Crawley Council object to Gatwick Master Plan – due to detrimental effect on the local environment

Recently a YouGov poll commissioned by Gatwick airport – unclear what the exact wording was, or who was polled – claimed about three quarters of residents backed the airport’s expansion. However, at a Crawley full council meeting, the majority vote was against the proposal. This is what they will put in the council response to the Gatwick Master Plan consultation that is currently going on. The opposition is unsurprising as Crawley council have made their feelings clear in previous years, objecting to the 2nd runway. A year ago Crawley approved the building of a new Boeing hangar, for aircraft maintenance, as they hoped this would bring local jobs.  In the council there is a real concern that the growth proposed would have too detrimental an effect on the environment. Gatwick claim it is making less noise now (a claim that many severely overflown residents would not believe, especially with noise at night) and “30% of its fleet will comprise quieter aircraft by 2022.”  Local group CAGNE has asked hat the airport disclose details the safety incidents that have already occurred whilst using the emergency runway when the main runway is closed for maintenance.

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Crawley Council object to Gatwick Master Plan after airport says majority of residents approve it.

In a vote held at Full Council the majority voted to object to the proposed plans put forward by Gatwick.

There seems to be a rift between what the Council think is right and what the residents do.

Only a week ago a poll commissioned by the airport stated that three quarters of residents polled were in favour of the master plan.

But in a full council held last night, the majority vote was against the proposal.

Realistically the result is no surprise as the Council had made their feelings clear in previous years objecting to the second runway.

Interestingly it was only a year ago that the Council voted to allow for the building of the new Boeing hangar, a new hub that would allow maintenance of aircraft from across Europe.  Whilst the hangar would not increase air traffic in the same way, its approval was given after many councillors stated how it would bring much needed jobs and revenue into the area.

So there is a hunger for building, improving and growing resources at Gatwick but not it seems with increasing passenger numbers.

Whilst the majority of councillors who spoke did support Gatwick there was a real concern that the growth proposed would have too much of a detrimental effect on the environment.

Only this morning Gatwick published a press release where they said the airport had seen a 3% reduction in its noise footprint to the previous year.  They said that this was in part to their initiative to modify the A320, an aircraft most used at Gatwick.  They also say that 30% of its fleet will comprise quieter aircraft by 2022.

But these findings have fallen on deaf ears with the council and also objection groups including CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) who this week demanded that the airport disclose the safety incidents that have already occurred whilst using the emergency runway when the main runway is closed for maintenance.

A Gatwick spokesperson said:

“It is disappointing that the Council does not recognise the economic boost our plans would deliver for future generations, including thousands of jobs, new global connections and opportunities for local businesses. The decision also appears out of touch with the views of residents surveyed across Sussex in a recent independent YouGov poll, who overwhelmingly support Gatwick growing within its existing footprint (74%), with only 16% opposed.

“Local economic prosperity cannot be taken for granted and neither can the important role Gatwick plays in Crawley. While disappointed at this decision, we will consider the views of everyone who responds to our consultation before publishing our final master plan next year.”  

https://www.crawleynews24.co.uk/crawley-council-object-to-gatwick-master-plan-after-airport-says-majority-of-residents-approve-it/

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See earlier:

Crawley Borough Council votes by 25:11 to oppose 2nd runway at Gatwick

A special Full Council meeting of Crawley Borough Council has voted by 25:11 against a 2nd runway at Gatwick. The meeting was held on 26th January, to discuss the content of the Council’s response to the Airports Commission consultation, and whether the Council would take no position, pro or anti the runway – or decide one way or the other. After two hours of debate, in front of a packed public gallery, a recorded vote was taken – it was a free vote, with councillors allowed to vote how they saw fit, rather than according to party lines. The suggested Cabinet wording was that “The Full Council considers that the interests of Crawley residents and businesses are best served by the Council objecting to a second runway being developed at Gatwick.” The objection will be recorded in the council’s response to the Commission.  Five councillors – Stephen Joyce, Colin Moffatt, Chris Oxlade, Peter Smith and council leader Peter Lamb – felt the council should have agreed to take no specific view on the 2nd runway at this time. All five then voted not to object to the new runway. Most other local councils have also recently voted against the runway. Details below.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/01/crawley-borough-council-votes-by-2611-to-oppose-second-runway-at-gatwick/

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Aircraft noise at smaller airports, likely to have negative mental health impact if they have night flights

Aircraft noise from large airports has been frequently linked to harm to mental health, as well as physical health, but it is not known whether the same is true for smaller airports. In this blog, Dr David Wright, lead author of a recently published article in Environmental Health, looked at how much aircraft noise around a smaller airport – Belfast City – affected mental health.  It has about 40,000 annual flights, compared to Heathrow 475,000.  There is growing evidence that noise generated by large airports also affects the mental health of local residents (see NORAH and HYENA, the two largest studies). As more airlines are flying direct between smaller airports, no longer using hubs, this is an important issue. The study looked at individual and household characteristics, overlaid with noise contours. It found there was a correlation of worse mental health in areas near the airport, under the flight path. But these areas were often poorer, and poverty increases the risk of mental ill-health – so wealth rather than aircraft noise best explains the findings.  However, Belfast City airport does not have night flights (21:30 to 06:30), and it is noise that disturbs sleep that has the main impacts on mental health. “Setting sensible curfew hours would strike a balance between the economic benefits and health risks of living close to an airport.”
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Aircraft noise at small airports and mental health

Aircraft noise from large airports has been frequently linked to affecting mental health, but it is not known whether the same is true for smaller airports. In this blog post, Dr David Wright, lead author of a recently published article in Environmental Health, discusses how the noise environment around a smaller airport showed little influence on population mental health.

David Wright (Biomed Central)

12 Nov 2018

Air travel is expanding world-wide and airports are often at the heart of local economies (I grew up three miles from London Gatwick and my first summer job was in the left luggage office). On the downside, aircraft noise exposure has been linked with physical health problems (e.g. hypertension and cardiovascular disease) and there is growing evidence that noise generated at large airports also affects the mental health of local residents (see NORAH and HYENA, the two largest studies).

Aircraft noise exposure has been linked with physical health problems

We wanted to know whether mental health is similarly affected at smaller, regional airports. This is important as many airlines are switching to fleets of smaller planes flying directly between regional airports, avoiding the major international hubs.

Environmental factors like noise typically produce subtle differences in health outcomes, so we needed a very large dataset to have the best chance of detecting an effect. We linked two administrative datasets (data that are collected for purposes other than research); the 2011 Census records for all residents in our study city of Belfast, Northern Ireland, which provided detailed information on individual and household characteristics, overlaid with noise contours generated as part of the noise monitoring programme at George Best Belfast City Airport.

We found that individuals in high noise areas under the flight path were more likely to have reported poor mental health than those in low noise areas. However, households in high noise areas also tended to be less wealthy and once we accounted for this, we found no evidence that noise was associated with poor mental health. Simply put, wealth rather than aircraft noise best explains these gradients in mental health.

Returning to our main question, the detrimental effects of aircraft noise on mental health found at large airports did not extend to this smaller airport, even at similar average noise levels. Why should this be? We suspect the main answer lies in the timing of noise events. Belfast City Airport does not routinely operate night flights whereas most previously studied airports do, so sleep disturbance (closely linked with mental health) may be the driving factor.

[• Belfast City Airport Operating Hours: flights may only be scheduled to operate between 06:30 hours and 21:30 hours.  Extensions may be granted in exceptional circumstances to facilitate delayed aircraft up to 23:59 hours.

