8th May 2017
Reverse the flight path changes – says SSE
Flight paths for aircraft taking off from Stansted were changed last year by National Air Traffic Services (‘NATS’) which has led to a doubling of flights during the day on the easterly ‘Clacton’ departure routes, causing additional aircraft noise misery for local residents beneath those flightpaths.
The changes were opposed by 82% of those who responded to the public consultation held beforehand but were nevertheless approved by the CAA and implemented in February 2016 because there were judged to be benefits for airlines, in terms of fuel savings and time saving. A review of the changes by NATS and CAA is currently underway to assess the actual impacts and benefits against what had been expected when they approved the changes last year.
Stop Stansted Expansion (‘SSE’) spearheaded a vigorous local campaign against the changes from the outset and is now urging local residents to use the opportunity of this review to press for a reversal of the changes.
After 15 months of experience of the flight path changes, SSE is more convinced than ever that any minor benefits for airlines are far outweighed by the additional noise misery being inflicted upon local communities. The figures speak for themselves. Stansted Airport received over 4,000 individual complaints about aircraft noise in 2016, compared to just 760 the previous year.
SSE has written to NATS and the CAA setting out the reasons why these flight path changes must now be reversed. SSE has also proposed immediate mitigation measures that could lessen the impacts of intensified overflying and has offered to meet NATS to discuss the issues further.
SSE Noise Adviser Martin Peachey commented: “Whenever there are changes to flightpaths there are always winners and losers but in this instance it seems that the only winners are the airlines. There must be a more equitable outcome so that local residents do not pay a high price in terms of increased noise misery.”
The deadline for submissions in response to the current review is 15 May and SSE is urging local residents to make their views known to NATS if they have not already done so. SSE’s guidance notes on how to respond to NATS, see here.
SSE’s latest submission to NATS can be viewed here.
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