“AIR MOTORWAY” PLANNED OVER PENSHURST
**NB this is a completely separate issue to the proposed second runway at Gatwick Airport**
In Penshurst and Fordcombe we are already suffering overcrowded skies through aircraft movements. This could get substantially worse even before a new hub airport runway is announced. Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) and the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) are jointly sponsoring a consultation process under the name of London Airspace
Consultation. The primary reason given for this consultation is that new European legislation requires all member states to revise their airspace to maximise the use of new technology. GAL and NATS are seeking to alter the flight paths for departures and arrivals with the claim that this would reduce fuel burn, and therefore the emissions of CO2, and there will be less noise overall for the people below. There is also the comment that they might achieve another 2-5 departures each hour. Should you be concerned? Yes, you should be very concerned because their recently published proposals show that the centre line of this new super air highway is positioned right over Penshurst. Let there be no mistake – this is the M25 of the airways – WITH ONE FLIGHT EACH MINUTE.
For arrivals, which affects Penshurst for 70% of the time, due to the prevailing westerly winds, their intention is to have a so-called Point Merge to the south of us that aircraft would join and then be directed down a single flight path rather than the current and fairer way of spreading arrivals across a broad swathe before arriving on the final glide path.
Aircraft could be overflying every minute throughout the day to late at night and into the early hours of the morning. These flight paths will be at least 25 miles long and the noise nuisance could be noticed across a front approaching 2-3miles. There is no mention of any compensation for those whose daily lives will be devastated by the continuous drone of aircraft or the resulting property blight that will inevitably follow. There is a suggestion that they will provide one alternating respite route to the west of us. However, for the sceptics amongst us we might believe this is to strengthen Gatwick Airport’s hand in their argument to the Airports Commission that they will then have an alternative flight path approach for their proposed second runway.
Although representations are being made against this proposal by various bodies such as Parish Councils, it is imperative that all residents send their objections to these proposals. Every single response to the consultation counts. Only 12 individual responses were received from Penshurst for the first round of the consultation that has led to the proposal to focus flights directly over the village. The consultation can be found at www.gatwickairport.com/gatwickairspaceconsultation , on that web page find the section entitled “View the consultation documents” and please submit your feedback. The relevant map are Maps 32-39 and particularly Maps 34 & 35.
The consultation documents are worded in a way that makes it difficult to make straightforward objections to what is being proposed. The easiest way to object, is to select “other” in the list of response options available and to state that:
-you are only in favour of the continued use of the current broad swathe for arrivals into Gatwick and that you believe that the current proposal to centre arrivals along one centre line would create unfair stress on those who would be overflown, and
-you are in favour of a respite option for night flights, again across a broad swathe area.
If you would prefer to submit comments by post, this can be done by writing to :
Freepost RSLG ATKL LBAE, Gatwick Consultation, Ipsos MORI, Research Services House, Elmgrove Road, Harrow, HA1 2QG.
Or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE – the consultation closes on Friday 15th August. Please don’t leave your response until then. Act now to help protect Penshurst.