PETWORTH and South Downs MP Nick Herbert has raised concerns about aircraft noise over downland villages in his constituency which have been voiced following a trial flightpath from Gatwick.
Mr Herbert wrote to the chief executive of Gatwick Airport about aircraft noise after he received numerous complaints from constituents in Kirdford, Wisborough Green, Pulborough and West Grinstead.
The residents told him that the new flightpath, which is being trialled until next month, has resulted in lower-flying aircraft and noise over their villages.
The flightpath trials have been formulated by the Civil Aviation Authority and are part of a consultation about London airspace.
In a reply to Mr Herbert, Stuart Wingate, chief executive of Gatwick Airport, said the trial would run for a maximum of six months.
It is due to end on August 17, after which, he assured Mr Herbert, the flightpaths would revert to their previous configuration.
He also apologised for any disturbances caused to villagers by the lower-flying aircraft during the trial.
Mr Herbert has now written again to Mr Wingate, asking him what plans are in the pipeline in the future and whether the controversial trial route might be adopted.
And the MP has again stressed the fears of many of his constituents that aircraft flying lower would cause unacceptable noise and disruption to the affected villages.
Mr Herbert said: “This trial flightpath is causing great nuisance to many of my constituents.
“Local residents may be relieved to hear that this is a trial which will end next month.
“But clearly they will want reassurance that this flightpath will not become permanent.”
Mr Herbert added: “I think this foreshadows a longer-term concern.
“Members of the public fear that further expansion at Gatwick could result in greater noise from flights over this part of West Sussex, as well as increasing development pressures on the county which are already a real problem.”