Heathrow bows to extent of flight path fury by bringing end of trails forward to 12th November

On 28th August Heathrow started flight path trials, testing if flight paths could be concentrated, over flying slightly fewer people – but creating far more noise for those now under the narrow flight paths, used by more planes. As soon as the trials began people were upset, disturbed and annoyed at the noise misery that had been perpetrated upon them. Protests rapidly sprang up in the Ascot, Windlesham, Lightwater, Bagshot, Teddington, Twickenham and other areas. Heathrow has been stunned by, and swamped by, the number of complaints, and has not been able to cope. Now, as a damage-limitation exercise, Heathrow has announced it will cut its trials short, ending on 12th November, rather than the original end date of 26th January 2015. In addition, trials due to start on 28th October will be postponed till autumn 2015. This is good news for those who have been suffering. However, it is not a decision to stop growth in Heathrow flights – or noise.  Cynics might say that these decisions are to ensure there is less protest about flight paths between now and the May 2015 election, and the Airports Commission decision on a new runway, expected after the election, next summer.

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Heathrow Shortens Current Future Airspace Strategy Trials

2 October, 2014 (Heathrow airport press release)

Heathrow Airport today announced that it will be ending the current airspace trials on 12th November, instead of its original scheduled end date of January 26th 2015.   
Heathrow will also be postponing trials scheduled to commence later this month.

These trials being run in conjunction with NATS, are being driven by Government’s Future Airspace Strategy, which requires that all airports implement changes to modernise airspace by 2020.

Heathrow’s current easterly and westerly trials affect departing aircraft, and began on July 26th and August 25th respectively. The trials have been testing concepts and techniques necessary to inform how airspace can be better managed in the future. The routes are not indicative of future flight paths.  [But they indicate what living  under one would be like. AirportWatch comment]. 

To date, the trials have been successful in collecting large amounts of data and have provided valuable insight into the design and feasibility of operating precision routes and how Heathrow could maximise noise respite for local residents with new airspace design.

In light of residents’ feedback and after meetings with local authorities and Members of Parliament, Heathrow asked NATS to consider shortening the trials. It is the view of NATS and Heathrow that sufficient data will have been collected by 12 November to confirm the findings of these trial. Given that is the case, the trials will stop on that date.

Additional trials scheduled to start on 20 October are being postponed until Autumn 2015

Heathrow, like other airports throughout the country, is still required to provide the necessary data to inform the Civil Aviation Authority’s plans for future airspace modernisation and will be required to run other trials in the future. The reaction to the current trials has been much stronger than previous trials held earlier this year. Heathrow will therefore review how any trials are carried out in future and will ensure the details of future trials are fully publicised to residents in advance.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Sustainability and Environment said:

“These trials are crucial in helping us develop ways to manage our airspace more effectively and to reduce noise from Heathrow. We do, however, appreciate that some residents will have experienced a temporary increase in noise as a result of these trials. The feedback we have received during the trials is very important to this process. We are always looking to minimise the disturbance residents may experience as a result of flights around Heathrow, and so we are pleased to have been able to work with NATS to bring an early end to the trials.”

Any permanent changes to airspace require Government approval and will be subject to full public consultation.

Notes to editors

For more information, please visit:  http://www.heathrowairport.com/noise

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The Heathrow noise page states:

Quote:

“Working towards a quieter Heathrow

Airspace Trials update – 2 October 2014

Today we have announced we will be ending the current airspace trials on 12 November, instead of its original scheduled end date of 26 January 2015. We will also be postponing the trial that was scheduled to commence later this month. For more information click here

Welcome to our Aircraft noise website. We know that as well as bringing huge benefits to the UK, an airport the size and importance of Heathrow has downsides for people living nearby, in particular the challenge of aircraft noise.

Heathrow is at the forefront of international efforts to tackle noise. As a result, even though the number of planes has gone up, Heathrow’s noise footprint ** has shrunk considerably over the past few decades. But despite these efforts we know that noise remains an issue. We are committed to addressing it and to reduce the impact of noise on residents.

This site explains Heathrow’s operations including information on flights paths and the rules governing the airport. You can track flights on maps, make a noise complaint and find out what we’re doing to make Heathrow quieter. You’ll also find information on future plans including potential airspace changes.

You can talk to the Community Relations team on 0800 344844 or email us at noise@heathrow.com ”

**  AirportWatch note.  What this means is the area within the 57 dB Leq noise contour may have shrunk. So the number of people living in areas with that level of noise may be lower. But the whole area exposed to more Heathrow noise, at a slightly lower level, will have risen. The number has only fallen, if judged by this somewhat arbitrary measure.

 More Heathrow information at:

 Modernising UK airspace 

Read more »

“We didn’t think you’d notice”: Heathrow ‘apologises’ for not informing residents of new flight paths

Matt Gorman, the sustainability director of Heathrow airport, has told people in the Bracknell and Ascot areas why they were not given notice of the flight path trials overhead. He said: “We didn’t go as far as sending letters out to all the people that would be affected as we did not feel people would notice any change.” This is scarcely credible, unless Heathrow does not follow the news about rival Gatwick at all. The flight path trials at Gatwick have provoked massive opposition, with thousands highly angry and upset. Gatwick also decided not to give the public prior warning of their trial. At a Gatwick Consultative Committee meeting in January 2014, Gatwick’s Head of Corporate Responsibility, said: “If people were aware of the trial it was possible that they would be more alert to changes and feel obliged to comment.”  That backfired spectacularly. Another classic Heathrow comment recently, from Nigel Milton, to a meeting in Stanwell on 15th September, when asked why past Heathrow promises were allowed to be broken said: “The people who made those promises weren’t in a position to make these promises.” But the comment was made by the then BAA chairman, Sir John Egan. So Heathrow chairmen’s promises should not be taken seriously?
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PR disaster?  Especially as airports always hope that more “dialogue with residents” will stop them being so upset about the noise …..

 

RESIDENTS in the Bracknell area were not warned there would be noisy aircraft roaring over their homes because it was thought they would not notice, a Heathrow Airport boss has said.

The airport introduced new flighpaths over our area as part of a controversial five-month trial last month, without informing either residents or Bracknell Forest Council.

Since then, Heathrow has been swamped with complaints from people living in the Bracknell and Ascot area about the sudden noise invasion.

More than 4,700 have so far signed a petition and a public meeting, attended by airport bosses, will be held next month.

Matthew Gorman, sustainability director [sic]  at the airport, said: “We didn’t go as far as sending letters out to all the people that would be affected as we did not feel people would notice any change.”

Heathrow is experimenting with path changes and new technology systems in a bid to reduce ‘stacking’ in the air and speed up departure times.

It has admitted that the strength of feeling across Bracknell and Ascot had been stronger than it expected and also greater than other areas where it had previously carried out trial flighpaths.

Heathrow is trying out trial flightpaths in different areas in a bid to spread the noise disturbance to residents in South East England.

It is also hoped that reducing stacking would result in a reduction in noise pollution.

Mr Gorman explained: “We’ve been told by the Government to plan how the airspace will be used in the future in order to help coordinate travel. Not just in the UK but across Europe.

“We will take stock of the feedback as we start to redesign before 2016.”

Warfield resident Judy Martin said: “I am not at all happy about it. I have lived in Warfield for over 20 years and it’s never been like this.

“Siting in the garden today the flights are continous and much lower that they ever have been. We are never without the noise of one passing over and the next arriving.

“Sometimes you have to stop your conversation as you can’t hear each other speak.”

Annoyed at not being told in advance of the changes, Bracknell Forest councillors passed a motion last Wednesday demanding Heathrow inform the council of future changes and to consider the views of the borough’s residents.

Heathrow has now apologised to the council.

However, the council has stopped short of calling for the trials to end. Cllr Chris Turrell, Bracknell Forest’s main representative on the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee (HACC), said:

“Heathrow clearly did not understand the impact these trials would have.

“They are Heathrow’s trials and it’s important for residents to inform them what the implications are. Residents should have hard facts provided to them.”

Mr Gorman says that the airport has received some positive feedback on the trials from elsewhere and said: “We have received a significant number of complaints, but it should be said that some people say they have noticed the noise has improved in their area. Some people have more noise above but others have got less planes flying overhead.

“That’s the challenge of running these trials, I apologise that some people are unhappy with the trials but they will not last forever.” [The trials, by definition, will not last for ever. Of course. But the intention is that these flight paths, once introduced formally, would last for a very long time indeed. This comment from Matt really would not  be acceptable, from an honest company. AirportWatch comment]. 

http://www.bracknellnews.co.uk/news/bracknell/articles/2014/10/01/104111-we-didnt-think-youd-notice-heathrow-apologises-for-not-informing-residents-of-new-flight-paths/

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PR disaster No 2:

Another of Heathrow’s memorable statements:

Beryl Wilkins, a retired teacher, questioned why past promises were allowed to be broken, including an inspector who had said in a consultation meeting that Terminal 4 would be the last.

Nigel Milton, director of policy and political relations for Heathrow, said: “The people who made those promises weren’t in a position to make these promises.”