• Movements cap: GBBCA may only operate 48,000 aircraft movements in any 12 month period.  http://www.belfastcityairport.com/Community/Environment/Aircraft-Noise.aspx ]

The detrimental effects of aircraft noise on mental health found at large airports did not extend to this smaller airport

The real test of any research finding is whether it can be replicated elsewhere. One way to test the sleep disturbance hypothesis would be to repeat our study across several airports with different numbers and timing of night flights. Accessing information on individual mental health would be the main challenge. In our experience, good datasets – like the administrative datasets we used – already exist, and the key task is to persuade everyone involved that data can safely be used for research to bring public benefit. This study demonstrates the potential of using these large, existing administrative data sets to explore questions we couldn’t answer with smaller available data sets, and it was done without compromising privacy or confidentiality.

Living in a noisy area close to an airport with approximately 40,000 mainly daytime flights annually was not in itself bad for mental health. Therefore, planning decisions for airports up to this size can concentrate more on atmospheric pollution and the effects of noise on aspects of physical health. If further work confirms our suspicion that sleep disturbance drives the noise-mental health association at larger airports, setting sensible curfew hours would strike a balance between the economic benefits and health risks of living close to an airport.

http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/on-health/2018/11/12/aircraft-noise-at-small-airports-and-mental-health/

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The research is at

https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-018-0418-6

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See also

PhD study indicates flight ban until 6am could save £ millions on NHS prescriptions for health impacts

A PhD thesis by an economics researcher at Kings College London, Silvia Beghelli, looked at “The Health Effects of Noise and Air Pollution”. She looked at the medications prescribed to patients in areas affected by Heathrow planes, and the medical costs of the health impacts. She looked at a trial performed over 5 months at Heathrow in 2012, when planes did not fly over designated areas in the early mornings, between 4:30am and 6am. She found that  fewer drugs were prescribed for respiratory and nervous system conditions in areas with the reduced air traffic. Mrs Beghelli cross-referenced NHS data with the trial’s findings and found a link between air traffic and health, notably a 5.8% decrease in spending on pills including anxiolytics for conditions such as insomnia, anxiety and depression in the no-fly zones. As well as meaning the quality of health of people in these areas must have been better, the lower prescribing saved the NHS money. She calculated that modifying flight schedules could save £5 million in NHS prescription costs. It could also cut demand for hospital appointments. The study suggests that early morning planes are causing people to need more prescriptions.

Click here to view full story…

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PhD study indicates flight ban until 6am could save £ millions on NHS prescriptions for health impacts

A PhD thesis by an economics researcher at Kings College London, Silvia Beghelli, looked at “The Health Effects of Noise and Air Pollution”. She looked at the medications prescribed to patients in areas affected by Heathrow planes, and the medical costs of the health impacts. She looked at a trial performed over 5 months at Heathrow in 2012, when planes did not fly over designated areas in the early mornings, between 4:30am and 6am. She found that  fewer drugs were prescribed for respiratory and nervous system conditions in areas with the reduced air traffic. Mrs Beghelli cross-referenced NHS data with the trial’s findings and found a link between air traffic and health, notably a 5.8% decrease in spending on pills including anxiolytics for conditions such as insomnia, anxiety and depression in the no-fly zones. As well as meaning the quality of health of people in these areas must have been better, the lower prescribing saved the NHS money. She calculated that modifying flight schedules could save £5 million in NHS prescription costs. It could also cut demand for hospital appointments. The study suggests that early morning planes are causing people to need more prescriptions.
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Flight ban until 6am could save millions on NHS prescriptions

By Mark Blunden, Technology Correspondent (Evening Standard)

15-11-2018 – p.29

STOPPING planes from flying over London’s most densely populated areas
in time early morning could save the NHS millions of pounds, a study has found.

“Exclusion zones” would prevent Londoners from being woken with a start and would suffer fewer pollution-related breathing problems, the Kings College London research suggested.

The Health Effects of Noise and Air Pollution PhD thesis by economics researcher Silvia Beghelli focused on the “medical cost of air traffic pollution”.  It found that in Heathrow’s 2012 trial ban of flights between 4:30am and 6am, fewer drugs were prescribed for respiratory and nervous system conditions in areas with reduced air traffic.

Mrs Beghelli cross-referenced NHS data with the trial’s findings and found a link between air traffic and health, notably a 5.8% decrease in spending on pills for conditions such as insomnia and depression in the no-fly zones. She calculated that modifying flight schedules could save £5 million in NHS prescription costs.

The study also found “statistically significant increases” in visits for nervous and respiratory conditions at hospitals near seven UK airports.

A Heathrow spokeswoman said the airport has strict limits on flights but will be consulting on the trail’s results to see how flight noise may be reduced overnight as part of expansion plans.

Not online, but in the paper version of the Standard.

The PhD thesis that these findings come from is at

https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/files/86917624/2018_Beghelli_Silvia_1262173_ethesis.pdf

Some quotes from the PhD thesis:

“The HYENA cross-sectional study detects a positive correlation between aircraft noise and the consumption of anxiolytic and antihypertensive medications in European countries.”

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“We exploit a five-month trial that took place around London Heathrow airport from November 2012 to March 2013. The trial involved changes in patterns of aircraft landings during early morning hours (4.30 am to 6.00 am). Health effects are measured through changes in medication prescribing by GP practice. We find a statistically significant response of monthly medication spending on central nervous and respiratory system conditions to these changes, and weak effects for circulatory conditions. Crucially, significant reductions in prescription spending on nervous and respiratory conditions are detected for the regions that experienced a drop in air traffic during the trial.”

 

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see also

Aircraft noise at smaller airports, likely to have negative mental health impact if they have night flights

Aircraft noise from large airports has been frequently linked to harm to mental health, as well as physical health, but it is not known whether the same is true for smaller airports. In this blog, Dr David Wright, lead author of a recently published article in Environmental Health, looked at how much aircraft noise around a smaller airport – Belfast City – affected mental health.  It has about 40,000 annual flights, compared to Heathrow 75,000.  There is growing evidence that noise generated by large airports also affects the mental health of local residents (see NORAH and HYENA, the two largest studies). As more airlines are flying direct between smaller airports, no longer using hubs, this is an important issue. The study looked at individual and household characteristics, overlaid with noise contours. It found there was a correlation of worse mental health in areas near the airport, under the flight path. But these areas were often poorer, and poverty increases the risk of mental ill-health – so wealth rather than aircraft noise best explains the findings.  However, Belfast City airport does not have night flights (21:30 to 06:30), and it is noise that disturbs sleep that has the main impacts on mental health. “Setting sensible curfew hours would strike a balance between the economic benefits and health risks of living close to an airport.”

Click here to view full story…

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Read more »

Tests in the US to see if people tolerate booms, from proposed supersonic business jets (for the extra rich)

A long BuzzFeed article looks in detail at the problems of companies trying to bring back supersonic jets, like Concorde, just to cut a few hours off flights for those rich enough to afford them.  The interest in developing these planes was galvanised on October 5th, when President Donald Trump signed a FAA bill directing NASA to start consulting with the aviation industry to restart supersonic passenger travel. The problems remain the horrible sonic boom, that is a pressure wave, that hits anyone/anything on the ground, as the plane flies so fast nearby. Earlier studies indicated people really hated it, and it was dangerous. The shock of the bang could cause heart attacks, car accidents, “people to fall off ladders”etc.  Research earlier in the USA indicated that people did not become more tolerant of the bang, but less so. Supersonic flights by Concorde were banned over the USA. Now some US companies are looking at supersonic business flights again, but they are hugely wasteful in terms of fuel and high CO2 emissions. The ICCT said the jets would emit 40% more nitrogen oxides and 70% more CO2 than subsonic ones; they burn about 5-7 times as much fuel per passenger (not that Trump would care…)
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People Are Being Subjected To Sonic Booms – To See If The Rich Get Supersonic Planes Again

“Building the airplane is the easy part,” said a NASA official.

