Balsall Common and nearby villages to petition Sec of State to get unpopular Birmingham flight path trial reviewed

After the opening of the Birmingham airport runway extension on 1st May, the airport has been doing a “trial” of a new flight path. This will last for 6 months, till the end of October. The effect of this trial is to create a lot of aircraft noise over villages, Balsall Common in particular. Now the local group, the “Balsall Common Airport Action group” has organised a petition to the Secretary of State, asking that the proposed flight path changes should be reviewed, in view of the sharp increase in noise nuisance to the communities living at the southerly end of the extended runway and the failure of the trial to ensure aircraft follow the new flight path options accurately.  They are organising a protest on 5th July, and they will be going door to door, in the affected villages, gathering support and getting signatures for their petition. Local MP Caroline Spelman is backing the petition, as well as local politicians. People feel their complaints and constructive suggestions have been ignored, and that Paul Kehoe is wholly dismissive of residents’ views.  “It’s all about the money and business profits,” residents claim. 


An urgent Airport Petition against new flight paths and noise nuisance from Birmingham Airport.


MPs and Mayors join the fight against the new Birmingham Airport flight-paths

 3.7.2014  (Solihull Village residents)

MP Caroline Spelman, local councillors and ex Mayors are petitioning the Secretary of State regarding the unanticipated noise-nuisance from Birmingham Airport’s new proposed flight paths over once peaceful villages.

There is an official Petition … being taken by Caroline Spelman MP …. to Parliament  next week.

On Saturday July 5th residents and villagers, councillors and ex mayors, petitioning will gather outside Balsall Common Co-op shop and the newsagent One Stop in the village all day, from 8am to 7pm.

They will be walking the roads, making the rounds of local villagers in and about Balsall Common, and going door to door with their petition to save their communities and their children’s future.  The protest and the petition has been organised by the “Balsall Common Airport Action group’.

The petition was initiated by the village of Hampton in Arden, close neighbours of Balsall Common – and the “Balsall Common Airport Action group’ has been delighted to support.

Ballsall Common is the worst affected village, with first the threat of the HS2 line, which will rip through the village, with high speed trains creating a lot of noise – and they now also have the threat of increased aircraft noise too..

The flight path issue affects Hampton in Arden, Balsall common, Eastcote and other neighbouring villages.

Because of the immense noise increase and very low flying aircraft that residents have been subjected to, an urgent Airport Meeting has been set up and is taking place on Wednesday July 16 at 7pm at the secondary school, Heart of England, Balsall Common.

Many residents now view the Chief Exec of Birmingham airport, Paul Kehoe,  as a destroyer of communities, who during his airport career at various airports has left outrage in his wake.

This “action by the people for the people” – being carried out in the affected villages – is taking place after a heated meeting with the Airport on 21st June. This demonstrated the extent of the immense noise-nuisance and the pollution that has been created by the new flight paths proposed by Birmingham Airport… against the wishes of many residents.

People feel the chief executive and his staff were ‘defensive’ and aggressive at the last meeting in Hampton in Arden on the 21 June. Some residents almost came to fisticuffs in their frustration.

At the meeting on 21st June, local communities were appalled when only 3 junior staff arrived to answer the questions of over 100 residents, who were angry due to the flight-trials launched since May.

Mr Kehoe, the chief executive of the airport, has been viewed as instrumental in destroying communities in Luton and Bristol and has given the impression in his previous airport posts of being wholly dismissive of residents’ views when people from local communities have attempted to approach him.

“It’s all about the money and business profits,” residents claim. They are shocked at the underhand tactics that have been employed, as well as by the unanticipated roar of jet noise over their houses and schools, day and night.

The Airport Consultation is now being regarded as ‘unethical’ and dictatorial, as resident’s full, true views appear to be shut-out from the consultation, and people believe this flies in the face of democracy.