[The comment had been made by the Chairman of BAA a the time, Sir John Egan. He was CEO of BAA from 1990 to 1999

In a ‘Dear Neighbour’ letter to residents (April 1999) Sir John Egan writes: “We have since repeated often that we do not want, nor shall we seek, an additional runway. I can now report that we went even further at the Inquiry and called on the Inspector to recommend that, subject to permission being given for T5, an additional Heathrow runway should be ruled out forever. ” ]   see link  

So we cannot trust anything Heathrow says, if we are later told we cannot believe any statement by the Chairman of the company?

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=23036

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PR disaster No 3:

A similar statement by Gatwick airport, which indicates Heathrow knew only too well that people would notice their flight path change:

A recent meeting of the Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM) said, discussing whether residents should be warned of the trial in advance 30th January 2014:

“It was felt that parish councils in particular should be advised of trial to enable them to respond to their constituents if problems arose. Mr. Denton [Head of Corporate Responsibility at Gatwick] would consider this but emphasised the need to obtain genuine feedback from those affected. If people were aware of the trial it was possible that they would be more alert to changes and feel obliged to comment.”  

ie. don’t warn them, because they might complain.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=20366

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Residents of west Kent pleased that Gatwick will delay decision on controversial airspace consultation

Gatwick will be delaying the decision on their very controversial flight path changes, to the delight of campaign groups across west Kent, and their local MPs. People have been experiencing, and complaining vociferously about, an increase in night flights, plane noise and low-flying aircraft. The Gatwick noise complaint lines have been swamped, and people have not been given satisfactory responses by the airport. Gatwick is postponing their plans till next year, but it is believed this is only being done in order to prevent further bad publicity during the Airports Commission consultation, starting this autumn.  Opponents of the airport’s 2nd runway say that if Gatwick are truly serious about “being a good neighbour they would publish what people really think to help the Commission decide.” Gatwick said in a statement that they would “Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations,” “Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options,” “Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise,” and “Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options.” But just talking to people about noise does not reduce it. They want they want less noise, not more “engagement.”
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Residents of west Kent pleased by Gatwick Airport revealing it will delay decision on controversial airspace consultation

1 October 2014

by Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas  (Kent Online)

Gatwick Airport has revealed it will be delaying the decision on a controversial consultation – to the delight of campaign groups across west Kent and local MPs.

Residents have been complaining about an increase in night flights, plane noise and low-flying aircraft and have, until now, not received a satisfying response from the airport.

However, it has been revealed today that Gatwick Airport will delay a decision about whether to go forward with new flight paths until next year.

Residents of west Kent raised questions over Kent County Council’s view on a second runway at Gatwick

At a Noise and Track Monitoring Advisory Group (NATMAG) meeting, Gatwick said the changes to flight paths will be delayed until a better understanding of the available options and steps was acquired.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy requires that changes to local airspace are implemented by 2020, so today’s decision is an extension of the timeline – not a cancellation of the process altogether.

Gatwick said this additional time will allow it to do as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.

In a statement it said it will use the time to:

Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations
Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options
Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise (including between 4000 and 7000 feet).
Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options, including by developing a more detailed programme of engagement through GATCOM

In addition, NATS also agreed to delay implementing any changes to airspace above 4000 feet.

Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark is delighted by Gatwick’s decision to postpone the consultation after he sent a letter in August expressing the concerns of local residents. He said: “I am very pleased that both Gatwick and NATS have agreed with my call to go back to the drawing board with these proposals as they have caused immense worry to my constituents in the west of Tunbridge Wells.

“Both organisations have confirmed that there will be no change to the flight path until further work, including adequate consultation with the community, has taken place. This is a good outcome and I am grateful to Gatwick and NATS for responding to my request and that of the community.”

Gatwick officials have said the local community will also be appropriately engaged on any future proposals to change the use of airspace around Gatwick.

Tom Denton, head of corporate responsibility at Gatwick said: “We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals.”It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.”

A spokesman for Gatwick environmental campaign froups, including the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group (HWCAAG) , Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE)  and GatwickObviouslynot.org said:”We wish to engage with the management at Gatwick as they reflect on the feedback that has led to this delay – but the results of the public consultation by IPSOS MORI should be published.

“We do not believe that GATCOM has played any part in delivering this delay and we are suspicious that this is only being stopped in order to prevent further bad publicity during the Airports Commission consultation on an additional runway. If they are truly serious about being a good neighbour they would publish what people really think to help the Commission decide.”

Dr John Godfrey, Chair, GATCOM, said:

“I am pleased that the important role GATCOM has played in ensuring that the serious concerns of communities were addressed by the airport and NATS has been successful.

“GATCOM provides that vital link between the wider communities around Gatwick and the airport’s management enabling the communities’ voices to be heard. This has resulted in the Committee’s call for detailed consideration of feedback on the London airspace consultation options and the need for further consultation being positively acted upon.”

“GATCOM will continue to ensure that all parties are appropriately engaged and affected communities kept informed of progress and consulted.”

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/tonbridge/news/gatwick-delays-controversial-consultation-24325/

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The High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group is against a second runway at Gatwick

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See also:

Gatwick admits defeat and is postponing new flight paths in the face of vocal opposition

Gatwick is postponing the planned introduction of new flight paths, as a result of massive opposition. A proposed new departure flight path to the west, outlined in a recent consultation, has been postponed. This will set an important precedent for similar new flight paths proposed at Heathrow and at Birmingham. A new procedure for arriving aircraft – the point-merge system – proposed by NATS has also been postponed, in the face of widespread concern expressed across East and West Sussex, and Kent. A new flight path recently introduced over Beare Green, Holmwood, Reigate and Redhill is currently under review by the CAA. But other new concentrated departure tracks – which have resulted in a wave of agonised complaints, and vocal new anti-noise groups, up to 20 miles around the airport – remain in position. Brendon Sewill, chairman of the GACC Gatwick’s Big Enough campaign, wants not only a postponement, but all new routes cancelled. It is thought that Gatwick may have ordered the postponement as they realise the protests were undermining their case for a new runway. A new runway, with twice as many aircraft as now, would be far worse than the present situation. Determined opposition will continue, for as long as it takes.

Click here to view full story…

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Gatwick Airport Ltd press release

Gatwick to delay changes to local airspace

30 September 2014

However, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy requires that changes to local airspace are implemented by 2020, so today’s decision is a deferral or an extension of the timeline, not a cancelation of the process altogether.

Gatwick Airport approached NATS with the suggestion to defer any proposals following consultation with GATCOM and NATMAG – the noise and track monitoring advisory group that brings together representatives from the Department of Transport, NATS, airlines, Gatwick Airport and local authorities.

The additional time will allow Gatwick to do as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents. Gatwick Airport proposes using the longer timeframe to:

  • Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations
  • Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options
  • Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise (including between 4000 and 7000 feet).
  • Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options, including by developing a more detailed programme of engagement through GATCOM

In addition, NATS also agreed to delay implementing any changes to airspace above 4000 feet.

When any changes to airspace operation are eventually identified, Gatwick Airport believes it would be preferable for both Gatwick and NATS to submit their proposed changes to the Civil Aviation Authority for review at the same time, so as to avoid unnecessary confusion in the community or any period of prolonged uncertainty. The local community will also be appropriately engaged on any future proposals to change the use of airspace around Gatwick.

Tom Denton, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Gatwick Airport, said:

“We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals. It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.”

Dr John Godfrey, Chair, GATCOM, said:

“I am pleased that the important role GATCOM has played in ensuring that the serious concerns of communities were addressed by the airport and NATS has been successful. GATCOM provides that vital link between the wider communities around Gatwick and the airport’s management enabling the communities’ voices to be heard. This has resulted in the Committee’s call for detailed consideration of feedback on the London airspace consultation options and the need for further consultation being positively acted upon.”

“GATCOM will continue to ensure that all parties are appropriately engaged and affected communities kept informed of progress and consulted.”

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Gatwick admits defeat and is postponing new flight paths in the face of vocal opposition

Gatwick is postponing the planned introduction of new flight paths, as a result of massive opposition. A proposed new departure flight path to the west, outlined in a recent consultation, has been postponed.  This will set an important precedent for similar new flight paths proposed at Heathrow and at Birmingham. A new procedure for arriving aircraft – the point-merge system – proposed by NATS has also been postponed, in the face of widespread concern expressed across East and West Sussex, and Kent. A new flight path recently introduced over Beare Green, Holmwood, Reigate and Redhill is currently under review by the CAA.  But other new concentrated departure tracks – which have resulted in a wave of agonised complaints, and vocal new anti-noise groups, up to 20 miles around the airport – remain in position. Brendon Sewill, chairman of the GACC Gatwick’s Big Enough campaign, wants not only a postponement, but all new routes cancelled. It is thought that Gatwick may have ordered the postponement as they realise the protests were undermining their case for a new runway.  A new runway, with twice as many aircraft as now, would be far worse than the present situation. Determined opposition will continue, for as long as it takes.
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Gatwick admits defeat on flight paths

1.10.2014 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

Gatwick Airport has announced that it is postponing the planned introduction of new flight paths (copied below – original on Gatwick website).

As a result of massive opposition, the introduction of a new departure flight path to the west, outlined in a recent consultation, has been postponed.  This will set an important precedent for similar new flight paths proposed at Heathrow and at Birmingham.

A new procedure for arriving aircraft – the point-merge system – proposed by NATS (National Air Traffic Services) has also been postponed in the face of widespread concern expressed across East and West Sussex.

