Feedback from Farnborough Airport consultation released – 98% said change unjustified
TAG Farnborough Airport has released a feedback report following its 3 month consultation (ended 12th May) on controversial plans to chance its airspace. Farnborough wants the changes to be approved by the CAA, so it can have a “more predictable flow of traffic around the airport” which it claims could mean fewer flights at low altitude and aircraft flying fewer miles. TAG has now published a feedback document on the responses. This shows there were 13,000 comments, including around 2,500 from stakeholders. They are overwhelmingly negative, with 99% of responses from general aviation negative; 98% of responses to the justification of the changes negative; and 99% negative on the alleged environmental benefits. There was a high level of concern about the proposals, and the results they would have on non-Farnborough air traffic, having to re-route. There were also concerns about the environmental impact and safety. Many also fear the plans will facilitate an increase in number of flights. A 2nd feedback report is due to be published in early 2015, before an application is submitted to the CAA, after TAG has considered whether the objections and suggested alternatives can be incorporated into a refined airspace design.
More than 13,000 comments were submitted in response to TAG’s plans to change the airspace
TAG Farnborough Airport has released a feedback report following a consultation on controversial plans to chance airspace.
The airport wants to submit an Aerospace Change Proposal to the UK Civil Aviation Authority, so there is a more predictable flow of traffic around the airport, resulting in fewer flights at low altitude and aircraft flying fewer miles.
A public consultation was launched in February and was due to end on May 2 but was extended to May 12 after a technical fault meant comments left between 11.02am on April 11 and 10.08am on April 16 had been lost.
All comments were analysed and TAG has now published a feedback document, providing a summary analysis of the numbers and types of responses received.
The consultation generated more than 13,000 comments, including around 2,500 from stakeholders.
The feedback report from TAG states that stakeholders were concerned about access to the proposed airspace, justification for the proposed changes and safety issues caused by the compression of non-Farnborough aircraft around or beneath the airspace.
Stakeholders also raised concern about the environmental impact and safety of the proposal.
A total of 484 comments were submitted regarding the economic impact of the changes, of which 99% were negative.
TAG will now consider any changes to the airspace proposal, based on the responses received, and a second feedback report is due to be published in early 2015, before an application is submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority.
The report from TAG states: “An essential part of the consultation process is to take the areas of concern, the design ideas, and the alternatives proposed in the consultation responses and then consider whether these can be incorporated into a refined airspace design.
“An essential part of the consultation process is to take the areas of concern, the design ideas, and the alternatives proposed in the consultation responses and then consider whether these can be incorporated into a refined airspace design.
“This is a complex proposal and has generated a large number of responses, hence the time and amount of work required to consider those responses in the appropriate manner is considerable.”
TAG claims its proposal will mean planes would not disturb residents as frequently and passengers could travel more efficiently, however, the plans have come under fire from residents living nearby, councils and flying groups.
Kevin Daley, a member of the Farnborough Aerodrome Consultative Committee (FACC) and chairman of the Mytchett, Frimley Green and Deepcut society, said a number of constituents fought against plans to increase the airport’s traffic movements.
Matthew Evans, head of planning for Waverley Borough Council, also raised strong concerns about the plans.
There are 134 pages of (mostly) pie charts at
The polarisation of responses probably did not come as a surprise !
For example, on Page 10 there was 99% opposition from General Aviation respondents, both general powered aircraft and gliders. That is the category of airspace users on which the changes would have most impact. Just 1% support. (Out of 1563 comments).
There was 98% negative comment on Justification, (total of 2896 respondents) with just 2% in favour.
On the environmental impact (out of 2859 responses) 99% were unfavourable, with just 1% in favour. (Page 11). Environment included noise, air quality, fuel use and carbon emissions, tranquillity and quality of life impacts.
This is the consultation’s question on Justification, to which 98% of responses were negative:
“Question B1 – Routes and airspace structures
This question is about justification for change.
In Section 3 above, we say that the more predictable aircraft flight-paths are, the
more efficient their safe management can be.
This applies both to Farnborough flights within CAS, and to GA flights outside CAS.
This proposal is seeking to introduce new departure and arrival routes, and airspace
structures to surround them, which would change some flight-paths below 4,000ft.
This would improve the consistency of aircraft flight-paths on those routes, using
modern navigational capabilities. Consistent flight-paths would be predictable and
more efficient to manage safely.
The use of CAS structures would help separate Farnborough aircraft from
recreational and military flights that also operate in the area. This means that
everything inside the structures would be known and predictable, which would also
be more efficient to manage safely. GA users outside CAS would fly more
predictable paths due to the presence of the CAS structures themselves, and could
make requests to cross them, again using predictable paths.
To what extent do you agree with our justification:
Introducing new routes and airspace would make aircraft flight-paths
more predictable. Making them more predictable makes them more
efficient to manage safely.
1 Strongly agree
2 Somewhat agree
3 No preference
4 Somewhat disagree
5 Strongly disagree
You are welcome to provide a statement to support your answer.”
The consultation document is at http://consultation-farnborough.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Farnborough_ACP_Part_B.pdf
Thousands of responses against Farnborough’s airspace change proposals – especially from gliding clubs
12 MPs, South Downs National Park Authority, Goodwood Airfield and more than 3,000 people have responded to Farnborough airport’s proposal to control a vast amount of airspace across the South Downs. The airspace consultation period is coming to an end, and there has been a high level of opposition. The proposal plans to lower and narrow the airspace spanning West Sussex, South Downs National Park and Hampshire, would allow private aircraft to make uninterrupted journeys across the designated area. Gliding clubs are very unhappy about the plans as the areas of sky available for them would change. They say the changes could ‘kill’ the activities of the club. They also claimed that this move will force other aircraft to fly lower increasing aircraft noise for residents living in the South Downs. Also that the proposals could significantly increase the risks of mid-air collisions by forcing general aviation aircraft to fly in much smaller ‘corridors’ of free airspace. “These proposals are just like a limousine company buying up two lanes of the M25 exclusively for the benefit of the wealthy and famous.”
Farnborough airport consultation on hugely expanding its airspace, for questionable reasons
April 13, 2014
Farnborough airport is consulting on its plans to hugely increase the amount of airspace it controls. This will have considerable impacts on general aviation fliers and helicopters in the area, as they would not be able to fly in the new Farnborough airspace, as at present, but would have to make large detours and fly lower, causing more noise to those living nearby. The aim of the airspace grab by Farnborough is thought to be to speed up the arrival of departure of the private jets and business jets which are the users of Farnborough, so the very few passengers per plane (about 2.7 on average, on planes designed to take hugely more) are spared any small delay. The airport has had declining numbers of flights in recent years, and is nowhere near to its target number. It is therefore surprising that the airport feels the need for such a large increase in its controlled airspace.There are real fears that this is in preparation for Farnborough attempting to expand into commercial aviation. ‘Sky grabbing’ for future use for a much bigger operation? TAG could make a nice profit if it sells an airport with attached airspace!
The Consultation ran from Monday 3 February to Friday 2 May 2014
You can also find more information on TAG’s proposal and documents page