Gatwick Airport have decided to delay making proposals to change to fight paths to allow more work to be done on the impact.
The changes are part of the London Airspace Management Programme and the Government’s Future Airspace Strategy which will be implemented by 2020.
Gatwick is responsible for changes for airspace below 4,000ft. NATS have also decided to postpone the submission of proposals relating to the higher level airspace routes.
The Future Airspace Strategy is the biggest change ever undertaken to UK airspace structures and authorities say it is essential for the UK to remain competitive, and changes will significantly reduce fuel and CO2 from aviation.
Gatwick say the additional time will allow them to do as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents. Gatwick Airport proposes using the longer timeframe to:
- Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations
- Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options
- Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise (including between 4000 and 7000 feet).
- Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options, including by developing a more detailed programme of engagement through GATCOM [Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee]
When any changes to airspace operation are eventually identified, Gatwick Airport believes it would be preferable for both Gatwick and NATS to submit their proposed changes to the Civil Aviation Authority for review at the same time, so as to avoid unnecessary confusion in the community or any period of prolonged uncertainty. The local community will also be appropriately engaged on any future proposals to change the use of airspace around Gatwick.
Tom Denton, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Gatwick Airport, said:
We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals. It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.
GAGNE, Communities Against Noise and Emissions, said:
We believe that Gatwick were concerned about the negative publicity and the impact it is having on the second runway being secured.
All those that protested and completed the consultation – your voice has made a difference.