A new flight path recently introduced over Beare Green, Holmwood, Reigate and Redhill is currently under review by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).

However the other new concentrated departure tracks – which have resulted in a wave of agonised complaints up to 20 miles around the airport, and the formation of several new and vocal anti-noise groups  – remain in position.

Brendon Sewill, chairman of the GACC Gatwick’s Big Enough campaign, said ‘This is a victory, but only a partial victory so far.  It’s not all routes, and it’s only a postponement. We want to see all new routes cancelled.’

Sally Pavey, GACC committee member and leader of CAGNE which has campaigned –powerfully and now successfully – against the trial of a new flight path over Warnham and other villages, added: ‘The fight must go on.’

It is thought that Gatwick Airport bosses may have ordered the postponement because they realised that the protests were undermining their case for a new runway.  But GACC will continue the protests, pointing out that a new runway, with twice as many aircraft, would be far worse than the present situation.

 http://www.gacc.org.uk


 

 Gatwick Airport Ltd press release

Gatwick to delay changes to local airspace

30 September 2014

However, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy requires that changes to local airspace are implemented by 2020, so today’s decision is a deferral or an extension of the timeline, not a cancelation of the process altogether.

Gatwick Airport approached NATS with the suggestion to defer any proposals following consultation with GATCOM and NATMAG – the noise and track monitoring advisory group that brings together representatives from the Department of Transport, NATS, airlines, Gatwick Airport and local authorities.

The additional time will allow Gatwick to do as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents. Gatwick Airport proposes using the longer timeframe to:

  • Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations
  • Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options
  • Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise (including between 4000 and 7000 feet).
  • Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options, including by developing a more detailed programme of engagement through GATCOM

In addition, NATS also agreed to delay implementing any changes to airspace above 4000 feet.

When any changes to airspace operation are eventually identified, Gatwick Airport believes it would be preferable for both Gatwick and NATS to submit their proposed changes to the Civil Aviation Authority for review at the same time, so as to avoid unnecessary confusion in the community or any period of prolonged uncertainty. The local community will also be appropriately engaged on any future proposals to change the use of airspace around Gatwick.

Tom Denton, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Gatwick Airport, said:

“We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals. It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.”

Dr John Godfrey, Chair, GATCOM, said:

“I am pleased that the important role GATCOM has played in ensuring that the serious concerns of communities were addressed by the airport and NATS has been successful. GATCOM provides that vital link between the wider communities around Gatwick and the airport’s management enabling the communities’ voices to be heard. This has resulted in the Committee’s call for detailed consideration of feedback on the London airspace consultation options and the need for further consultation being positively acted upon.”

“GATCOM will continue to ensure that all parties are appropriately engaged and affected communities kept informed of progress and consulted.”

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NATS postpones network changes relating to Gatwick

1.10.2014  (NATS press release)

NATS postpones network changes relating to Gatwick

NATS has decided to postpone the submission of proposed high level network changes (above 4,000ft) relating to Gatwick Airport, which was part of Phase 1 of the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP).

This postponement follows the airport’s decision to undertake additional analysis in order to better understand their options and next steps for the low level airspace that they are responsible for (primarily routes below 4,000ft).

NATS remains confident that the proposals being developed for the higher level airspace network over the whole of the south east, including those for aircraft using Gatwick Airport, are robust and in line with CAA/DfT requirements.

NATS is still committed to delivering changes to the high level network, in phases, out to 2020; this programme of change will meet CAA requirements and is part of the Government’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS).  The FAS constitutes the biggest change ever undertaken to UK airspace structures and modernising the airspace system is essential for the UK and Europe to remain competitive in the global market.

The FAS related changes to the route network will significantly reduce fuel and CO2 from aviation however, the delivery of these benefits for the network serving Gatwick will now be delayed.

http://www.nats.aero/news/nats-postpones-network-changes-relating-gatwick/


 

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Residents of west Kent pleased by Gatwick Airport revealing it will delay decision on controversial airspace consultation

1 October 2014

by Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas  (Kent Online)

Gatwick Airport has revealed it will be delaying the decision on a controversial consultation – to the delight of campaign groups across west Kent and local MPs.

Residents have been complaining about an increase in night flights, plane noise and low-flying aircraft and have, until now, not received a satisfying response from the airport.

However, it has been revealed today that Gatwick Airport will delay a decision about whether to go forward with new flight paths until next year.

Residents of west Kent raised questions over Kent County Council’s view on a second runway at Gatwick

At a Noise and Track Monitoring Advisory Group (NATMAG) meeting, Gatwick said the changes to flight paths will be delayed until a better understanding of the available options and steps was acquired.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy requires that changes to local airspace are implemented by 2020, so today’s decision is an extension of the timeline – not a cancellation of the process altogether.

Gatwick said this additional time will allow it to do as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.

In a statement it said it will use the time to:

Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations
Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options
Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise (including between 4000 and 7000 feet).
Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options, including by developing a more detailed programme of engagement through GATCOM

In addition, NATS also agreed to delay implementing any changes to airspace above 4000 feet.

Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark is delighted by Gatwick’s decision to postpone the consultation after he sent a letter in August expressing the concerns of local residents. He said: “I am very pleased that both Gatwick and NATS have agreed with my call to go back to the drawing board with these proposals as they have caused immense worry to my constituents in the west of Tunbridge Wells.

“Both organisations have confirmed that there will be no change to the flight path until further work, including adequate consultation with the community, has taken place. This is a good outcome and I am grateful to Gatwick and NATS for responding to my request and that of the community.”

Gatwick officials have said the local community will also be appropriately engaged on any future proposals to change the use of airspace around Gatwick.

Tom Denton, head of corporate responsibility at Gatwick said: “We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals.”It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.”

A spokesman for Gatwick environmental campaign froups, including the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group (HWCAAG) , Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE)  and GatwickObviouslynot.org said:”We wish to engage with the management at Gatwick as they reflect on the feedback that has led to this delay – but the results of the public consultation by IPSOS MORI should be published.

“We do not believe that GATCOM has played any part in delivering this delay and we are suspicious that this is only being stopped in order to prevent further bad publicity during the Airports Commission consultation on an additional runway. If they are truly serious about being a good neighbour they would publish what people really think to help the Commission decide.”

Dr John Godfrey, Chair, GATCOM, said:

“I am pleased that the important role GATCOM has played in ensuring that the serious concerns of communities were addressed by the airport and NATS has been successful.

“GATCOM provides that vital link between the wider communities around Gatwick and the airport’s management enabling the communities’ voices to be heard. This has resulted in the Committee’s call for detailed consideration of feedback on the London airspace consultation options and the need for further consultation being positively acted upon.”

“GATCOM will continue to ensure that all parties are appropriately engaged and affected communities kept informed of progress and consulted.”

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/tonbridge/news/gatwick-delays-controversial-consultation-24325/

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The High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group is against a second runway at Gatwick

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Heathrow lodges appeal with Planning Inspectorate over protection of Cranford against take-offs

Heathrow has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate over the London Borough of Hillingdon’s refusal, in March, to grant permission for taxiway infrastructure. If the government inspector approves the appeal, it would allow Heathrow to alternate the use of both its runways, regardless of wind direction. At present, due to the “Cranford Agreement”, made in the 1950s, planes cannot take off from the northern runway, to the east, except in exceptional circumstances. When there are easterly winds, planes therefore have to land from the west, on the northern runway, but take off from the southern runway. Ending the Cranford Agreement would give Windsor residents more respite, with up to 50% cut in the number of planes currently landing from the west of Windsor. The Cranford Agreement was formally ended in 2010, but to operate on easterly operations, Heathrow says the taxiways are required. But ending the Cranford Agreement will mean more noise, on easterly operations, for those in Old Windsor, Horton and Wraysbury, while residents in Windsor would get a better deal. People can submit comments – by 19th November. Details below.
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Cranford agreement map

NEWS that Heathrow is appealing a decision which will hugely and widely affect Royal Borough residents has received a mixed reaction.

The airport has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate over the London Borough of Hillingdon’s refusal, in March, to grant permission for taxiway infrastructure.

Appeal approval would allow Heathrow to alternate the use of both its runways regardless of wind direction.

This would grant Windsor residents more respite, with a predicted 50% cut in the amount of planes currently landing from the west of Windsor.

The application relates to the legacy of the 1950s Cranford Agreement in which aircraft were prevented from taking off over Cranford from Heathrow’s northern runway when the wind blows from the east – or easterly operations.

The agreement was formally ended in 2010, but to operate on easterly operations, the taxiways are required.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow sustainability and environment director, said: “Through this planning application, Heathrow aims to provide a fairer system of noise sharing, and bring greater relief for those living in Windsor from the noise of descending flights which is as the Government intended.”

The Royal Borough supported the planning application with a series of caveats over noise insulation as it could mean added misery for those in Old Windsor, Horton and Wraysbury, while residents in Windsor would get a better deal.

Cllr Malcolm Beer, who sits on the council’s Aviation Forum, said: “RBWM has sought the discontinuation of the agreement for many years because it caused nearly all easterly landings to use that runway after flying directly over Windsor.