The noisy flight path trials began in May and will run for 6 unpleasant months, over villagers’ heads. The Civil Aviation Authority will make the final decision. More on the flight path trials from the airport’s website (see below).

But thousands of complaints sent to the Airport have been diverted and will not be shown to the CAA and decision panels. Many distraught and sleepless residents who claim their properties have been blighted, their lives destroyed, their sleep and health affected by the jet noise say they have had  letters saying their complaints will not be considered. There have been hundreds of worried complaints to the airport in recent months.

A recent article in a Solihull paper (Observer), showed anger of a Hampton in Arden councillor, Alison Rolf, about dubious tactics being used by the airport and their failure to fully advise residents of its activities.

Some say it is the end of village life in their villages.  Many want compensation or reduction in council tax, as the aircraft noise overhead means this is not the peaceful lifestyle they agreed to when moving into Solihull villages.

Low-flying, worryingly off-course, aircraft shooting over their gardens at all hours have ruined the summer for many in the villages: some are keeping doors and windows sealed shut due to thunderous noise-nuisance of the planes overhead. That is difficult and unpleasant in summer.

The Solihull MB Council has been criticised by residents as they were implicit in allowing this community destruction and agreeing to the runway extensions.

One very busy flight path roars roughshod over two of the Balsall Common village schools. The council is seen to have failed to defend its villages.  Many claim this is because the council have a interest/stake in the airport themselves.

The petition by the Solihull village residents is in protest to the increase in noise-nuisance and the lifestyle change that have been forced on them by the airport – whether they like it or not.


Dave Ellis is  spearheading the “Balsall Common Airport Action group’

He can be contacted at

Also Caroline Spelman MP

David Bell ex Mayor Solihull
Ex mayor David Bell will also be going door to door  with the  petition on 5th July.


For more information contact


Petition is below………

Public petitions to the House of Commons.

July 2014

“We wish to bring to the attention of the Secretary of State that local communities in the vicinity of Birmingham Airport Runway 15 have been significantly affected by the noise and disturbance of aircraft flying departure routes established by Birmingham Airport Ltd (BAL) as part of their air space change proposal.

BAL is conducting trial flights in relation to their preferred route options as submitted to the CAA (Options 5 & 6 of BAL’s proposal).

During the public consultation process the community raised significant concerns about the loss of the existing Noise Preferential Route (NPR), and accurately predicted a significant increase in noise disturbance.

Members of the community made detailed submissions to BAL highlighting how a departure that included a turn at altitude could closely replicate the existing Noise Preferential Route and accommodate the extended runway. This is an option that gained a great deal of community support but was rejected by BAL without any meaningful qualification.

Additionally the CAA has confirmed that two of the departure routes from Runway 15 are not producing the intended flight paths.

We should also like to bring to the Secretary of State’s attention that BAL has no mechanism for gathering community feedback on the trial routes being flown.  Given that a technically valid alternative exists, which would substantially accommodate the noise preferential routing, but was not included in BAL’s submission to the CAA, we have no other recourse but to submit this petition to The Honourable House of Commons.

Wherefore your petitioners pray that your honourable House urgently review the proposed flight path changes at Birmingham Airport in view of the sharp increase in noise nuisance to the communities living at the southerly end of the extended runway and the failure of the trial to ensure aircraft follow the new flight path options accurately and to explore an alternative option which was previously submitted to BAL by the community itself and which would substantially minimise noise nuisance.


 Birmingham airport flight path trials (May – Oct 2014)                   .


The airport will be doing alternating month trials of two slightly different flight paths for take-offs to the south, arrived at after their consultation in 2013. Members of the public should tell the airport if they are not happy with the trials, though the consultation period is over.

Maps of the two options       

Deciding between Options


Flight path trial

The Birmingham airport website says, of its flight path trial:

Changes to Standard Instrument Departure procedures (SIDs) for Runway 15.

Birmingham Airport is running a six month airspace change trial to monitor and obtain further information in a live environment to support its existing Airspace Change Process.