By Dan Vergano (BuzzFeed News Reporter) 

November 9, 2018

The 50,000 residents of Galveston, Texas, will this month find themselves the subjects of a psychology experiment that could determine the future of supersonic airplanes.

Made famous by Europe’s sleek and ultimately failed Concorde jet, these 1,000 mph planes have in the past been stymied by their cost, environmental footprint, and perhaps most of all, their painful acoustics.

That’s because when planes go faster than the speed of sound, they create a sonic boom as intense and startling as a cannon blast, prompting the feds to ban them from US commercial flights over land. The last time a supersonic plane flew with commercial passengers was from New York to London — a trip just over three hours — in 2003.

But with renewed demand from wealthy business travelers, American engineers are itching to make quieter versions of the world’s fastest planes. Three startups — Aerion of Reno, Nevada, Spike Aerospace of Boston, and Boom of Denver — are designing planes that would cut long flights in half. Last month, General Electric announced it would create a new supersonic passenger jet engine for Aerion.

And NASA is planning to test an X-59 QueSST prototype over major US cities, suggesting Chicago as an example, in 2023. The plane will have a quieter, stretched-out sonic boom, known as a low boom, that sounds something like a car door slamming to folks on the ground.

“Hopefully they won’t hear anything,” Corey Diebler of NASA’s Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator project told BuzzFeed News in October, during wind tunnel tests of a miniature version of the X-59 at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

Because noise complaints could present a big hurdle to this would-be next generation of air travel, NASA is conducting the Galveston experiment as an early test of community tolerance.

Residents of the city — located on an island in the Gulf of Mexico — are used to hearing planes overhead, thanks to the nearby Scholes International Airport. But over the next three weeks or so, NASA will fly a supersonic jet (a NASA F/A-18) over Galveston, making the plane dive to create a low boom up to eight times a day. Afterward, the researchers will survey about 500 people about how much the noise bothered them.

“In some ways, building the airplane is the easy part,” Peter Coen, the leader of NASA’s civil supersonic program, told BuzzFeed News. More difficult, he said, is figuring out the best way to warn people about this new kind of noise pollution.

“We don’t want to overdo it and alarm them, but we don’t want to not tell them enough so people are surprised,” Coen said. “We don’t want people to feel like guinea pigs.”

NASA has been working on low-boom planes for decades, but was galvanized on October 5, when President Donald Trump signed a Federal Aviation Administration bill directing NASA to start consulting with the aviation industry to restart supersonic passenger travel.

The Galveston thumps are a lead-in to two possible FAA rule changes: one that would establish noise standards for supersonic planes and another that would permit test flights of civilian aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound.

“We are finally, and quite literally, accelerating supersonic into the future,” wrote Samuel Hammond, of the libertarian Niskanen Center, about the new FAA direction.

Skeptics, however, doubt that people will tolerate even the quieter booms. They’re also unconvinced that travelers will pay a lot more just to shave a few hours off lengthy trips. And there are lingering concerns about fuel efficiency and emissions that doomed similar planes flown decades ago in the US, Soviet Union, England, and France.

The most famous attempt, the bent-nosed Concorde made by England and France in the 1970s, ended service in 2003 after decades of flights that rarely filled its 128 seats (at most), each passenger paying today’s equivalent of $12,700.

“Will it just be a quiet Concorde — fast but expensive?” aviation historian Janet Bednarek of the University of Dayton told BuzzFeed News by email. “Getting rid of the boom might be a first step in allowing supersonic flight over land, but generally people — especially people who move to suburbs or exurbs for the ‘quiet’ — are not very tolerant of noise.”

“I foresee great battles over where flight paths would be allowed,” she added.

The Galveston test will be a shorter, gentler version of a sonic boom experiment done five decades ago. On February 3, 1964, at 7 a.m., military jets began bombarding Oklahoma City with sonic booms. The acoustic assault went on for six months, eight times a day, preannounced at regular times. The booms grew in strength as the weeks passed, doubling in average force by July, when the government’s experiment on half a million people finally ended after 1,253 blasts.

“Bodies quivered, windows shattered, huge cracks appeared in ceilings,” noted a 2015 summary of the Oklahoma City project, organized by the FAA. “Babies cried; adults recoiled.” The booms led to more than 15,000 complaints and 10,000 damage claims, even though 70% of the population didn’t know where to direct them.

The experiment, meant to gauge the public’s acceptance of supersonic flights, found that rather than getting used to the booms, residents complained more over time. Members of the Chamber of Commerce and FAA faced death threats, and 27% of city residents surveyed said they would move rather than endure more booms.

“Oklahoma City was selected as a place supportive of the aviation industry, and people there still didn’t like sonic booms,” historian David Suisman of the University of Delaware told BuzzFeed News.

The results were a disaster for the US Supersonic Transport (SST) program, a 1960s bid to build a supersonic jetliner, changing sonic booms from a minor annoyance to the central objection to supersonic travel.

The FAA concluded that the public would accept quieter booms, like the ones deployed at the very beginning of the experiment, but a National Academy of Sciences panel soon concluded the opposite, warning they might cause car accidents, heart attacks, lost sleep, or people falling off ladders.

A sonic boom is not a sound wave, but a shock wave, an outburst of compressed energy created by an object traveling ahead of the sound waves it creates. (People inside the plane don’t hear the boom as they are literally out-flying it.) Shocks off the leading edges of a plane combine and trail behind it in a cone-shaped “carpet” about 50 miles wide. Rather than building up like the sounds of an oncoming jet, all of that sound energy is delivered at once in a startling boom.

“Anywhere there’s a bump that comes off the aircraft it’s going to create a shockwave,” Diebler of NASA said. What happens normally on a supersonic aircraft is all those little waves coalesce to lay down on the ground together at once, “so it sounds like a cannon going off,” he said.

After the Oklahoma City tests, environmental groups — such as the Citizens League Against the Sonic Boom (CLASB) and the Coalition Against the SST — sprung up to complain about the booms. This criticism fed into a broader environmental movement campaigning against noise pollution in cities.

In the late 1960s, for example, a new group called Friends of the Earth took up the supersonic boom as its primary cause, forming a coalition with both environment- and cost-conscious senators opposed to the SST.

“In those days, the staffers of both parties were young people worried about the environment, and over time they convinced their bosses to oppose it,” Charles Shurcliff, whose father, William, founded CLASB, told BuzzFeed News. William made a nationwide map of supersonic “bang zones” that was particularly effective at rousing opposition.

SST supporters, meanwhile, made arguments for the plane based on economic and national prestige, calling sonic booms “The Sound of Security” and arguing that mild ones posed little threat of damaging homes. The US Air Force even tested whether sonic booms could crack eggs in chicken coops or stop minks and turkeys from reproducing. (“Even under the most extraordinary circumstances, sonic booms from practical aircraft maneuvers do not pose a threat to avian eggs,” concludes one NASA report.)