“Unlike the Heathrow publicity, it is very much aware that if the appeal is allowed – hopefully with better noise mitigation – the halving of that burden will mean that far more landings will now fly far closer to Old Windsor, Wraysbury and Horton. Use of both flight paths will alternate on a weekly basis.

“RBWM qualified its letter of support of the planning application by stating that it was conditional upon the provision of sound proofing to meet EU standards for houses in our villages most affected by increased noise.

“It is anticipated that the borough will reiterate that to the planning inspector as the planning refusal was mainly on the grounds of inadequate noise mitigation.”

http://www.windsorobserver.co.uk/news/windsor/articles/2014/09/29/103996-royal-borough-backs-heathrow-over-taxiways-appeal/

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Notification of Appeal on Planning Application/ Enforcement Reference 41573/APP/2013/1288

Please ask for :
Stephen Volley
01895 250230
Residents Services
Tel 01895 250230
London Borough of Hillingdon
3 North, Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW
TOWN & COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990

SITE: NORTHERN RUNWAY, HEATHROW AIRPORT, HOUNSLOW,

DEVELOPMENT: Enabling works to allow implementation of full runway alternation during easterly operations at Heathrow Airport including the creation of a new ‘hold area’ at the western end of the northern runway, the construction of new access and exit taxiways, and the construction of a 5 metre high acoustic noise barrier to the south of Longford Village.

Appeal Ref : 7364   Our Ref : 41573/APP/2013/1288

PLANNING INSPECTORATE REFERENCE NO: APP/R5510/A/14/2225774

Appeal Starting Date: 8th October 2014

Appellant’s Name: Heathrow Airport Ltd.

An appeal has been made to the Secretary of State in respect of the above site. The appeal follows the refusal of this Council to grant  planning permission for the above application.

The appeal is to be decided on the basis of an inquiry.

Any comments already made following the original application will be forwarded to the Inspectorate and copied to the appelant and will be taken into account by the Inspector in deciding the appeal.

Should people wish to withdraw or modify their earlier comments in any way or request a copy of the appeal decision letter, they should write direct to:

The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/26b TQ House, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN

within 6 weeks of the starting date above, quoting their reference number.

People need to send 3 copies to the Inspectorate and ensure they are all received by 19th November 2014, otherwise they will not normally be seen by the Inspector and will be returned.

“The Planning Inspectorate have introduced an online appeals service which you can use to comment on this appeal. You can find the service through the Appeals area of the Planning Portal -see www.planningportal.gov.uk/pcs. Please be aware that the Planning Inspectorate may publish details of your comments, on the Internet on the Appeals area of the Planning Portal. This may include your name,address, email address or phone number. Please ensure that you only provide information that you are happy will be made available in this way. If you supply information belonging to a third party, please ensure you have their permission to do so. More detailed information about data protection and privacy matters is available on the planning portal.

“The application documents, including plans and any decision notice, may be inspected on the Council’s website www.Hillingdon.gov.uk , alternatively they may be viewed together with any appeal documents at the Residents Services Reception, Level 3, Civic Centre, Uxbridge during office hours. A copy of the Inspectorate’s booklet “Guide to Taking Part in Planning Appeals” is available from this office, free of charge.”

 


 

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Earlier:

Heathrow bid to end Cranford Agreement is rejected

Councillors unanimously refuse planning permission for work needed to enable regular departures over Cranford

Heathrow has been refused planning permission for the works needed to enable regular departures over Cranford .

In a major set-back for the airport, councillors on Hillingdon Council’s major applications planning committee last night unanimously rejected its application.

It means people living in Cranford will not have to put up with planes taking off overhead for now , preserving in practice at least a 60-year-old gentlemen’s agreement protecting them from the noise.

However, the decision will dismay people to the west of the northern runway, in Windsor and Maidenhead, who have to endure more landings because regular take-offs over Cranford are not possible.

The airport had applied to Hillingdon Council for permission to create new taxi-ways and carry out other ground work needed so planes could depart regularly over Cranford.

Only a relatively small number of planes have taken off over the village since a 60-year-old gentlemen’s agreement was ended in 2009, but this work would have enabled about 35,000 planes a year to do so. However, it would have not allowed an increase in annual flights above the current cap of 480,000.

A Heathrow spokeswoman said: “We know noise is an issue for communities under Heathrow’s flight path which is why we encourage airlines to fly their quietest aircraft into Heathrow by charging airlines more for noisier aircraft and have schemes to insulate local schools and homes.

“We are disappointed Hillingdon Council has chosen to reject our planning proposal which would mean noise being more evenly distributed between our neighbours. We will be looking into this decision in more detail before deciding whether to appeal.”

Councillors were partly swayed by a letter from Judy Matthews, chair of governors at Cranford Primary School, which lies under the flight path and is already affected by the noise of planes arriving at the airport.

She wrote: “With the Cranford Agreement coming to an end we are extremely concerned about the detrimental effect that the change in the alterations of the northern runway will have on our pupils.

“The proposed changes mean that in future the school will be exposed to the noise from departing aircraft. When this is happening the noise will be worse than currently experienced.”

They were also concerned about recent statistics highlighted at the meeting, showing the borough of Hillingdon has seen the highest increase in England in the percentage of deaths attributable to air pollution.

Labour councillor Janet Duncan said: “I was concerned to read the letter from the school. Children’s concentration at school is negatively affected by air craft noise.

“We know that deaths caused by air pollution here is the worst in the country, so we cannot in all consciousness do anything to increase that.”

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/heathrow-bid-end-cranford-agreement-6698885

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HACAN briefing including the Cranford Agreement:

http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/alternation.cranford.agreement.explained.pdf

The briefing covers the context of runway alternation etc, but the section on the Cranford Agreement states:
What is the Cranford Agreement?

The Cranford Agreement prevents planes taking off over Cranford, which is at the eastern end (the London side) of the northern runway. It came into force in the early 1950s. It was
argued that, because Cranford was so close to the runway, take-offs would be unbearably
noisy for is inhabitants.

What is the effect of the Cranford Agreement?

Planes land and take off into the wind. It means that the Cranford Agreement is only relevant
when planes are taking off to the east (i.e. on the days that the wind is blowing from the east,
about 30% of the time in a typical year). On those days, all planes are required to take off
from the southern runway. That, in turn, means all planes must land on the northern runway
(as, at present, at Heathrow planes don’t land and take-off from the same runway).

This means that, on east wind days, places like Windsor under the flight path to the west of
Heathrow get planes all day long. Clearly, they would benefit if the Cranford Agreement was
to go.

Why does the Government want to get rid of it?

Simply, mixed-mode would not be possible if the Cranford Agreement remained in place
because mixed-mode requires planes to land and take-off from both runways at the same time.

The Government is not interested in weighing up any potential benefit to Windsor weighed
against the increased noise levels in Cranford. It simply sees the Cranford Agreement as an
obstacle to brining in more planes.

At present when an east wind is blowing planes land on the northern runway all day long.
With mixed-mode in place, they would land on both the northern and southern runway. This
would reduce the number of aircraft landing over areas like Windsor, but areas under the
southern approach paths, such as Old Windsor and Wraysbury, would experience a significant
increase.

for more see http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/alternation.cranford.agreement.explained.pdf

 


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From Wikipedia:

The Cranford Protocol or Cranford Agreement was an oral undertaking given in 1952 by the British Government to the residents of Cranford in London regarding the usage of the runways at London Heathrow Airport to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.

Under normal operations the agreement prohibited take-off on the northern runway towards the east (towards London) because of the proximity of Cranford to the east end of this runway; however this runway could be used in exceptional cases, for example when the southern runway was not available for departures or when departure delays are excessive.

Although no formal written agreement exists, the Government acknowledges that an oral undertaking was given by a senior government official at a meeting of the Cranford Residents’ and District Amenities Association on 31 July 1952.The protocol is included in the Heathrow Manual of Air Traffic Services and the airport’s noise abatement notification, and thus is a part of the airport’s operating rules.

On 15 January 2009, the Labour Government announced that it was ending the Cranford Agreement as part of the controversial expansion of London Heathrow Airport. Although in May 2010 the Coalition Government cancelled the Heathrow expansion plans, in September 2010 it reaffirmed the decision to end the Cranford Agreement. It was welcomed by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, to the west.

To the east, the London Borough of Hounslow has called for mitigation or compensation to be offered by BAA to those affected by ending the Cranford Agreement.

However the decision has not been implemented yet because BAA has not applied for planning permission for the taxiway works which would be needed. The delay is because BAA wants to wait until the end of trials in 2012 of new operating procedures for the runways.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranford_Agreement

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And there is more detail at:

Heathrow bid to end Cranford Agreement – allowing easterly take-offs from northern runway – is rejected by Hillingdon Council

12.2.2014The Cranford Agreement was a binding commitment the UK government made in 1952 to the residents of Cranford to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on residents. It prohibits, under normal Heathrow Airport operations, easterly take-offs (i.e. towards central London) on the northern runway.  In January 2009, the government announced it was ending the Agreement (as part of consultations on a proposed Third Runway). In  September 2010 the current UK government reaffirmed the decision to end the Cranford Agreement.  A planning application by Heathrow airport in June 2013 concerns the creation of taxiways on the Northern Runway, required  to enable the practical implementation of the ending of the Agreement  as well as consideration of the associated environmental impacts. It also included the erection of a 5m high noise barrier around parts of the village of Longford. This application has now been unanimously rejected by Hillingdon Council – which means Heathrow will not be able to have regular departures to the east from the northern runway. This preserves the 60-year-old gentlemen’s agreement protecting Cranford residents from the noise. The downside is that people living in Windsor and Maidenhead continue to endure more landings. Heathrow is considering whether to appeal. http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=19889

 

There is information on the Heathrow website at     http://www.heathrowairport.com/noise/what-we-do-about-it/measures-already-in-place/runway-use/cranford-agreement

 

about the Cranford agreement. This includes this paragraph:

The ending of the Cranford Agreement – what happens next?

