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‘Airspace grab’ views in Midhurst

Farnborough Airport owners TAG have extended a consultation on controversial airspace changes following a computer glitch which meant people’s responses were lost.

The airport said a ‘technical fault’ meant comments left between 11.02am on April 11 and 10.08am on April 16 had not been recorded.

The proposals include an ‘airspace grab’ in the skies above Midhurst, which objectors say would dramatically increase noise, the risk of accidents and pollution.

The consultation was due to end on Friday, May 2, but has now been extended to today (Monday, May 12). Anyone who submitted a response during the affected days will have to re-submit them.

The airport currently handles a maximum 28,000 air traffic movements each year, but has permission to increase the number.

By next year there could be 45,000, rising to 50,000 by 2019.

The proposals have come under fire from residents living nearby, councils and flying groups.

They could bring private jets which currently fly at 7,000ft over Midhurst down to 4,000ft and the noise level would rise to 64 decibels, enough to disturb conversation, say objectors.

East Hampshire District Council said the proposals could force other air traffic to fly lower, while Lasham and the Pulborough based Southdown Gliding Clubs fear it would spell their ‘death knell’.

Roger Walker of TAG Farnborough Airport said: “The environment is of prime importance and we are committed to reducing noise. The proposed airspace design would offer all airspace users predictability and consistency of operations, leading to further reductions in noise and CO2 emissions. It is also set to improve efficiency and enhance safety.”

 

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