Fears voiced over flight path plan for Midhurst


MIDHURST town councillors have added their weight to growing concerns over plans to fly aircraft at lower altitudes over the town.

They have decided to object to the Civil Aviation Authority against plans by TAG Farnborough Airport to expand its flight paths.

Gordon McAra told fellow town councillors there could be between 20 and 25 executive 
jets flying below 4,000 feet over the town.

“It would be extremely noisy and there would be a greater degree of pollution.”

He said the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) had already lodged a formal objection to the plans and he believed town councillors should align themselves with the park authority.

“The NPA is working hard to reduce noise, preserve the dark skies and be sustainable They have already objected to the CAA and the town council should do the same.”

Carol Lintott said there was already considerable disturbance from executive jets flying over Midhurst at some 7,000 feet.

“If they are allowed to go over at half the height, it will be awful,” she said.

John Etherington, chairman of the town council, said he was also concerned about other users of the air space, including microlights, paragliders and balloonists.

“This is also a training area for the army and its Chinook helicopters and you can’t have everything whizzing around up there all in the same place at once,” he said.

Concerns were first raised last month when gliding clubs at Southdown near Pulborough and at Lasham said their futures were threatened by the plans which would restrict their airspace.

Petworth MP Nick Herbert has now joined the growing opposition.

Objectors claim the proposals would bring private jets over Midhurst at less 
than 4,000 feet instead of the current 7,000 feet, dramatically increasing noise, the risk of mid-air collisions and pollution.

It is also claimed the noise level could rise to 64 decibels – loud enough to disturb conversations – and as jet engines were less efficient at lower altitudes, there would be increased pollution.