18th August 2014
SSE supports call to take part in flight path consultation
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) welcomes NATS’ call to local residents to have their say and respond to the proposed transfer of traffic on departure routes from Stansted Airport. The proposed change involves switching daytime traffic from the existing south-east (Dover) departure route to the existing east (Clacton) route. The consultation closes on 8th September.
NATS says that the proposed change would result in reduced CO2 emissions and reduced delays for Stansted and other airports. SSE has calculated that the reduction in CO2 emissions would be less than 1% and an even smaller percentage if long haul routes came to Stansted. For delays, NATS’ performance in 2012 was the best on record with Air Traffic Control (ATC) delays averaging just 1.6 seconds per flight.
Traffic on the Clacton route would double if this proposal were implemented and, according to NATS’ own figures, for local communities living around the airport, 1,470 fewer people would be overflown, but 2,400 people would be overflown more intensively. NATS says that the driver for change is network performance and to avoid Heathrow traffic congestion. This currently keeps Stansted’s southbound Dover traffic lower in the south of Essex, the Thames Estuary and sometimes well into Kent.
SSE also draws attention to the fact that significant changes to Stansted’s airspace are likely to come in the next airspace review phase scheduled for 2018/19. Additionally the Government is expected to decide next year on a further runway in the South East. These developments are anticipated to involve a significant redesign of Stansted routes including improved noise reduction procedures such as Continuous Descent Approach.
SSE urged caution when this NATS consultation was launched in mid-June and said that there must be clear and compelling benefits for local residents before any changes are implemented. Peter Sanders, SSE’s Chairman, says “SSE is not convinced that these conditions have been met and we recommend that NATS’ proposed changes should be postponed until they can be assessed in the context of the much more significant airspace redesign planned by NATS for 2018/19.”
NATS’ Departure Route Proposal at the London Stansted Airport Consultation can be found here.
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