st June 2016..

Responsibility: GAL

Complete: June 2016



Earlier:

 

Gatwick publishes its response to the Arrivals Review – accepting all 23 recommendations

At the end of January, an Independent Arrivals Review was completed by Bo Redeborn. Gatwick was required to publish details comments on this, by 31st March, which they have done. Gatwick says it accepts all the 23 recommendations, though under some of the recommendations there is a long Benefits/Issues section, with various caveats. Some of the recommendations were relatively uncontroversial. Perhaps the most controversial was Recommendation 10, “for aircraft to be vectored to be established on the ILS at a minimum of 8nm (nautical miles)from touchdown outside of night hours, rather than the current 10nm.” Also that “the arrival swathe would normally extend from a minimum of 8nm to 14nm, with aircraft joining on a straight in approach when traffic permits.” This would mean less noise for some areas but perhaps more for those living around 8nm from the runway. Gatwick says: “GAL is minded to accept this recommendation. But its implementation is a complex matter and GAL will therefore seek to ensure that its impact is fully understood before a final decision is taken.” Gatwick agrees to improve its dreadful complaints system, and set up in Independent Noise Monitoring Board, though this would probably include only 2 community and 2 local council representatives. There will now be a 6 week public consultation until 16th May.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/03/gatwick-publishes-its-response-to-the-arrivals-review-accepting-all-23-recommendations/

.


Gatwick provides more details of the setting up of the Noise Management Board, from the Arrivals Review

One of the recommendations of the Arrivals Review was that Gatwick should set up a Noise Management Board (NMB), on which community representatives could sit. Gatwick, in its Final Action Plan on the Arrivals Review, has now set out details of how the NMB will work. It will have no more than 14 members; 5 will be institutions; there will be 2 places for County Councils. There will be 4 places for District, Borough, Town and Parish Councils, and Community Noise Groups, with two from the east and two from the west of Gatwick. Gatwick says the NMB: “should be a body with real influence over operational stakeholders around the airport ….” Nothing says it will have any powers or any real influence. Gatwick says it will: “seek to positively influence the noise environment of stakeholders by assisting the development of consensus among the various organisations represented through its membership” [whatever that means in practice?]. The NMB will: “seek to facilitate better understanding by residents through more consistent communication and verifiable data.” Nothing in the stated objectives says noise will reduce, or that the interests of communities will be given equal weight to those of airlines etc. If the NMB cannot reach consensus on a matter, it can be agreed by 75%. The community groups only make up 25% or less.

Click here to view full story…

Gatwick provides more details of the wider swathe of arrivals onto the ILS, from the Arrivals Review

The main reason why Gatwick had to set up the Independent Arrivals Review was the fury and anguish, largely from areas around 10 – 14 miles from the airport, due to changes in 2013 to the distance at which planes joined the ILS (the final straight line flight path onto the runway). NATS and Gatwick had decided, allegedly for safety but in practice to make maximum use of the runway at busy times, to get most planes to join the ILS at 10 nautical miles out, while before that, some joined as close as 7 nm. The concentrated noise over some areas, not previously over-flown, caused unprecedented opposition. The Arrivals Review recommended that the swathe, both east and west of Gatwick, be widened to 8 – 14 nm, and that there should be more fair and equitable distribution of the noise of planes joining the ILS. A large part of the “Final Action Plan” deals with this. It attempts to allay fears that, to save fuel, many planes will try to cut a corner, and concentrate around the 8nm area. It tries to allay fears that there will be concentrated parts of the routes, and that people living relatively near Gatwick – (around 7 – 9nm or so) will suffer unduly from noise of both arrivals and departures. However, Gatwick says it is “not possible to predict precisely the distribution of aircraft within the swathe” and this will be “carefully monitored and reported to the Noise Management Board” which in turn will publish its findings and any conclusions.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »