Stop Stansted Expansion supports call to take part in flight path consultation, and says changes should be postponed
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) welcomes NATS’ call to local residents to have their say and respond to the proposed transfer of traffic on departure routes from Stansted Airport. The proposed change involves switching daytime traffic from the existing south-east (Dover) departure route to the existing east (Clacton) route (see map). The consultation closes on 8th September. Traffic on the Clacton route would double if this proposal were implemented. NATS’ own figures show 1,470 fewer people would be overflown, but 2,400 people would be overflown more intensively. NATS says that the driver for change is network performance and to avoid Heathrow traffic congestion. SSE says significant changes to Stansted’s airspace are likely to come in the next airspace review phase scheduled for 2018/19. If there is a new south east runway, that will mean significant redesign of Stansted routes in future. Therefore SSE says there must be clear and compelling benefits for local residents before any changes are implemented. They recommend that NATS’ proposed changes should be postponed until the airspace redesign planned for 2018/19.
SSE supports call to take part in flight path consultation
18.8.2014 (Stop Stansted Expansion – SSE)
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) welcomes NATS’ call to local residents to have their say and respond to the proposed transfer of traffic on departure routes from Stansted Airport.
The proposed change involves switching daytime traffic from the existing south-east (Dover) departure route to the existing east (Clacton) route. The consultation closes on 8th September.
NATS says that the proposed change would result in reduced CO2 emissions and reduced delays for Stansted and other airports. SSE has calculated that the reduction in CO2 emissions would be less than 1% and an even smaller percentage if long haul routes came to Stansted. For delays, NATS’ performance in 2012 was the best on record with Air Traffic Control (ATC) delays averaging just 1.6 seconds per flight.
Traffic on the Clacton route would double if this proposal were implemented and, according to NATS’ own figures, for local communities living around the airport, 1,470 fewer people would be overflown, but 2,400 people would be overflown more intensively. NATS says that the driver for change is network performance and to avoid Heathrow traffic congestion. This currently keeps Stansted’s southbound Dover traffic lower in the south of Essex, the Thames Estuary and sometimes well into Kent.
SSE also draws attention to the fact that significant changes to Stansted’s airspace are likely to come in the next airspace review phase scheduled for 2018/19. Additionally the Government is expected to decide next year on a further runway in the South East. These developments are anticipated to involve a significant redesign of Stansted routes including improved noise reduction procedures such as Continuous Descent Approach.
SSE urged caution when this NATS consultation was launched in mid-June and said that there must be clear and compelling benefits for local residents before any changes are implemented.
Peter Sanders, SSE’s Chairman, says “SSE is not convinced that these conditions have been met and we recommend that NATS’ proposed changes should be postponed until they can be assessed in the context of the much more significant airspace redesign planned by NATS for 2018/19.”
The summary of the proposal, (just two pages) from NATS, is at
- Download the summary leaflet (PDF)
- Images below taken from the summary leaflet. [The area within the black dotted line will get fewer flights, and the area in the continuous black line will get more flights]
NATS’ Departure Route Proposal at the London Stansted Airport Consultation can be found at http://www.nats.aero/environment/consultations/lamp-stansted-sid-consultation/
SSE’s guidance on the proposed changes to Stansted departure routes can be found at http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/documents/SSE_GUIDANCE_FOR_NATS_DEPARTURE_ROUTE_PROPOSAL_Final.pdf
SSE’s position and recommendations on the changes proposed by NATS can be found at
SSE Campaign Office
Tel: 01279 870558; firstname.lastname@example.org
SSE concludes that it should recommend opposing the proposed change on the basis that:
it offers negligible benefits.
it has adverse noise impacts overall for the local community living within 20 miles of
the airport under the flight paths below 7,000ft.
it cannot be assessed in the context of the next LAMP phase which will involve a
significant redesign of the Stansted routes.
SSE is recommending that this proposed change is postponed until the next LAMP (London Airspace Management Programme) phase when significant airspace changes will be proposed for Stansted and after the Government has made its decision on the Airports Commission’s final report. In so doing, the proposed change would be able to be assessed in the context of the whole airspace plan and include Continuous Descent Approach for all arriving aircraft to the easterly runway.
6th August 2014.
The NATS consultation says:
NATS Departure Route Proposal at London Stansted Airport
This consultation is about a change to the use of existing London Stansted Airport departure routes heading to the southeast and east of the airport. It is driven by NATS at the air route network level, and supported by Stansted Airport which has a focus on low level routes in the vicinity of the airport.
This consultation is part of a wider programme to modernise the route system over London and the southeast; known as the London Airspace Management Programme or ‘LAMP’.
LAMP is being progressed by NATS which provides air traffic control for the route network across the whole of the UK. It involves collaboration between NATS and individual airports in the development of, and consultation on, changes to airspace management; collaboration ensures that modernisation achieves both network and local benefits.
What is this consultation about?
This consultation is for a proposal to formalise the use of existing alternative routes for Stansted Airport departures heading to the southeast and east.
No new routes are proposed – only different usage of existing routes. It would not involve changes to the airspace structure in the vicinity of Stansted Airport.
This consultation describes the proposal and its objectives in detail. It provides maps and data indicating areas that would see fewer overflights, and those that would see more.
The benefits of this are:
- Reduced CO2
- Reduced delay (for Stansted and neighbouring airports)
- Reduction in the number of people regularly overflown during the day
Achieving these benefits would also mean that some people would be overflown more often.
Airlines may already choose to fly the alternative route, and are expected to do so increasingly in the future to avoid congestion. This proposal will ensure that the benefits of the alternative route are maximised.
The consultation opens 9am Monday 9th June and closes 9pm Monday 8th September 2014 (twelve weeks).
- Download the summary leaflet (PDF)
- Download the main consultation document (PDF)
- Appendix E – Flight Paths for South East England
- Appendix F – Stansted Departures in 1,000ft slices
- Appendix G – Stansted vicinity detailed flight path map
- Appendix H – Population analysis and flight path map
Plan to redirect Stansted Airport departures to reduce Heathrow congestion
Air traffic control service NATS proposes to redirect the majority of Stansted departures from an established southerly route, to an existing route to the east of the airport. “At the moment, departures from Stansted heading towards the South East are kept lower for longer when compared to the route heading east because of Heathrow arrivals.” The changes would only affect daytime departures. This is to reduce congestion above Heathrow. Arrivals are not affected. NATS has started a 12-week consultation on the proposals. Martin Peachey, noise advisor for Stop Stansted Expansion campaign group said: “We basically support the proposal because NATS say it should reduce the amount of people flown in the day and reduce CO2 emissions. It would remove day time departures for a large area to the south but it would double the amount of flights to the east so that would need to be carefully studied. …. There will be winners and losers.” The changes are part of the NATS’ London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP).