Airspace and runway concerns

CPRE Kent has taken part in two consultations on airports – the UK Airspace Policy consultation and the Department of Transport Runway Consultation.

We do not accept that there is a case for additional runway capacity in the south east. Under-used runways exist within the UK and to add capacity in the south east will only further aggravate the north-south economic divide. Plus, there will be further impact on the environment and it will further damage the UK’s efforts to control carbon emissions, there will be additional pressure on transport and housing and more people affected by noise and air pollution.

Read our response here.

Photo by Chris Sampson

Photo by Chris Sampson

In the Airspace consultation we raised concerns about flight paths and noise including:

  • More call-ins by the Secretary of State to changes in flight paths – there have been three major changes to flight paths at Gatwick over the past four years (the ADNID trial, the concentration of approach routes to the east of the airport, and the concentration of departure routes). These changes have caused thousands of complaints, yet none of them would have fallen within the proposed criteria for call-in so it needs to be much wider.
  • We consider the proposals for compensation to be inadequate. The proposals for increased noise insulation would only apply very close to the airport and would provide no benefit to those who wished to open their windows or spend time out of doors. Compensation for new or changed flight paths should be paid by the airport concerned.
  • We are disappointed at the proposal to retain unchanged the guidance which states that noise should be given priority up to 4,000ft, while noise and climate change should be given equal priority between 4,000 and 7,000ft. We do of course recognise the importance of limiting climate change emissions, but we are aware that many of our members are severely disturbed by the noise of aircraft at heights of 4,000 to 7,000ft and even higher. This is particularly true in areas where ambient noise is low.
  • We strongly oppose a policy of transferring some noise controls to the airports. It would be wrong in principle to put such controls into the hands of a commercial business, which will always put profit first.

Photo by Hamza Butt

Photo by Hamza Butt

Read our full response here.

May 22nd 2017

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