Aircraft technology has moved on since the Cranford Agreement was drawn up in the 1950s. During take-off, modern aircraft climb higher more quickly. The noise they make is less disruptive to the residents of Cranford than it would have been 60 years ago.

In 2008, the previous government asked residents whether the Cranford Agreement should stay or be abolished.In response to feedback, it announced that the Cranford Agreement would end in 2009. The decision was confirmed by the current government in September 2010.

With the Cranford Agreement gone, we can apply runway alternation throughout the year, no matter which direction the wind blows. But we can’t do it straight away. Because Heathrow has developed within the context of the Cranford Agreement, it’s not yet geared up to full-time runway alternation. There are too few access taxiways to the northern runway and too few exit taxiways from the southern runway.

To operate runway alternation efficiently, we first have to make changes to Heathrow’s taxiways. The building of these taxiways requires planning approval from the London Borough of Hillingdon. We submitted our planning application in May 2013.

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The Cranford Agreement – June 2013 update (554 KB)
Contour map (2MB)

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Public meeting to be held in Ascot on Monday 13th October on Heathrow flight path trials

28.9.2014   (Local Berkshire)

THE time and location of a public meeting where residents can grill officials about trial flightpaths over Ascot and the surrounding villages has been decided.

The meeting will take place on Monday, October 13, at 7pm at the Pavilion in Ascot Racecourse.

Royal Borough councillor David Hilton has taken on responsibility for organising the meeting and said: “It’s hard to say how many people will turn up, however there have been more complaints on this issue than any other issue raised, even more than the complaints I received about Heatherwood Hospital.

“I don’t have the answers. Everyone has important questions to ask, but for them to be effective they need to be answered by Heathrow.”

Representatives from National Air Traffic Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority will be at the meeting to answer residents’ questions, and Nigel Milton from Heathrow will make a presentation before also answering any queries.

Doors will open at 7pm on October 13, ready for the meeting to start at 7.30pm. It is expected to finish at about 9pm.

Meanwhile, about 70 crammed into a meeting of Sunninghill and Ascot Parish Council in The Courtyard, off Ascot High Street, last Tuesday, the first chance people from the area have had to address officials about Heathrow’s trial flightpaths.

Afterwards, Ascot resident Lori McNeil said: “It could have got quite heated but people held back because the councilors are on our side. It’s not their fault. People are really concerned about this, there are so many of us that are so frustrated with the situation.”

Cllr Hilton, who represents Ascot and Cheapside, will be putting forward a motion calling for an immediate end to the trials.

“It’s such a big issue, my advice is don’t leave it and complain once do it every time you are disturbed by noise,” he said.

“It’s more like a trial of the local people’s patience and resistance to noise.”

http://www.localberkshire.co.uk/news/bracknell/articles/2014/09/28/104070-cllr-hilton-speaks-up-about-heathrow-public-meeting/

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Anger as Heathrow’s latest flight path trials subject thousands to unacceptable noise levels

Heathrow is conducting trials of new flight paths, both to the west and to the east of the airport. Since the easterly trial started (28th July) and the westerly trial started (25th August) the airport has been swamped with complaints. The complaints line can no longer cope. For many people, there has been a sudden and unacceptable increase in noise. The changed, concentrated, routes have been blamed for the “unacceptable and intolerable” noise above a number of Surrey villages. Some of the worse affected areas to the west are Englefield Green, Egham, Thorpe, Virginia Water, Windlesham, Bagshot, Lightwater, Sunninghill and Ascot. Petitions to the airport have been set up in Ascot, Lightwater and now in Englefield Green, asking that the trials be stopped. People feel that even after the end of the trials that ended in June, the increased noise from them has continued. People living under the new, concentrated, routes are now subjected to more, louder, aircraft noise as late as 11.50pm and as early as 6am. The purpose of all this is to get more flights off Heathrow’s runways, so the airport can be more profitable for its foreign owners.

Click here to view full story…


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Formula 1 boss’s fury over new Heathrow aircraft noise – at least with Formula 1 people know where the noise is

A significant Formula One car racing engineer, who lives in Sunninghill under a Heathrow flight path test route, has joined an increasing band of residents complaining about the new flight paths over Bracknell and Ascot. He describes them as “intolerable”. The chief technical officer at Formula One team Red Bull Racing has hit out at Heathrow after its new trial flight paths started last Thursday, for 5 months. The aims of the trials are to try to reduce ‘stacking’, speeding up departure times to cut departure intervals, so increasing airport profits. He said though having lived in Sunninghill since 1997 and the noise has never been an issue before. “It is pretty intolerable because currently we have planes flying over our heads at 11pm at night …. it’s very antisocial really. ….I can’t even sit in my garden and socialise with my friends because it is just too noisy. There has been no proper consultation…” Realising he himself works in a very noisy industry, he said “… with Formula One is that there are no new race tracks being built anywhere, so people who buy houses next to race tracks know what they are getting.” There is an active petition in the Ascot area against the flight path trials, with around 2,400 signatures today.

Click here to view full story…


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Aircraft Noise petition from  Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot

Stop the Flight Path trials

In the 3 Villages area (Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot) residents have been impacted both by the latest trials – that started on 28th August 2014 – as well as those which ended on 15th June.

With local feelings running high, people in this began a campaign and now also have an online petition with links from their website at  www.aircraftnoiselightwater.co.uk

Following contact with John Holland-Kaye in early August, the campaign has secured a meeting with Cheryl Monk, (Head of Community Relations and Policy)  to which residents of all affected areas are invited (both 3 Villages and Ascot will attend) –  this meeting will take place on Monday, October 13, at 7pm at the Pavilion in Ascot Racecourse.

There is a  Change.org petition to the Heathrow complaints team, here   They say: 

“Flights are passing overhead, lower, louder and later than ever before disturbing all aspects of everyday life.   Flights continue as late as 11.30pm and as early as 6am – a period when a reasonable person expects the right to peace and quiet.

“Local residents are now opposed to any more expansion at Heathrow and call for an IMMEDIATE end to the flight path trial!”

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Ascot area residents’ petition to end new Heathrow flight path trial

1.9.2014

Residents in the area in and around Ascot (not far from Heathrow) have a Change.org petition asking that the new Heathrow flight path trial, which started in the last few days, should immediately be ended. It is causing considerable noise nuisance, and making life there unpleasant.
Residents can see the planes very clearly from their gardens, and the noise is so loud now it disturbs any conversation they have outside.

Petition to end the flight path trial

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Residents and their MP in west Kent want Kent County Council to formally state their objection to a 2nd Gatwick runway

In 2012 Kent County Council produced a document called “Bold Steps for Aviation” in which it recommended to government the building of a 2nd runway at Gatwick airport (as well as high speed rail between Heathrow and Gatwick). It stated: “Capacity growth at Gatwick through the addition of a second runway after 2019. ” This has infuriated many people in west Kent who are increasingly badly affected by Gatwick, and its aircraft noise in particular. Now KCC’s councillor Matthew Balfour has said publicly that the support of KCC for a Gatwick 2nd runway is “history.” Sir John Stanley, Tonbridge and Malling MP, has sent a letter to Kent Council leader Paul Carter asking him to formally rescind the authority’s support of the 2nd runway. He has not received a reply. At a public meeting in Southborough, people were directed to the current document on the KCC website (Facing the Aviation Challenge - August 2014) that now states it currently has no preferred option.  “KCC gives support in principle to expansion at either airport as the right solution to the UK’s aviation needs” by 2030. Sir John Stanley MP does not feel that this new document is enough.
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KCC councillor Matthew Balfour claims statement supporting 2nd runway at Gatwick is ‘history’ at Southborough Town Council meeting

25 September 2014
by Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas (Kent online)

Kent County Council’s support for a second runway at Gatwick airport is ‘history’, according to a councillor.

Matthew Balfour, deputy cabinet member for transport and environment for KCC, attended a Southborough Town Council meeting.

He was grilled by residents and campaign groups from across Tunbridge Wells about the council’s current position on the airport.

Residents of west Kent raised questions over KCC’s view on a second runway at Gatwick

Joint leader of campaign group Gatwickobviouslynot.org, Martin Barraud, questioned Mr Balfour about KCC’s views.

He believes documents relating to the issue available on KCC’s website are misleading and confusing for the public.

During the meeting he made several references to a statement online that currently reads: ‘Kent County Council recommends that a second runway at Gatwick is delivered soon after the 2019 planning agreement ends.’ [Verbatim text from Bold Steps on Aviation is “Capacity growth at Gatwick through the addition of a second runway after 2019. “]

When asked if this still stands, Mr Balfour said: “No, that is history.”

