Anger over ‘supermotorway’ flightpath proposals for Midhurst area

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There was confusion and anger at a public meeting to hear TAG Farnborough airport’s proposals for a concentrated ‘supermotorway’ flightpath over the Midhurst area.

Residents said consultation documents were too complicated and requests for aviation maps showing precise routes were being brushed aside. “It’s up to you to present this so those of us who are not aviators can understand it, you have ignored our request and you are a disgrace,” said one resident. But Mike Talbot the airport’s general manager of air traffic services said the maps were not currently public as they were still in the design phase.

Members of the public were concerned about the proposed concentrated flightpath which would bring together many routes into one ‘supermotorway’.

One resident said: “It’s like a limousine company buying one lane of the M25 for the benefit of a very new wealthy individuals.”

And John Buchanan from Fernhurst said even though the planes might be higher: “I will find the greater intensity much worse.”

Sally Pavey, from Communities against Gatwick Emissions and Noise (CAGNE) warned: “concentration is hell.” She said: “residents are being asked to give an opinion without having the fundamental facts like ‘ will the planes fly over my house’. Potentially their property could be devalued and their quality of life affected by the noise.”

“This consultation is very important and people must say they don’t want a concentrated ‘supermotorway’ above them.”

Mr Talbot said the proposals were being put forward to provide safer airspace and reduce noise and emission.

The airport has permission to operate 50,000 flights a year but currently has around half this number.

Mr Talbot said planes would come up from the south towards Midhurst at heights of 6-7000 feet, dropping to between 5-6,000 feet over Midhurst and going down to between 4-5,000 over Fernhurst and Milland. But planes would have to fly lower when Gatwick and Heathrow airports were busy.

The public consultation has been extended to November 2.

The airport’s director of operations Roger Walker said the consultation, which was due to end on October 5, had been extended because of concerns some parishes had not been informed and summer holidays meant they did not have time to respond.

The news has been welcomed by residents and communities who have been struggling to digest the complicated documents.

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