3rd September 2018
Update from our spokesman, Dominic Nevill:
Community groups are frustrated with the lack of genuine progress being made by any of of the authorities and the Noise Management Board. There are currently 20! different work plans either scheduled or taking place regarding the potential for reducing air noise. While these work plans are welcome, the end results so far have often come across as an inability to make any significant difference to the current situation.
We do have serious concerns about the future modernisation of the airspace around all UK airports. Currently the Government is veering more towards economic potential rather than focusing on protecting the sanity of communities who will suffer intolerable air noise with the proposed narrowing of flight paths into one or more motorways in the sky. We still remain very vulnerable with no legislation or regulation governing arrivals into Gatwick.
The Noise Management Board was originally set up in response to our protests to enact the Arrivals Review and has morphed into a form of self regulation. While the principle has some merit, we have lost confidence in the Board's current make up and are pressing for change.
I would say that this is a difficult time for the Board and we will have to see over the next few months how this plays out. The Board's main merit has been the direct contact with the airline industry NATS/GAL/CAA/DfT at a high level. We have learnt about the genuine complexities and the slow moving nature of the industry with safety as it's top priority. A main priority is keeping the industry's feet firmly to the fire and there have been meetings/workshops etc of one sort or another to this end pretty much every month. I would say that the industry's energy and emphasis is shifting towards the future modernisation and doing what small improvements they can to the current situation.
Currently all the Community Noise Groups are questioning the benefits of staying in the tent of the Noise Management Board.
Please respond to a consultation from the CAA regarding the modernisation of air space by the closing date of 10th September at 10am.
Night Flight Trial: There is likely to be a night flight trial starting in January 2019 and lasting for six months. Read details regarding the Community Noise Groups response. The amount of arrivals while fairly minor in number - approximately 8 flights per night, as it only takes place between 1.30 - 5.30 - are still of major importance and we insisted on appropriate caveats to ensure this trial is not used as a foot in the door for future PR Nav routes.
Read more on LAMP 2. This is concerning the national redesigning of the airspace which they hope will hold until 2070. The designers are starting with a blank sheet and seeing where the trail leads. We are shouting hard that if they start with the concept of mitigating noise and pollution as the priority after safety, rather than economics then this is a position we could support.
In October 2018 Gatwick published their Master Plan with a 12 week public consulation period. The Master Plan proposes 3 runways at Gatwick Airport.
ESCCAN spokesman Dominic Nevill comments on the Master Plan,
"The day of the motorways in the sky which will turn large swathes of East Sussex into a noise ghetto is gathering pace. This draft Masterplan is Gatwick's latest attempt to expand, this time through the back door trying to appear reasonable in their demands at all levels. The reality will be 1,000 more flights per week with no concrete proposals to improve the noise situation. All the reasons that the Davies Commission rejected Gatwick's attempt to gain a second runway are as relevant today as when the report was published. Gatwick is not only trying to expand via the current emergency runway but is also still hoping for another brand new runway making three in total! They are flying in the face of all the evidence that shows that more expansion at this airport will lead to significant deterioration in local services, intolerable air noise for many communities and will help destroy the beautiful habitat where we live.
The consultation ends at on January 10th. Please make sure your voice is heard!"