Sir John Stanley, Tonbridge and Malling MP, previously sent a letter to council leader Paul Carter asking him to formally rescind the authority’s support of the second runway but has not received a reply.

Those involved in the meeting were directed to a document on the KCC website that now states it currently has no preferred option.  [This is dated August 2014 and entitled “Facing the Aviation Challenge. Discussion Document. Kent County Council.  ]

Mr Balfour added: “After the consultation next year KCC will discuss with the Airport Commission and come to a decision then. But at this moment in time the council neither welcomes nor rejects a second runway at Gatwick.”

He urged those at the meeting to read the document titled, ‘Facing the Aviation Challenge’.

It states that Heathrow and Gatwick airports have put forward credible solutions to the problem of airport capactiy constraints.

“An additional runway at either airport are the options shortlisited by the Airports Commission in its interim report in December 2013,” the document adds.

“KCC gives support in principle to expansion at either airport as the right solution to the UK’s aviation needs.”

Sir John does not feel that this new document is enough and is urging Mr Carter to formally state that KCC objects to the proposals.

He said: “When KCC released the original document supporting the second runway at Gatwick it was damaging and very devastating for the residents of west Kent.

“It is all very well saying that it is history and putting another document in the air claiming they currently don’t have a stand on the proposal, but it doesn’t mean anything until they formally rescind that statement of support made to the Airport Commission.

“Mr Carter must write a formal statement rescinding the awfully damaging recommendation and cover it with a new one for expanding Heathrow. Until then, comments such as ‘that is history’ are meaningless” – Sir John Stanley…

“This new revised comment is buried in an extremely detailed document that 99% of people will not be able to find let alone have the time to trawl through. As well as that, their original statement can still be found on the website – so how are the public meant to know what’s right?

“I am urging KCC to formally abandon its support for the second runway at Gatwick and cover that with a new recommendation for another runway at Heathrow where there is the capacity to build one.

“It has a responsibility to the people of west Kent and needs to take action to protect them.

“Mr Carter must write a formal statement rescinding the awfully damaging recommendation. Until then, comments such as ‘that is history’ are meaningless.”

Southborough Town Council will discuss its stand on the proposals at a meeting tonight.

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/tunbridge-wells/news/kcc-support-gatwick-runway-history-24004/

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“No, that is history”

Mathew Balfour, Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Kent County Council, in reference to Kent’s stated support for the 2nd runway, at a recent Council meeting.

However Sir John Stanley, who has been heavily critical of KCC’s previous stance on this, said this does not go far enough and Paul Carter, Leader, KCC, must “formally abandon its support for the second runway at Gatwick” and that “it doesn’t mean anything until they formally rescind that statement of support made to the Airport Commission”.

Please write to Cllr Carter and ask him to confirm Cllr Balfour’s statement that it is indeed history, once – and for all.

paul.carter@kent.gov.uk

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Edenbridge councillors blast Gatwick second runway proposal

By Edenbridge Courier

May 25, 2012

EDENBRIDGE councillors have accused the Kent County Council leader of ignoring town residents’ concerns by calling for a second runway at Gatwick Airport.

Town councillors this week sent a stinging rebuke to Paul Carter, criticising his authority’s plan as “ill-considered”.

Edenbridge, Hever and Marsh Green are already subjected to the daily misery of low-flying jets approaching Gatwick, and councillors believe the proposals in KCC’s discussion document, released earlier this month, would worsen the situation in the coming years.

Councillor Jill Davison told the Courier: “Coming out with a very definite proposal for an extra runway at Gatwick was guaranteed to produce a poor reaction from Edenbridge residents, particularly at the southern end, which is under the flightpath.”

The KCC document, Bold Steps For Aviation, calls for a second Gatwick runway to be built after 2019 and for more passengers to be ferried from Heathrow on a new high-speed rail link. It also proposes greater use of regional airports such as Manston and Lydd in preference to the creation of an artificial island in the Thames Estuary.

Edenbridge Town Council’s response was agreed at a meeting on Monday evening, when Councillor John Scholey light-heartedly suggested KCC was only interested in keeping aircraft noise away from its own headquarters.

“Fundamentally, they are getting the problem away from Maidstone and Medway,” he said.

The councillors’ letter to Mr Carter expressed how “surprised and troubled” members were by the document, which they claimed “flies in the face of recent Government planning initiatives”.

One particularly hard-hitting section read: “KCC appears to be solely driven by commercial imperatives to the exclusion of any other factors.

“Your paper completely divorces itself from the disruptive impact that the wholesale expansion of numerous airports, including additional runways and new high-speed rail links, will have across the face of Kent.

“We believe this approach is unsupportable.”

Marsh Green resident Peter Breen, who is a member of the campaign group Gatwick Can Be Quieter, said the response was “on the money”, and added: “The KCC document is a complete nonsense.”

Despite clearly stating it “commends” its proposals to the Government, Mr Carter told the Courier that the paper should only be viewed as a discussion document at this stage.

“Their reaction is understandable,” he said. “Airports are never popular, wherever you locate them in this country.

“Everyone is perfectly entitled to have their input on what they think about it.

“They can do what they want in voicing their opinions on what is a potential solution to making sure we retain our international aviation capacity and retain London’s position as the centre of the globe.”

http://www.courier.co.uk/Edenbridge-councillors-blast-Gatwick-second/story-16184194-detail/story.html

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 2012 document

KCC document, Bold Steps For Aviation,  2012

The document recommended to government, among other things:

“Capacity growth at Gatwick through the addition of a second runway after 2019. “

And it states, on Page 15:

“The potential for Gatwick and Heathrow to complement each other as connected airports
can only be realised if a second runway is provided at Gatwick when the present
moratorium on planning expires in 2019. Capacity growth at Gatwick represents a more
acceptable long-term solution than expansion at Heathrow, due to the significantly lower
number of people that would be overflown by arriving and departing aircraft, the relatively
good rail and road access enjoyed by Gatwick, and the huge economic benefits that this
solution would bring to deprived communities in Kent, Sussex and South London.”

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2014 document

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KCC document Facing the Aviation Challenge, dated August 2014.  [This was written before the Airports Commission ruled out an estuary airport, from its further deliberations].

 

Facing the Aviation Challenge states:

Continuous over flight of arriving aircraft into Gatwick causes significant detrimental impact
for residents of West Kent and impacts on the tranquillity of the countryside, including
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); where the CAA discourages over flight, if17
practical, below 7,000ft20. KCC urges that aircraft avoid flying over the major tourist
attractions that are of significant national heritage value in West Kent.

Night flights at Gatwick are also very frequent due to a lower quota set by the DfT compared
to Heathrow, and sleep disturbance has detrimental effects on the health of people living
under flight paths. KCC has made the case to Government for a reduction in night flights at
Gatwick so that the number of permitted night movements is more comparable with the
quota set by the DfT for Heathrow. KCC is against night flights that disturb residents;
however, KCC recognises the economic arguments for allowing limited night flights in the
shoulder periods, particularly long haul flights from emerging economies, which bring
economic benefits to the UK. KCC’s views on noise have been submitted to the Airports
Commission in response to the discussion paper on aviation noise (September 2013)21.

and:

Executive summary
In Facing the Aviation Challenge Kent County Council sets out its recognition of the growth
in aviation and its position on how the UK can meet this need through expansion of existing
airports – Heathrow or Gatwick (as shortlisted by the Airports Commission in its interim
report in December 2013) and better utilisation of regional airports including London
Ashford Airport (Lydd) and London Southend Airport, combined with improved surface
access by rail. This is a far more affordable and deliverable solution than building a new hub
airport in the Thames Estuary; and this document sets out the reasons for Kent County
Council’s robust opposition to the proposals for an airport on the Isle of Grain, which the
Airports Commission is investigating further in 2014.

Expanding existing airports will allow the UK to compete with other European hub airports,
although the UK’s current competitive disadvantage with high rates of Air Passenger Duty
(APD) also needs to be addressed.

However, aviation growth needs to be balanced against the adverse impacts, such as noise.
Therefore measures need to be put in place to minimise noise impacts and protect people
living near airports.

Kent County Council recommends to Government:

• The need for correction of the UK’s competitive disadvantage in terms of APD.
• The creation of a National Policy Statement (NPS) for airports that supports the growth
of existing airports with one net additional runway added in the South East by 2030.
• The NPS should not, however, support the development of new airports.
• The NPS should support a phased approach to adding runway capacity to keep pace with
demand, therefore allowing existing airports to add additional runway capacity when
the need arises, most likely a second net additional runway in the South East by 2050.
• The need for better utilisation of regional airports, especially in the short and medium
terms, as this will provide much needed capacity across the South East and bring
significant economic benefits to regional economies.
• Investment is needed to improve surface access to airports; especially rail access and the
development of an integrated air-rail transport system that will be beneficial to London
and the South East’s connectivity to global markets.
• An independent noise authority should be set up (as recommended by the Airports
Commission) and measures taken to properly measure, minimise and mitigate the noise
impacts of existing airport operations and airport expansion.
• Proposals for a new hub airport must not be progressed any further. Action is needed
now and this can only be achieved by building on the UK’s existing airport infrastructure.
In the interests of the national economy, action on these issues is needed now.

