28th February 2015
SSE takes fight on flight path changes to the CAA
When NATS first proposed changes to Stansted flight paths in June last year, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) said that there must be clear and compelling benefits for local residents before any changes were implemented. However, despite objections to the proposed changes from more than 82% of those who responded to the consultation, NATS is now seeking approval from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to implement the changes towards the end of this year.
The changes would entail switching daytime flights from the existing south-east (Dover) departure routes to the existing east (Clacton) departure routes. SSE opposes this because the overall result would be more overflying and increased noise disturbance for local residents. Consequently, SSE has written to the CAA to express its dissatisfaction with the consultation process and, in line with the CAA’s responsibilities for overseeing the process of flight path changes, to draw attention to its shortcomings.
In its letter to CAA, SSE has set out the reasons why the NATS consultation was flawed and why the figures presented by NATS for claimed benefits were neither fair nor accurate. These figures related to the claimed reductions in flight delays, CO2 emissions and the number of people adversely affected by overflights and noise.
SSE is also pressing the CAA, under the Freedom of Information Act, to provide a copy of the NATS submission seeking CAA approval for the proposed flight path changes. This has now been taken to appeal because of the CAA’s initial refusal to provide the information requested.
SSE Noise Adviser Martin Peachey commented: “From the local perspective around Stansted Airport, there is no doubt that residents overall would experience more overflying and associated noise exposure. SSE wants the CAA to look at this whole issue afresh. The shortcomings in the application of the airspace change process need to be satisfactorily resolved before any final decisions can be made.”
NATS Consultation Feedback Report for the Departure Route Proposals at London Stansted Consultation is available here.
SSE’s letter to CAA is available on request from email@example.com
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