No matter. The death knell for the SST and supersonic travel in the US came in by a then-rare filibuster in the US Senate (all the more unusual today for being bipartisan), that ended at 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve of 1970.

In 1973, the FAA banned passenger airlines from supersonic flights over the US. The decision was a landmark — and largely forgotten — victory for the early environmental movement, making “noise pollution” a real issue for airplane designers to contend with thereafter. It also knocked out 80% of the market for supersonic flights, according to a 1998 analysis by the late aviation economist R.E.G. Davies, which helped kill off the industry’s appetite for the Concorde.

The first rules about noise levels, instituted in the 1970s, limited planes to roughly 100 decibels overhead. The FAA’s current standard for noise is 65 decibels, averaged over a 24-hour period, long controversial among homeowners on flight paths, who have to listen to take-offs and landings as they happen, not spread out over a day. (In 2015, the agency said it was starting a study to reexamine this standard, with its release scheduled for 2017. It still hasn’t been released, and the agency did not reply to a request for a release date from BuzzFeed News.)

The rules only apply to subsonic flights. Newer rules instituted in the 1990s meant that newer planes like the Boeing 737 were about 10 decibels quieter than older planes flying overhead. Tightening of these rules has meant that instead of 7 million people “exposed to what is considered significant aircraft noise,” in 1975, today only about 314,000 are, according to the FAA. New 2018 rules call for another 7-decibel drop for future flights.

But for new supersonic models, like NASA’s X-59, “Any noise is an issue,” aviation historian Bednarek said. Even as aircraft have become quieter, noise complaints have continued, she noted. “In fact, one could argue that making aircraft quieter just lowered the threshold at which people would start to complain.”

NASA’s Corey Diebler and team test an X-59 model in a wind tunnel with smoke and lasers.

Lockheed Martin will build the X-59 in 2019, using a number of engineering tricks to spread out the shock waves and create a softer boom.

The main change is its pencil-like length and shape, which stretches out the distance between the nose and wing shocks. To allow for its pointy nose, the cockpit will lack a front window, instead relying on a camera for the down-slanted view of the runway over its long, pointy nose.

The jet also uses small fixed wings just behind the cockpit and “thump bumps” under its tail that will change the shape and direction of the supersonic shock waves coming off the aircraft’s back end in a way that spreads them out instead of letting them join up with the shocks coming off the front of the plane. The combination of wings, bumps, and length optimized for that speed, around 940 mph at an altitude of 55,000 feet (the cruising range of the plane), should deliver a sound “like distant thunder,” said NASA’s Diebler. “You might still hear a thud, but it shouldn’t be a sharp, intense noise.”

When built, the X-59’s sonic carpet will be only 15 to 20 miles wide instead of the 50 miles of the SST. But because a sonic boom travels behind an aircraft, the thump would not only hit people near the airport but would follow the entire flight path of the aircraft while it is supersonic.

“So the number of people subjected to this ‘thud’ or ‘thump’ would be much larger than those subjected to noise now in the vicinity of airports,” said Bednarek, the University of Dayton historian. “More people — more potential complainers.”

And the noise would happen in places where people are not accustomed to hearing any aircraft at all, she added.

NASA is building the X-59 to eventually spur commercial development of a 50- to 80-seat business jet, about the size of what Aerion, Spike, and Boom are proposing (though none of the three startups have yet built a prototype).

But sonic booms alone didn’t kill the SST and Concorde, business professor Mel Horwitch, author of Clipped Wings: The American SST Conflict, told BuzzFeed News. Rather, it was a combination of economic and environmental objections that actually killed the plane: The $260 million cost of the government program in 1970 alone was too much for US lawmakers.

In the aftermath of the SST’s demise, seen as a blow to US technological prowess, Boeing went on to make a killing on the subsonic 747, which could carry hundreds of passengers. Meanwhile, England and France squandered $2.3 billion on the Concorde, seen as a “commercial disaster” as early as 1977 when it carried only 70 passengers and cost three times as much as its subsonic competitors.

Those same economic problems may dog the new supersonic jets. Proponents point to market projections claiming hundreds of supersonic business jet sales in the decade after an overland flight ban is rescinded. Similar optimism accompanied the SST and the Concorde, however, which in the end supported a fleet of 20 planes.

Aerion touts flights from New York to Shanghai and Brisbane, but supersonic flights across the Pacific are pointless for business travelers, Davies noted in his 1998 analysis. The 12-hour difference in trans-Pacific time zones means business travelers from America and Europe would arrive in Asia either as their hosts are asleep or they themselves are ready to pass out. Better a subsonic flight and a night of sleep than trying to negotiate in Beijing at what feels like 1 a.m., he argued. (Aerion declined to answer questions about its business model from BuzzFeed News.)

Newer passenger jets have actually gotten a bit slower in recent decades, as the price of fuel has risen and airlines chased efficiency and cleaner emissions. All of the startups aiming to fly supersonic in the next decade have touted low emissions as a goal, but it simply takes more fuel to go faster, raising critical questions: An analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation suggests the proposed supersonic business jets would emit 40% more nitrous oxide and 70% more carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas driving global warming, than subsonic ones. That’s because they burn about five to seven times as much fuel per passenger, compared to subsonic flights.

Boom is looking at creating a 55-passenger plane, aiming at business travelers (which account for only about 5.3% of all non–economy class air travelers, according to the International Air Transport Association).

But Aerion and Spike are hoping to attract mega-wealthy flyers, with proposed 8- to 12-seat and 18-seat designs, respectively. The notion of plutocrats traveling at supersonic speeds overhead while the 99% travel slower might chafe, but from an environmental standpoint, that might be better, Suisman, of the University of Delaware, said. “A few business jets are going to release a lot fewer emissions than fleets of large supersonic passengers planes,” he said.

And 2023, when the X-59 is scheduled for flight tests over US cities and the FAA aims to reexamine its supersonic ban, might be a very different environment for worries about the effect of airplane emissions on the climate, compared to today’s FAA run by the climate-heedless Trump administration.

“I do wonder if this is technology that we will want in the next few years, with concerns about climate change and each person’s carbon footprint becoming more prominent,” Horwitch said. He was calling Washington, DC, from Budapest on FaceTime to make that comment, he noted, and the internet is only going to get better at making such connections in five years. ●

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/danvergano/supersonic-planes-nasa-sound-experiment

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London City airport to introduce £600 fines for the noisiest planes breaching noise limits

London City Airport is going to fine airlines £600 each for breaching noise limits, after a surge in complaints from residents (due to the concentrated flight paths that started in February 2016).  It has started a “penalty and incentive” scheme for planes breaching its rules, and will name and shame them online. The noise is now concentrated, as planes try to cut fuel use, to save money; therefore the same people get overflown all the time, creating highly unpleasant noise pollution. Many residents, from Leyton to Lewisham, have complained about the noise since the changes. This new charging emerged at a hearing at the London Assembly, when AMs questioned London City airport and Heathrow staff about the environmental impacts (noise, air pollution, carbon emissions) of their airports. Tessa Simpson, environment manager at City airport, told the Assembly yesterday: “We have set noise levels that are some of the most stringent in the country.”  They have to, as the airport is located in, and surrounded by, densely populated areas.  The money will go into a “community fund” to be “shared amongst community projects.”

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Tough new noise fines to hit flights at City Airport after surge in resident complaints

By SOPHIA SLEIGH  (Evening Standard)

9.11.2018

London City Airport is going to fine airlines for breaching noise limits after a surge in complaints from residents.