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GACC assesses Gatwick’s economic claims, and find them to be flimsy, at best

In May 2014 Gatwick submitted to the Airports Commission their case for building a new runway, but this document has not been published. In July Gatwick published a document “Connecting Britain to the Future. Faster” which was said to be a summary of their case.  On examination, however, it appears to be a collection of assertions chosen for their publicity value but with virtually no supporting evidence. That is particularly true for the claims that a new runway would create substantial economic benefits. GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) has assessed the claims made. Many are shaky, at best. On the issue of the alleged benefit to the wider UK economy of £28 billion, from more trade, inward investment and inbound tourism, GACC points out that it is illogical to count the benefits of inbound tourism but not the cost of outbound.  Official forecasts show that Gatwick in 2050 will handle around three outbound tourists for every one inbound. The main effect of building a new runway would be a net increase in tourist expenditure abroad, thus having a negative effect, not a positive benefit, for the UK economy.  GACC: “If Gatwick Airport Ltd were using this document as a basis for a contract they could be sued for misrepresentation.”
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GACC says:

“If Gatwick Airport Ltd were using this document as a basis for a contract they could be sued for misrepresentation.”

“If Gatwick were using their claims to sell shares, they could be sued for issuing a ‘fraudulent prospectus’. ” Read study.


 

Would a new Gatwick runway bring substantial economic benefits?

An examination of claims made by Gatwick Airport Ltd

September 2014  by GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

In May 2014 Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) submitted to the Airports Commission their case for building a new runway.  This was a 3,200 word document but it has not been published.  Heathrow Airport has criticised Gatwick for not being prepared to reveal details of their proposal.

Instead in July GAL published a document Connecting Britain to the Future. Faster [1] which was said to be a summary of their case.  On examination, however, it appears to be a collection of assertions chosen for their publicity value but with virtually no supporting evidence. That is particularly true for the claims that a new runway would create substantial economic benefits.

The purpose of this paper is to examine these claims.

Statement 1

The cost to the wider economy of failing to address the demand for growth could amount to £30-45 billion over 60 years.[2]

This statement is lifted directly from the Interim Report of the Airports Commission [3] but needs qualification:

  • It applies equally to a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick;
  • It is a cumulative figure over 60 years;
  • The Commission indicate that the cost would be higher after 2050 when the London airports become full.   In the next 30 years the figure might average around £200 million a year – about 10p per head per week for the adult population;
  • It ignores the tax subsidy to aviation (see statement 5 below). Some years ago it was proved, using the Department for Transport computer model, that if air travel paid the same rate of tax as car travel there would be no need for any new runway, and no economic benefit in building one. [4]

 

Statement 2

Gatwick expansion will deliver around £90 billion of economic benefits to the UK, much higher than expansion at Heathrow …. .[5]

This figure, which has frequently been quoted in Gatwick’s runway publicity campaign, is suspect as it is far higher than the estimate made by the Airports Commission mentioned above.  It is subject to all the same qualifications.

Some explanation of how the £90 billion is calculated is given in statements 3 – 6.

 

Statement 3

Expansion of Gatwick will enable an additional 45 million passengers every year to travel, on business, holiday or visit friends or relatives.  Oxera estimates the monetary value placed by these individuals on their ability to travel to be £51 billion. This figure also captures the increase in airline competition and a corresponding reduction in airfares.[6]

No details are given of the calculations by the consultants Oxera [7] but the following comments can be made:

  • The extra 45 million passengers would not occur until Gatwick reaches full capacity of two runways, a good many years into the future;
  • In normal economics the value placed by individuals on the ability to travel is measured by the price they pay, and is thus already included in the figure given by the Airports Commission: to include them again is double counting;
  • The assumption that a new runway at Gatwick would increase competition and reduce fares is not valid: most competition is between airlines, not between airports.  Moreover it ignores that fact that there will be ample competition from Stansted and Luton, so a new runway at Gatwick would make little difference;
  • The need to pay the cost of building a new runway would mean an increase in Gatwick air fares, not a reduction (see comments on statement 6 below).

 

Statement 4

Benefits to the wider UK economy = + £28 billionThese benefits are generated by increased levels of trade, inward investment and inbound tourism created by extra air travel to and from the UK.[8]

As has often been pointed out, it is illogical to count the benefits of inbound tourism but not the cost of outbound.  Official forecasts show that Gatwick in 2050 will handle around three outbound tourists for every one inbound.[9]  The main effect of building a new runway would be a net increase in tourist expenditure abroad, thus having a negative, not a positive, benefit for the UK economy.

 

Statement 5

Public accounts revenues to the Exchequer = + £15 billionMore air travellers will generate additional tax revenues for the Government, in the form of Air Passenger Duty, VAT and fuel duties.[10]

It is difficult to see how this statement can be justified.  Airlines pay no fuel duty and no VAT.  Based on Treasury figures it has been estimated that this results in a £12 billion a year loss of revenue.  Air Passenger Duty brings in £3 billion a year.  The result is a net loss to the Exchequer, a tax subsidy to aviation, of £9 billion a year.

 

Any increase in the number of passengers would tend to increase the size of this tax loss, or tax subsidy, proportionally.

 

 

Statement 6

Expansion at Gatwick will give a much greater stimulus to competition and can be expected to reduce air fares across the entire system to the benefit of all passengers.  Airfares will be up to £30 billion lower over 60 years with a second runway at Gatwick.[11]

As noted in the comments on statement 3, the assumption about a greater stimulus to competition is flawed.

 

GAL’s claims about lower air fares all relate to the long term.  They are calculated on an assumption that the cost of a new runway can be spread among the eventual 95 million passengers per year.  But in the early years after a new runway was built, the extra traffic would be small, especially as Gatwick would face intense competition from Stansted (which would have no extra runway cost).  It has been shown that in these circumstances the cost of a new runway would result in an increase in air fares of around £50 per return flight.[12]

 

Conclusion

 

GAL seem to be assuming that most members of the public find it difficult to envisage the difference between a million pounds and a billion pounds.  But that is no excuse to make inaccurate statements.  It is clear that the claims for economic benefits contained in Connecting Britain to the Future are seriously exaggerated.

If Gatwick Airport Ltd were using this document as a basis for a contract they could be sued for misrepresentation.

If Gatwick were seeking to sell shares on the basis of this document they could be sued for issuing a fraudulent prospectus.

GACC

September 2014

 

[1] http://gatwickairport.com/PublicationFiles/business_and_community/all_public_publications/2014/Connecting_Britain_to_the_Future._Faster.pdf

[2]  Connecting Britain to the Future page 10.  http://gatwickairport.com/PublicationFiles/business_and_community/all_public_publications/2014/Connecting_Britain_to_the_Future._Faster.pdf

[3]  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/271231/airports-commission-interim-report.pdf   page 10

[4]  http://www.aef.org.uk/downloads/HiddenCost.pdf

[5] Ibid.  Page 8

[6]  Connecting Britain to the Future, page 22.

[7]  Oxera are a firm of consultants often used by the aviation industry because they can be relied upon to produce the required conclusions.

[8]  Connecting Britain to the Future, page 22.

[9]  Department for Transport Aviation Forecasts 2011, Table G7.  Gatwick with one runway: with two runways the proportions would be unlikely to be very different.  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/4503/uk-aviation-forecasts.pdf

[10]  Ibid, page 22

[11]  Ibid, page 22

[12] http://www.aef.org.uk/2014/03/10/new-report-highlights-a-new-runway-at-heathrow-or-gatwick-would-mean-big-increases-in-passenger-fees/

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Read study. 

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www.gacc.org.uk

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Councillors are told Durham Tees Valley Airport must focus on its Amsterdam routes if it is to survive

The strategic planning director of Peel group, which own the airport, says that its existing routes to Amsterdam and Aberdeen must be prioritised ahead of new London or international routes. The Peel Group gave an overview to local Darlington Borough councillors, of the airport’s masterplan to develop businesses and houses at the airport site. Peel says any future London routes were dependent on increased capacity being granted at Heathrow or Gatwick airports something that could take more than 15 years to get through government. Peel say the airport should secure its routes to Schiphol and Aberdeen, while keeping an eye on the London opportunities, as and when they arise. Durham Tees Valley lost its route to Heathrow in 2009. That was not because it was not making money, but Heathrow could make a lot more money by using the slot for a long haul route. A councillor commented: “To keep the airport going we need to accept that expanding leisure flights is not viable. You can’t get enough of those flights to keep the airport paying its way.”  Peel want to “look at the site as a whole by growing the airport, the employment park and also the community aspect with the housing.”
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Durham Tees Valley Airport must focus on its Amsterdam routes if it is to survive, councillors are told

26 September 2014

by Vicki Henderson  (Northern Echo)

THE man behind the plan to secure the future of Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) has told councillors that its existing routes to Amsterdam and Aberdeen must be prioritised ahead of new London or international routes.

Peter Nears, strategic planning director at owners Peel Group, gave an overview of the masterplan to develop businesses and houses at the airport site to Darlington Borough Council members today (Thursday).

Mr Nears said any future London routes were dependent on increased capacity being granted at Heathrow or Gatwick airports, something that could take more than 15 years to get through government.

Although he said the Tees Valley, its MPs and local authorities should lobby for DTVA to be given routes at any expanded South East airport, he cautioned against focussing on London.

