Local people have until January 21 to give their views on a consultation on future use of airspace leading into and out of Gatwick Airport.
A joint consultation on proposed air space changes is nearing completion and this affects people living and working in Sussex, particularly areas on routes in and out of the airport including the Ashdown Forest, Heathfield, Uckfield and Mayfield.
Gatwick and NATS, the UK’s leading provider of air traffic services, want to hear about sensitivities from people who might be positively or negatively affected by forthcoming flight path alterations.
These will change and people have a final opportunity to influence where aircraft will fly. You can give your feedback at: www.londonairspaceconsultation.co.uk
People’s comments could be on noise sensitive sites such as open areas prized for quietness, or noise sensitive industries – specifically any place which could be affected if aircraft were to fly directly over it. Another issue is balancing limiting CO2 emissions with noise, as avoiding some places means flying longer routes that produce more CO2.
This information will help establish new routes which offer the most benefit with the least possible impact, with particular focus on reducing the impact of aircraft noise. However, both NATS and Gatwick warn people living and working in the consultation areas that while some may not notice a change in flight numbers and some may actually see a reduction in flight numbers, others may experience a significant increase in aircraft flying overhead.
Those who could experience more noise and more flights overhead may be offered some ‘respite’ – periods when there will be no overhead flights. This could be at certain times of the day or days of the week - all suggestions both for locations and timings are welcome.
Airspace above the south of England is some of the busiest in the world. This consultation is the first stage in a wider programme of proposed changes to deliver the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS), which must come into effect in 2020. Gatwick is the first major airport to consult on all levels of its airspace. All other airports will be required to follow suit.
Tom Denton, head of corporate responsibility at Gatwick, said: “Aircraft have to fly somewhere, so we need local people to look around their communities, imagine the impacts of being overflown more than today, and feedback on sites and businesses this could have a detrimental impact on. ”