The airport, based in the Royal Docks, has launched a “penalty and incentive” scheme for planes breaching its rules, and will name and shame them online.

Bosses revealed the airport had seen a spike in complaints since launching concentrated flight paths in February 2016. The paths were changed after new air traffic control technology was brought in to cut carbon emissions — flights follow streamlined routes to burn less fuel.

Hundreds of residents, from Leyton to Lewisham, have complained that the changes caused an increase in noise pollution, so the airport is now fining airlines £600 per rule-breaking flight.

Tessa Simpson, environment manager at the airport, told the London Assembly yesterday: “We have set noise levels that are some of the most stringent in the country. If they exceed those, we fine them a certain amount.

“That money then gets put into a community fund and that’s shared amongst community projects.” The airport is restricted by planning laws as to when it can operate, including an eight-hour closure overnight. Planes also have to fly in at a specific angle to minimise noise impact.

Liam McKay, director of corporate affairs, said the community fund would launch in a few weeks and be given to groups living under the flight paths.

Asked if there had been an increase in complaints following the introduction of the concentrated flight paths, he said: “In 2016 it’s fair to say that complaints spiked. I believe last year we had less than one noise complaint per day.

“We finished on around 320 noise complaints and [in the] year to date I think we’re tracking 390 — so an increase. But for context I believe there is a number from a single resident.”

He added that the airport was “determined to minimise the effects of our operation on local communities”.

Jennette Arnold, Assembly Member for Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest, said residents had “constant” noise, adding: “When you talk about one or two persistent complainants they have every right to be persistent.”

Caroline Russell, chairwoman of the Environment Committee, said: “People are getting desperate because of a lack of sleep.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/tough-new-noise-fines-to-hit-flights-at-city-airport-after-surge-in-resident-complaints-a3985591.html

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There does not appear to be anything on the airport’s website about these £600 fines.

https://www.londoncityairport.com/corporate     

It is not easy to work out just what constitutes a breach that will be fined. The London City Airport noise pages are at  https://www.londoncityairport.com/corporate/Environment/Noise

There is information at

https://www.londoncityairport.com/media-centre/gbp30-000-in-grants

about £30,000 spent earlier by the airport, through its “30th Anniversary Community Sponsorship Fund”,  in 2017.

Most airports have these sorts of funds, for money obtained from planes that break noise limits. The noise rarely (if ever) goes to those troubled, angered and upset by the plane noise.   Details of the Heathrow one here. 

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See earlier:

London City Airport sets record as tourists boost numbers

By JOANNA BOURKE (Evening Standard)
Tuesday 27 March 2018

London City Airport had its busiest week ever as the Docklands hub, traditionally a favourite for business flyers, was boosted by increasing numbers of holidaymakers.

A total of 101,336 customers either departed from or arrived at the Square Mile’s favourite airport in the week to 25 March, on 1,525 flights.

That is 2% higher than the previous record set in 2016.

In addition, last Thursday the company recorded its best-ever day, when 18,607 people came through the doors.

The 31-year-old airport was boosted by strong performances from British Airways and Flybe. Popular destinations included Amsterdam, Dublin and Edinburgh.

Chief executive Robert Sinclair said it was benefiting from more holidaymakers using it. Traditionally it has been a base for business flights as it is close to Canary Wharf.

The airport is expecting around 55,000 passengers to travel over the course of the Easter holiday weekend.

Sinclair said Brits were impressed by “industry-leading punctuality, ease of use and convenience”.

The latest performance will be welcome after recent disruptions hit flights, caused by the Beast from the East’s snow.

Last month some departures were cancelled after the discovery of an unexploded Second World War bomb in the Thames.

The airport, owned by a consortium of international investors, including Alberta Investment Management Corporation and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, is undergoing a £480 million revamp, to complete in 2022.

https://www.standard.co.uk/business/london-city-airport-sets-record-as-tourists-boost-numbers-a3800046.html

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Living near to a busy road or airport TRIPLES your risk of a heart attack and stroke because the noise triggers a harmful response in the body

More evidence – now from Massachusetts General hospital – is showing that living near to a noisy road or a busy flight path significantly increases risk of a heart attack or stroke. The added risk is in addition to risks of smoking and diabetes. It is thought that exposure to environmental noise alters the amygdala – a brain region involved in stress regulation and emotional responses.  This then promotes blood vessel inflammation, which can lead to cardiovascular problems. Those exposed to chronic noise, such as near an airport, showed  and a greater than three-fold risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke and other major cardiovascular event. People with the highest levels of noise exposure had higher levels of amygdala activity and more inflammation in their arteries. The study looked at 499 people, with an average age of 56 years old. None had cardiovascular illness or cancer. They all underwent simultaneous PET and CT scans of their brain and blood vessels. To gauge noise exposure, the researchers used participants’ home addresses government noise maps. The researchers say more research is needed to determine whether reduction in noise exposure could meaningfully lower cardiovascular risk and reduce the number of cardiovascular events on a population-wide scale.   
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Living near to a busy road or airport TRIPLES your risk of a heart attack and stroke because the noise triggers a harmful response in the body

  • Exposure to noise fuels activity in the brain region involved in stress response
  • Scientists have now warned the boosted odds remained for non-smokers
  • Researchers from Boston say this is despite other environmental risk factors

By VANESSA CHALMERS FOR MAIL ONLINE

5 November 2018

Living near to a noisy road or an airport triples your risk of a heart attack or stroke, research suggests.

Scientists warned the boosted odds also exist for non-smokers and people who don’t have diabetes – who already face a heightened risk.

Exposure to environmental noise drives a brain region involved in stress response, Massachusetts General Hospital experts say.

See   https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181105081749.htm

This then promotes blood vessel inflammation, which can lead to cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Those exposed to chronic noise, such as near an airport, showed more inflammation in their arteries, and a greater than three-fold risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke and other major cardiovascular events

Researchers led by Dr Azar Radfar used 499 people for the study. Participants had an average age of 56 years old in the study.

The findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions conference in Chicago today.

None of the participants had cardiovascular illness or cancer. They all underwent simultaneous PET and CT scans of their brain and blood vessels.

Using those images, the scientists assessed the activity of the amygdala – an area of the brain involved in stress regulation and emotional responses.

To gauge noise exposure, the researchers used participants’ home addresses and derived noise level estimates from the Department of Transportation’s Aviation and Highway Noise Map.

To capture cardiovascular risk, the researchers examined the participants’ medical records following the initial imaging studies.

Of the 499 participants, 40 experienced a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, in the five years following the initial testing.

People with the highest levels of noise exposure had higher levels of amygdala activity and more inflammation in their arteries.

Their risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke was greater than three-fold, compared with people who had lower levels of noise exposure.

That risk remained elevated even after the researchers accounted for other risk factors, including air pollution, high cholesterol, smoking and diabetes.

Additional analysis revealed that high levels of amygdalar activity appears to unleash a pathway that fuels cardiac risk by driving blood vessel inflammation, a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

‘A growing body of research reveals an association between ambient noise and cardiovascular disease, said Dr Radfar.

‘But the physiological mechanisms behind it have remained unclear.

‘We believe our findings offer an important insight into the biology behind this phenomenon.’

The results of the study offer much-needed insight into the biological mechanisms of the well-known, but poorly understood, interplay between cardiovascular disease and chronic noise exposure, researchers said.