Instead, he said, the airport should secure its routes to Schiphol and Aberdeen, while keeping an eye on the London opportunities.

He said: “When we lost the route down to Heathrow in 2009 it wasn’t because it wasn’t making money. It was just that a long haul route out of the same slot can make tens of millions.

“We are fighting to get access to Heathrow, but we also need to jealously guard our Amsterdam link. We can’t endanger that, it is incredibly important to us.”

Councillor Paul Harman said: “To keep the airport going we need to accept that expanding leisure flights is not viable. You can’t get enough of those flights to keep the airport paying its way.

“Whenever I’ve flown from DTVA in recent times the flights are full and prices are high, which suggests there’s no need to discount – it seems to me that the mass market is not necessarily the priority at the moment.”

Speaking about the plans to develop houses and businesses on the airport site, Mr Nears said that DTVA was not unique in its need to diversify, citing Newquay and Manchester Airports as examples.

He added: “The masterplan is about safeguarding the airport and making its core for business use, making use of the landholdings we have, some of which has lain idle for years.

“We have got to create sustainable revenue by bringing in outside investment. Getting people employed on the site is an important aspect of it.

“We need to look at the site as a whole by growing the airport, the employment park and also the community aspect with the housing.”

Asked about the housing proposals, Mr Nears confirmed that the capital from development was vital to underpin the employment park element of the masterplan and that about 320 houses were likely to be built.

Darlington councillors will work to develop a series of recommendations for Peel Holdings to take into account in future, as Stockton Borough Council has already done.

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/11497931.Durham_Tees_Valley_Airport_must_focus_on_its_Amsterdam_routes_if_it_is_to_survive__councillors_are_told/?ref=rss

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Some recent news stories about Durham Tees Valley Airport:

 

Airport objects to being included in a neighbourhood plan that could stop its housing development plans

The Northern Echo: FUTURE PLANS: Bosses at Durham Tees Valley Airport have disagreed with parish council plans to influence their development

BOSSES at Durham Tees Valley Airport have flexed their muscles at a parish council and demanded the facility be removed from a local planning document that could affect its proposals to build 400 homes in its grounds. Airport director Peter Nears said it is “wholly unnecessary” to include the site in Middleton St George’s proposed neighbourhood plan and argued the parish council did not have the knowledge or resources to comment on airport planning. Middleton St George Parish Council has spent months working on a neighbourhood plan, a legal document setting out what the village is willing to allow in terms of future housing or business developments up to 2025. The parish council was spurred into action by a number of planning applications that would add several hundred properties to the village, which locals say is already overstretched, and had planned to include the airport – which lies partly within the parish – in the document. Residents fear the airport’s economic masterplan, which includes proposals to build 400 homes in its grounds, close to Middleton St George, will put extra strain on village services.

link to article …..


Facebook campaign launched by local frequent flyer to ‘save’ Durham Tees Valley Airport

March 3, 2014

A frequent flyer who uses Durham Tees Valley airport has launched a Facebook campaign to ‘save’ the Airport. She is concerned about the airport’s “master plan.” This aims to secure the airport’s long term future by the development of 400 homes on land to the west and north of the terminal which officials say would generate millions of pounds of investment to put back into the airport. The frequent flyer says she gets “so frustrated that we cannot use Teesside Airport.” The Facebook page has over 2,000 “likes” with many people irritated by the behaviour of t he owners, Peel Holdings. One typical post says: “COME ON people of the North East…..we have a mountain to climb ……we MUST get our message across to politicians and councils (supposedly who have our interests at heart) that we are not prepared to sit back and watch this “BEAST” of a company take our airport away !!!” The airport had 159,300 passengers in 2013 compared with over 900,000 in 2005 and 2006.

Click here to view full story…

 


 

Durham Tees Valley Airport should go for Government cash a third time, claims Sedgefield MP

1 Nov 2013

Durham Tees Valley Airport bosses should try to secure Government regeneration cash a third time, Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson has claimed. MP for Sedgefield Phil Wilson says the Government needs to play its part in keeping Durham Tees Valley Airport going, despite 2 failed bids by its owners for Regional Growth Fund (RGF) cash to pay for road infrastructure. Meanwhile, Balkan Holidays has said it was naturally “disappointed” by the airport’s decision to drop its August 2014 Bulgaria flight. The MP said: “The Government needs to play its part. I would encourage the airport to put in another bid for RGF cash but I can understand any reticence in not doing so. “Peel can’t carry on losing millions a year. They’re doing their best, but the Government has turned them down

twice.” http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/business/business-news/durham-tees-valley-airport-should-6262956


Durham Tees Valley Airport scraps mainstream holiday flights – now just links to Schiphol, Aberdeen and Jersey

October 30, 2013

Durham Tees Valley Airport has decided, after a review of its business, to axe its holiday flights in order to concentrate on business travel. The struggling airport will continue passenger flights to Amsterdam, Aberdeen and Jersey only – but all holiday charters will end next summer. Scheduled daily passenger flights to Schiphol (Amsterdam) – operated by KLM – and Eastern Airways’ flights to Aberdeen will continue as normal, and Flybe link to Jersey. But the airport will be “streamlining operations and moving away from all mainstream holiday charter programmes”. Tour operators affected by the move are Thomson/First Choice and Balkan Holidays. Thomson Holidays has cancelled its two flight destinations for 2014 from Durham Tees Valley. The terminal will undergo changes, making the operational area smaller . Investment in the new layout will make it more suited to customers on scheduled flights with “new retail offerings and business services”. They are trying to keep some aviation use for the airport and will have their masterplan for public consultation from mid-November.

  Click here to view full story…

 


 

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Heathrow flight path trial over Teddington & Twickenham “could be shortened” due to volume of complaints

The Heathrow flight path trial affecting Teddington and Twickenham could be shortened – from its due end on 26th January 2015 – due to pressure from thousands of residents. Heathrow has temporarily changed easterly departure routes as part of the Government’s future airspace strategy, but the move has prompted an average of 350 complaints per day affected by the noise increase. An online petition, run by TeddingtonTown.co.uk, has received thousands of signatures from people furious with the increased noise from planes and those calling for an end to the trials. Twickenham MP Vince Cable has stepped in and demanded an urgent meeting with senior management at the airport. He said:  “There has always been a problem with easterly take offs over local residences, especially late at night, but the latest trials have had especially serious impacts in Teddington.” Mr Cable knows well that the increased noise is a sign of what could happen on a permanent basis if there is a 3rd runway.  There is due to be a public consultation about defining permanent routes in 2016 and the final decision is taken by government.
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Heathrow flight path trial over Teddington and Twickenham “could be shortened” due to complaints

Noisy: Residents are unhappy with the noise created by the new flight paths

26 September 2014
by George Odling, (Richmond & Twickenham Times)
A trial testing flight paths over Teddington and Twickenham could be shortened due to pressure from thousands of residents.

Heathrow has temporarily changed easterly departure routes as part of the Government’s future airspace strategy, but the move has prompted an average of 350 complaints per day affected by the noise increase. [Heathrow complains lines are swamped]

An online petition, run by TeddingtonTown.co.uk, has received thousands of signatures from people furious with the increased noise from planes and those calling for an end to the trials.

Twickenham MP Vince Cable has stepped in and demanded an urgent meeting with senior management at the airport.

Dr Cable said: “There has always been a problem with easterly take offs over local residences, especially late at night, but the latest trials have had especially serious impacts in Teddington.

The Business Secretary said he was promised a meeting for residents to discuss the issue, and believes the increased noise is a sign of what could happen on a permanent basis if the airport expands.

He said: “While there is, rightly, a focus on the third runway issue, we are being reminded that unfavourable take off patterns and times can have a comparable, or bigger, impact in the short run.”

The trials are intended to continue until January 26, 2015, before a public consultation about defining permanent routes in 2016, but the backlash could see the trial ending sooner.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “While enough time is needed in the trials to gather relevant data, Heathrow is working with the National Air Traffic Services and Civil Aviation Authority to explore if the trial period can be shortened.

“Ultimately it will be for the Government to decide what changes will be made to UK airspace and a thorough public consultation in 2016 will take place before permanent flight paths are decided.”

http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/11497333.Heathrow_flight_path_trial__could_be_shortened__due_to_complaints/

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See earlier:

Teddington petition to Heathrow to stop the easterly departures trial and not allow it to become permanent

Finding themselves now affected by a newly concentrated flight path for Heathrow easterly departures, people in Teddington are now up in arms about the intensified noise. The trial started on 28th July and is due to last till 15th January 2015. They have set up a petition, to Heathrow, to ask that the current noise level does not continue. The flight path trials are part of the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) with the aim of getting ever more planes using Heathrow, more efficiently. People in Teddington are angry that Heathrow have stated that: “Before the trials started in December last year we briefed local authorities; residents groups; campaign groups and MPs around Heathrow” yet Heathrow will not provide any details on who was contacted and when. In reality most people were not informed or warned. They would have liked to have been informed (so much for airports stating how much better they are getting at communication with communities ….). The affected residents are calling on Heathrow to halt these trials as soon as possible due to the negative impact on the quality of life they are causing for many people. They also call on Heathrow to recommend that the flight path changes are not made permanent.

Click here to view full story…

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