The Airspace Change Process will lead to a new departure flight path to the south of the Airport as a result of the runway extension development. The trial will help to understand the actual impact of two viable flight paths – known locally as Option 5 and Option 6 – rather than theoretical modeling and provide a real life case study to support the submission.

The two options, Option 5 and Option 6, are alternated month by month, between May and October.  Link 

Birmingham airport says it prefers Option 5 over Option 6.

Birmingham option 5

A map of the two trial routes can be found here.


From Caroline Spelman’s website.

Caroline Spelman is MP for the Meriden constituency.

Airspace Change Proposal – update

As many of you will be aware, Birmingham Airport has been working on an Airspace Change Proposal related to flight paths south of the airport, since summer 2012.  I know that there has been a great deal of concern in the Meriden constituency about the changes that are expected to take place and the impact that these will have on the community.

Birmingham Airport has announced that it will be implementing a trial of two alternative flight paths from April 2014 (Option 5 and Option 6), as part of its Airspace Change Proposal.  Birmingham Airport’s preferred option is Option 5.  Maps of the two proposed routes can be found by following this link:

The trials will last for seven months and are intended to provide Birmingham Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with a clearer image of the feasibility and consequences of adopting either of these new routes.  These will enable us to see what the actual impact is likely to be rather than just theoretical modelling.  I have been told by Birmingham Airport that further details will be provided to affected communities closer to the start date of the trial.  Please do record and give any feedback to the CAA once the trials have begun.

I have repeatedly been informed by Birmingham Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority that there have not yet been any changes to Birmingham’s departure procedure, although I know there have been widespread concerns amongst residents that changes have already taken place.  As soon as constituents tell me their concerns, I take them up with Birmingham Airport and they assure me that every noise complaint made to the airport is investigated fully.

I know that the proposed changes could have a significant impact on many individuals, and so I continue to keep in regular communication with both Birmingham Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority.  I am determined to do all that I can to ensure the best outcome for residents.





See also

Birmingham Airport 6-month flight path trials – due to runway extension – to begin in May

April 11, 2014

It has been confirmed that controversial ‘alternative flight plans’ proposed by Birmingham Airport are to be trialled from May, for 6 months. Birmingham Airport has been developing an Airspace Change Proposal, required for a change to departure flight paths to the south of the Airport due to the runway extension. After considering two viable options in detail – and following extensive public consultations – the airport submitted its preferred route, Option 5, to the CAA in August 2013, saying it believed the overall environmental and operational attributes of both routes considered (Options 5 and 6) were ‘very marginal’. Perhaps due to news about the fury that has been generated in the Warham area by a new Gatwick flight path trial, Birmingham airport has agreed to carry out trials of both options, in order to better understand the actual impact of the proposed changes rather than theoretical modelling. The proposals sparked outrage in the affected villages when they were revealed last year. A final decision is expected in spring 2015 and the airport has reiterated that the trials are ‘not a further consultation’.

Click here to view full story…




Birmingham Airport ‘ignored’ views of residents, say campaigners

Date added: August 25, 2013

Birmingham Airport has been accused of ‘totally ignoring’ the views of local residents over proposed flightpath changes to pave the way for the £65 million runway extension. The long-running Battle of Balsall Common looks set for further skirmishes, There is a Balsall Common Airport Action Group, and their campaigners have voiced their dismay at the airport’s preferred option for aircraft taking off to the south. The airport says this route avoids the most populated areas, Barston, Hampton-in-Arden and Balsall Common and is positioned further away from Catherine-de-Barnes and Knowle. The Action Group say the airport has ignored their comments in the consultation, and that the new flightpaths will see planes flying over their area at between 3,000 and 4,000 feet, increasing noise nuisance and pollution. The airport’s public affairs director said “We believe the best option has been put forward that impacts the fewest number of people in areas closest to the airport.”    Click here to view full story…