They caution that more research is needed to determine whether reduction in noise exposure could meaningfully lower cardiovascular risk and reduce the number of cardiovascular events on a population-wide scale.

In the meantime, however, the new findings should propel clinicians to consider chronic exposure to high levels of ambient noise as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

‘Patients and their physicians should consider chronic noise exposure when assessing cardiovascular risk and may wish to take steps to minimize or mitigate such chronic exposure,’ Dr Radfar said.

Last month, research also linked traffic noise pollution to a higher risk of depression. Researchers warned that being regularly exposed to more than 65 decibels, which is quieter than a lorry, can increase a persons risk by two thirds.

 

HOW NOISE POLLUTION AFFECTS HEALTH

Noise can not only cause annoyance, but it can interfere with sleep, damage hearing and put people’s health at serious risk.

The World Health Organisation recommends a guideline level of 30 dB LAeq for undisturbed sleep, and a daytime level for outdoor sound levels of 50dB to prevent people from becoming ‘moderately annoyed’.

Physiological effects of exposure to noise include constriction of blood vessels, tightening of muscles, increased heart rate and blood pressure and changes in stomach and abdomen movement.

A number of reports have made direct links between transport noise and cardiac health:

A study by Barts and the London School of Medicine in 2015, found that people surrounded by daytime traffic noise louder than 60db were 4 per cent more likely to die than those where noise levels were 55db – roughly the level of a loud conversation.

In the first study of its kind, researchers in Denmark in 2011 found that for every ten decibels more noise, the risk of a stroke increased by 14 per cent. The risk increased by 27 per cent for those aged 65 and over.

Research published this year that tracked thousands of people living in Amsterdam over a four year period, found that being exposed to traffic noise over 70 decibels (db) were 65% more at risk of depression.

The World Health Organization has calculated that at least 1m healthy life-years are lost every year in western European countries because of environmental noise.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6355039/Living-near-noisy-road-airport-increases-risk-heart-attack-stroke-THREE-TIMES.html

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Edinburgh Airport flight path plan rejected by CAA, as it was not the same as in the consultation

A deeply unpopular plan to change a flight path at Edinburgh Airport has been rejected by the CAA. The proposed changes would have seen aircraft flying to the west of Cramond and along the Firth of Forth. The CAA said it could not approve the proposal due to “significant” differences between the final plan and the version developed in consultation with local communities. Had the correct information been in the consultation, it could have made people respond differently to the questions asked. It was the second set of plans submitted to the CAA after the industry regulator told Edinburgh Airport to do more work on the original proposal. Helena Paul, of Edinburgh Airport Watch, said: “On behalf of communities affected by these damaging proposals we are highly relieved the CAA have looked carefully and agreed the process was fatally flawed and could not be allowed to stand. Our hope now is the regulator does not allow Edinburgh Airport to continue using an outdated set of rules for any future consultations and instead enforces the new set of rules brought in for any consultations on new flight paths.”  Further consultation would be necessary.  The airport said modernising the airspace was necessary for growth.

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Edinburgh Airport flight path plan rejected by watchdog

  • 29 October 2018 (BBC)
A controversial plan to change a flight path at Edinburgh Airport has been rejected by the aviation watchdog.

The proposed changes would have seen aircraft flying to the west of Cramond and along the Firth of Forth.

The Civil Aviation Authority said it could not approve the proposal due to “significant” differences between the final plan and the version developed in consultation with local communities.

The airport said modernising the airspace was necessary for growth.

An Edinburgh Airport spokesman said it was disappointed with the CAA’s decision, adding it would restart the consultation process with a view to delivering the changes as soon as possible.

Locals opposed to the plan said they were “highly relieved” by the decision.

It was the second set of plans submitted to the CAA after the industry regulator told Edinburgh Airport to do more work on the original proposal.

Edinburgh Airport said the airport’s airspace was designed in the 1970s when it had about one million passengers per year – it now deals with 13.4 million passengers per year with flights to more than 150 destinations.

Helena Paul, of Edinburgh Airport Watch, said: “On behalf of communities affected by these damaging proposals we are highly relieved the CAA have looked carefully and agreed the process was fatally flawed and could not be allowed to stand.

“Our hope now is the regulator does not allow Edinburgh Airport to continue using an outdated set of rules for any future consultations and instead enforces the new set of rules brought in for any consultations on new flight paths.”

A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman, said: “When considering proposals to change the design of UK airspace, the CAA decides whether or not the ‘change sponsor’ (in this case Edinburgh Airport) has acted reasonably in meeting the needs of those affected, including local communities.

“The airport has, in many respects, engaged extensively with communities during the consultation process.

“However, the differences between the proposal developed in consultation with local communities and the final proposal submitted to the CAA are too significant. Therefore, the CAA will not approve the proposal.”

Air travel growth

Gordon Robertson, Edinburgh Airport’s director of communications, said: “We are disappointed with the CAA’s decision as we believe that it is important that airspace change is addressed for Scotland, allowing the country to continue to benefit from growth in air travel.

“We note the CAA has based its decision on a view that we submitted a proposal which does not accord with the material that was provided to stakeholders in consultation, which in the CAA’s opinion could have made people respond differently to the questions asked.

“Specifically, the CAA has noted that by the time the proposal was made, there had been further amendments to the projected levels of traffic for some of the routes that meant further consultation was necessary.

“Although we believe that we have gone above and beyond the required procedures to ensure that we have fully consulted with and involved our communities, we accept the decision and will recommence the consultation process and undertake the necessary work to support this.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-46022204#

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Edinburgh Airport is set to press on with introducing a new controversial flight path route, despite widespread public objection.

Edinburgh Airport is set to press on with introducing a new controversial flight path route, despite widespread public objection. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) put the airport’s initial submission on pause in September last year and asked bosses to review part of the design. A fresh proposal has now been resubmitted to the CAA, with aircraft to fly towards the west of Cramond and along the Firth of Forth under the plan. The airport carried out a consultation on the changes to its initial proposal between May and June, with 89% of the 1,167 participating against the flight path. Airport chiefs say the route will allow the airport to be more flexible with flights while building increased capacity for future growth. Campaigners argue the airport has failed to consider other viable flight path alternatives, as well as the impact the new route will have on the environment and residents’ wellbeing. Helena Paul, from Edinburgh Airport Watch, has urged the CAA to reject the new proposals, insisting the airport needs to scrap the plans and start again, taking proper account of the responses to the consultation by people who will be seriously negatively affected.

Click here to view full story…

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CAA rejects Edinburgh Airport’s application for flight path change due to “Technical and Coordination” issues

Edinburgh airport’s planned new flight path has been put on hold after the CAA announced it was halting the process.  The CAA’s decision – which is very unusual – is understood to relate to technical aspects of the proposal, as well as a delay in receiving elements of the submission. It is not yet clear what this means for local communities that are affected by the airport and its noise, but the CAA decision is welcomed by local noise campaigners. This was the first Airspace Change proposal, by Edinburgh airport, which anticipates many more. Local group, Edinburgh Airport Watch (EAW) said that during the 2 year consultation process, multiple flaws and errors by the airport were identified at every stage. It remains to be seen whether the CAA will require a new application by Edinburgh airport to be determined under the CAA’s new rules for Airspace Change, rather than the old ones.  Many people under newly concentrated flight paths have been experiencing much worse plane noise, in the past few years.  EAW says the airport now has fewer aircraft movements than 10 years ago, and new routes are not needed. They want the airport to “learn from their past mistakes, and start a proper, meaningful and respectful dialogue with Communities that leads to substantial improvements.”

