Consultation number 3: UK Airspace Policy: A framework for balanced decisions: on the design and use of airspace: Moving Britain Ahead
Use the following link to the consultation document:
You can email or post responses to National Policy Statement and Draft National Policy Framework for balance decisions to:
RunwayConsultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk or print it and post it to Freepost RUNWAY CONSULTATION
The deadline for your response is 25TH May
You must include your name and postal address and please use your own words to ensure you are counted. Standard replies tend to be counted as one no matter how many respond.
Summary of points in response:
Aviation should be an election promise to limit the modernisation of airspace and thus curb the mental brutality inflicted on communities with concentrated flight paths and increases in aircraft movements per hour 7 days a week 24 hours a day at Gatwick and per routing. A limit should be put in place to control the number of planes that can be flown per route per hour to safeguard communities.
The Governments policy is being relaxed allowing for a greater degree of industry self regulation without any independent ombudsman to protect communities from noise and the health implications of aircraft noise day and night.
The criteria set for a call-in over airspace changes, similar to planning by the Secretary of State, is set too high for communities to realistically be able to utilise it when they feel that Gatwick have introduced changes to flight paths unfairly.
The local authorities will welcome any 106 agreements as they try to find funding as they suffer cut council budgets. They could place lesser importance on the communities that are to be impacted by airspace changes or in increases aircraft noise/ movements due to the majority of councillors not being impacted by aircraft noise eg West Sussex County Council.
106 Agreement money should only go to those directly impacted by flight path changes and not community chests as this could be seen as a bribe to take noise that others are not prepared to tolerate.
Out of date noise metrics and noise mapping does not truly illustrate aircraft impact on lives, health or that of noise events nor the frequency with which Gatwick flies them per hour. Gatwick seeks 60 ATMs an hour.
Noise difference for rural areas is still ignored whereas it is known that there is a 10dB difference between aircraft noise in urban areas compared to rural areas.
Point 5.5 – ‘Respite’ is a word for managing the number of aircraft an airport seeks to fly. At Gatwick we see no feasible way of implementing respite without impacting newly over flown people or making life for those overflown even more unbearable. We would strongly oppose any removal of NPRs as these safeguard communities that have purchased homes to be away from noise, especially aircraft.
DfT principle of quieter planes is to be endorsed but quieter planes should not be replaced by an ever increasing in the number of planes as this then outweighs any reduction in noise reduction, as no plane will ever be totally quiet. It also removes any CO2 saved
Point 5.35 Night flights. Night noise is far greater in rural areas due to the ambient noise dropping further at night to approx. 30-35dB. As Gatwick has no restrictions on arrivals or departures at night the poor scheduling and misuse of dispensation by the airport leads to many communities suffering long periods of arrivals as departures of non-scheduled aircraft. The recent night consultation by the Government detailed no restrictions or reduction in night movements; in fact it allows Gatwick to grow during the winter months that as present allows communities some respite.
The CAA’s creation of ICCAN is not a positive move for communities as these groups are seen as having no power and simply forums so that boxes are ticked as being consulted – lack of transparency on the CAA and DfT behalf so that moves can take place behind closed doors to the public.
No proper compensation for those impacted by aviation growth seems to be offered. Only the offer of the value of the family home and cost of moving should be entertained as compensation within a 30 mile radius of Gatwick.
Gatwick has a vested interest in profits not communities. To suggest putting Gatwick in charge of airspace changes is totally unacceptable to communities:
We would strongly oppose allowing Gatwick the freedom to play with Noise Preferential Routes as under the current policy, and what is suggested, there would be no compensation for residents that moved outside the NPR and paid a substantial amount more to be outside the NPR.
The Government should be seeking to restrict the aviation industry growth rather than encouraging more low cost airlines to take money out of the UK.
The Government should be questioning the environmental damage aviation has on the world.
We raise strong concerns over aviation growth and lack of controls of this industry by the current Government in allowing it to grow and propose a level of self-regulation. Communities are the bystanders of watching airlines and airports compete against each other to obtain the cheapest prices for leisure travel flights with planes at Gatwick often being over 20 years old.
As businesses grows, more and more is conducted by IT and less business flights are required and yet we see no reference to a reduction in business travel but only an industry fuelled by leisure travel out of the UK, Gatwick’s number one destination being Spain.
The consultation seems to put aviation efficiency, saving CO2 and growth before constituencies impacted by aviation growth. We ask how much aviation costs the NHS every year?
We would suggest that if aviation were to pay VAT and duty that the UK economy would benefit greatly as well as a frequent flyer tax as less than half of the UK population fly. This would also witness a reduction in the number of aircraft above homes as well as a substantial reduction in environmental damage. This is totally feasible after the UK leaves the EU.