Click here to view full story…

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Error in Gatwick Route 4 flight track-keeping figures undermines trust in airport

Local group, Plane Wrong, says Gatwick Airport have always maintained they are ‘good neighbours’ but it is becoming increasingly clear that – as a commercial enterprise – Gatwick have their own agenda and are single minded about achieving their growth and bottom line profit. Gatwick have been reporting that Route 4, the busiest departure route out of the airport to the west, heading north and then east, has significantly improved its track-keeping throughout 2018. The experiences of local supporters of campaign group, Plane Wrong, have suggested the contrary and that Gatwick’s figures on track-keeping are wrong.  In fact, since January 2018 Gatwick has mis-calculated the percentage of aircraft flying outside the designated route. They have now admitted that instead of the 1-2% claimed and published on their website, the actual level of non-compliance was up to 8%. It is also a concern that Gatwick’s noise and track-keeping monitoring group, NATMAG, failed to pick this up. In the past 4 years, the number of passengers using Gatwick has risen by about 25%, but there has been no consultation or no account taken of the impact on the health and well-being of local communities.

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Error in Gatwick flight figures undermines trust in airport

By Plane Wrong,
Oct 27 2018

Gatwick Airport have always maintained they are ‘good neighbours’ but it is becoming increasingly clear that as a commercial enterprise Gatwick have their own agenda and are single minded about achieving their growth and bottom line profit. Gatwick have been reporting that route 4, the busiest departure route out of the airport, has significantly improved its track-keeping throughout 2018. The experiences of local supporters of campaign group, Plane Wrong, have suggested the contrary.

Plane Wrong chair, Mike Ward, on analysing the data provided by Gatwick chiefs, identified a huge flaw in the reporting. In a letter to Gatwick he states the following, ‘I have finally answered my own question as to why the Route 4 performance figures are looking so much better than previously. The answer is simple. They are wrong.

It has now come to light that from January 2018 Gatwick has mis-calculated the percentage of aircraft flying outside the designated route. They have now admitted that instead of the 1-2% claimed and published on their website, the actual level of non-compliance was up to 8%.

This brings to light a broader question, the fact that such a basic error has gone undetected for eight months speaks volumes about the inadequacy of Gatwick’s controls and the low priority Gatwick apparently give to providing the public with reliable information. Not only is this a failing of Gatwick, the noise and track-keeping monitoring group, NATMAG, also failed to pick this up.

This demonstrates a business that has total disregard for local communities and the effect of air traffic growth on local surroundings, environment and noise pollution. The increase in volume of passengers departing from Gatwick in the past 4 years has grown in the region of 25% without consultation or taking into account the impact on local communities, health and well-being.

National media report that Gatwick are working on a ‘stealth’ second runway, which they have carefully kept under wraps. If Gatwick cannot keep control of their aircraft on just one route currently, how can communities trust them to run one of the largest airports in the south east?

http://www.planewrong.co.uk/news/4587404075/Error-in-Gatwick-flight-figures-undermines-trust-in-airport/11336152

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New map reveals – Slough and Windsor will be at the heart of pollution caused by Heathrow expansion

Slough Borough Council has been told it must protect its residents after it was revealed the town would be right in the epicentre of increased noise and air pollution, if a 3rd Heathrow runway is built.  The CAA map shows that Slough and Windsor will be at the heart of increased pollution, and community groups are very upset. The Colnbrook Community Association (CCA) said it was time for Slough Borough Council to ‘wake up and protect our residents’ following the publication. Slough Borough Council does not criticise Heathrow, as it hopes to get some benefits from the expansion, if it never complains. The Council says:  “We have been vigorously defending the local community not least in our cabinet discussions about road diversions through Colnbrook and securing a green envelope around Colnbrook.”  The quality of life for many residents will be diminished by the 3rd runway, regardless of some businesses making more money. CCA said: “The trouble is that gullible Local Authorities, Councillors, MP’s and media peeps swallow this misinformation and accept it as truth. Residents know it’s fake news; Heathrow’s PR knows it’s fake news (they make it up); media knows its fake news – but it doesn’t make headlines.”

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New map reveals – Slough and Windsor will be at the heart of pollution caused by Heathrow expansion

By Ryan GrayJunior Reporter
6th October

Heathrow expansion – Slough and Windsor could bear the brunt

Slough Borough Council has been told it must protect its residents after it was revealed the town would be right in the epicentre of increased noise and air pollution, following the Heathrow expansion.
A map, published earlier this month by the Civil Aviation Authority, shows that Slough and Windsor will be at the heart of increased pollution after the third runway’s completion, leading to criticism from community groups.

The Colnbrook Community Association said it was time for Slough Borough Council to ‘wake up and protect our residents’ following the publication.

Slough Borough Council responded to the criticism, saying they have been ‘vigorously defending’ the interests of their residents.

Leader of the coucil, James Swindlehurst, said: “Airspace consultation is independent of expansion at Heathrow and modernisation of airspace around the airport is already underway with Heathrow experimenting with new procedures for aircraft landing to try and reduce noise for those living under or nearby the flightpath.

“The principle of the ratio of planes flying over urban or rural areas is extremely important and Slough Borough Council will be responding to this consultation.

“We have been vigorously defending the local community not least in our cabinet discussions about road diversions through Colnbrook and securing a green envelope around Colnbrook.

“I continue to hold regular meetings with senior Heathrow officials where I will continue to put the concerns residents have raised me at the front of my discussions.”

Slough recently hosted a Heathrow summit in the town, where business owners and Heathrow executives spoke of the potential benefits the airport could bring to the town, but the Colnbrook Community Association criticised the council on Twitter and said their support for the third runway “will increase noise pollution throughout Slough. You must reconsider your support”.

They also accused the council of ‘swallowing fake news’ from Heathrow’s public relations team, saying: “The trouble is that gullible Local Authorities, Councillors, MP’s and media peps swallow this misinformation and accept it as truth. Residents know it’s fake news; Heathrow’s PR knows it’s fake news (they make it up); media knows its fake news – but it doesn’t make headlines.”

https://www.sloughobserver.co.uk/news/17008160.new-map-reveals-slough-and-windsor-will-be-at-the-heart-of-pollution-caused-by-heathrow-extension/?ref=twtrec

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See earlier:

Slough council critical of damage to borough from Heathrow revised plans for runway

Slough Borough Council, which is supportive of a 3rd runway, even though the borough is very close to Heathrow, have now criticised plans in the airport’s initial consultation.  They say a local school, homes and businesses will have to be demolished under revised plans for the expansion. Slough Borough Council said Pippins School in Colnbrook would be closer to the runway than previously thought. They also fear changes to the M25 would also affect a local trading estate, and lead to increased congestion and pollution. Slough fear that raising the runway above ground level as it crosses the M25 could have “serious impacts” on Pippins School and nearby homes because of “worsening noise and air pollution”. The school and nearby houses would be likely to be part of a compulsory purchase order, so Slough needs Heathrow to pay to rebuild the school at another, more suitable, location. The leader of Slough council, James Swindlehurst, said they were objecting to the wider proposals in the hope of “shaping the ideas” Heathrow were producing. Diverting the M25 by 150 metres to the west, he claimed, could involve the loss of homes at Elbow Meadow and buildings on the Galleymead Trading Estate in Colnbrook.  In the past, Slough signed a gagging order with Heathrow, preventing it complaining about the runway plans, in order for anticipated benefits from the airport once a runway was built.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/03/slough-council-critical-of-damage-to-borough-from-heathrow-revised-plans-for-runway/

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Slough invites comment on its air pollution strategy – but gagging agreement prevents much mention of Heathrow …

Slough residents are being asked for their views on the draft Slough Low Emission Strategy (LES). Slough has high levels of air pollution that affect the health of residents. While several factors contribute to the borough’s air quality, the emissions from road transport vehicles are the most significant source – and much of this traffic is Heathrow-related. The strategy says it “recognises the challenges and opportunities that may arise from the construction of a 3rd runway at Heathrow.” The Slough council draft LES supports its new transport strategy and forms part of the Slough Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP). It lays out an integrated, year on year plan to improve air quality up to 2025, “reducing vehicle emissions by accelerating the uptake of cleaner fuels and technologies.”  The Slough Cabinet member for environment and leisure, said: “The health and wellbeing of our residents and the people who visit and work in Slough is paramount ….”  The strategy says it will “Link and compliment with a potential Ultra-Low Emission Zone at Heathrow.” Slough signed an agreement with Heathrow in mid 2015, to get benefits from a runway, provided they always back the runway. “1.5  Slough Council’s Cabinet commits to publicly support the expansion of Heathrow Airport with immediate effect and until Heathrow is granted the DCO. ” The council does not dare to complain!

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/11/slough-invites-comment-on-its-air-pollution-strategy-but-gagging-order-prevents-much-mention-of-heathrow/

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Slough Council secret deal with Heathrow includes gagging order, making it impotent in fighting for a better deal from Heathrow for 3 – 4 years

Residents of Colnbrook, close to Heathrow and due to be badly affected by a 3rd runway, submitted a FoI request to get the details for the secret, but legally binding, deal done between Slough Borough Council and Heathrow airport. The details of the deal are worrying. As well as finding out that Colnbrook, and help for the residents, do not feature in the deal, it has emerged that  Slough Council has accepted what amounts to a self-imposed gagging order, unable to criticise Heathrow for the next 3 to 4 years,until Heathrow is granted a Development Consent Order (DCO).  As well as a boost for investment in the town and improved access from central Slough to the airport, the secret agreement sees Heathrow commit to supporting the Council’s representations to Government to seek compensation for lost business rates, put by the council itself at up to £10 million earlier this year.  In return, however, Cabinet is legally bound to giving public support for the airport until final permission, is granted.  A Development Consent Order is at least three years away, possibly four.  Residents expected that their council would have argued for “world class” compensation and mitigation.  
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This states:  
“1.5 Slough Council’s Cabinet commits to publicly support the expansion of Heathrow Airport with immediate effect and until Heathrow is granted the DCO.”

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Anger and despair in local communities as CAA backs London City airport flight path changes

Local residents in the East London area reacted with fury to the report published by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which backed the controversial changes London City Airport made to its flight paths two years ago.  In 2016 the airport narrowed all its flights paths, so they became more concentrated.  It resulted in a fourfold increase in complaints as people under these new concentrated flight paths experienced many more planes than before.  The new CAA report recommends that the concentrated flight paths remain in place. The new flight paths are not producing the fuel and CO2 savings that were expected, and plans are not flying the exact routes, but the CAA still approved them.  John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, the campaign body which gives a voice to residents experiencing the noise, said, “There is anger and despair that the CAA has backed the concentrated flight paths.  Many people hoped that today’s report would end two years of misery and they would be able to get their lives back.  This decision is a cruel blow for them.”

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Anger and despair in local communities as CAA backs London City airport flight path changes

23rd October 2018 (HACAN East press release)

Local residents reacted with fury to the report (1) published today by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which backed the controversial changes London City Airport made to its flight paths two years ago.  In 2016 the airport narrowed all its flights paths.  It resulted in a fourfold increase in complaints as people under these new concentrated flight paths experienced many more planes than before.

Today’s report from the CAA assesses the changes that were made.  It has recommended that the concentrated flight paths remain in place.

The report did ask London City to look into why the fuel and CO2 savings from the new flight paths were less than predicted.  It asked the airport to explain why the aircraft were flying slightly off the predicted routes.  But the CAA felt the variations were negligible as far as noise was concerned and backed the new concentrated routes.

John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, the campaign body which gives a voice to residents experiencing the noise, said, “There is anger and despair that the CAA has backed the concentrated flight paths.  Many people hoped that today’s report would end two years of misery and they would be able to get their lives back.  This decision is a cruel blow for them.”

Stewart added, “This will not be the end of the matter.  We had support from a wide range of politicians in calling for an end to concentration.  These included the Mayor of London, leading members of the Greater London Authority and lots of local councillors.  We will be liaising with them about next steps.”

The flight paths were concentrated in 2016 after minimal consultation.  Subsequently the CAA introduced more rigorous consultation procedures but they came in too late for the London City changes.

Over the next few years flight paths will be altered at most of the UK’s airports.  The changes are driven by new technology. Ground-based technology is being replaced by satellite systems to guide aircraft as they land and depart.  It means that planes can be steered along more precise flight paths, saving fuel, cutting climate emissions and reducing delays at airports.

This results in more concentrated flight paths but it also allows the airport more scope to create a number of concentrated flight paths which could be rotated to give residents some respite from the noise.  This is what residents have been calling for.

ENDS

 

Notes for editors:

 (1). CAA report:

https://www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-industry/Airspace/Airspace-change/Reviews/LAMP-phase-1A-PIR/.

For further information:

John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650

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See earlier:

 

London City Airport may seek permission for more flights – up from its current cap of 111,000 per year

London City Airport is considering an application to raise limits on flights and passenger numbers, its boss has revealed. Chief executive Robert Sinclair believes the airport will approach existing caps on its operations in the next 3 – 4 years. London City Airport is trying to make out it is vital, in the years before Heathrow gets a 3rd runway (if it ever does, which is still fairly unlikely …) Sinclair said: “In the fullness of the next year or two we will be reflecting on the future and life beyond our current planning caps… We will be considering the potential options, which could include raising the caps.” The current limit is 6.5 million passengers and 111,000 flights per year. Annual passenger numbers have grown by 50% since 2012 and might be over 5 million next year. Annual air traffic movements currently stand at around 80,000.  Any bid to increase operational caps would be made to Newham Council. John Stewart, chairman of campaign group Hacan East, said: “Local residents would fight tooth and nail any attempt by London City to raise its limits on flights and passengers.  Many of them feel their lives are already blighted by planes from the airport.”

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London City airport – Noise Action Plan Consultation (ends 5th Sept) for next 5 years, 2018 – 2023

London City airport is now updating its 2013 – 2018 Noise Action Plan (NAP). The new plan will cover the next 5 years, 2018 – 2023. The airport has a consultation that runs from 25th July to 5th September. People can comment on the current plan, and say what they think should be changed.  The draft plan is at Noise Action Plan 2018-2023.  “The main purpose of the NAP is to establish the noise impact of the airport in order to consider whether the current noise management measures are sufficient to protect the local community adequately, particularly those worst affected. In order to demonstrate this LCY’s noise impact has been assessed by qualified independent consultants and is documented in Appendix A.” …  The airport has a limit of 120,000 permitted aircraft movements per annum, based upon noise factored aircraft movements.  For 2013, London City Airport had a total of 77,377 noise factored movements (based on 73,642 aircraft movements).

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