'˜Concentrating flightpaths over the South Downs National Park is unwelcome'

The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) has condemned as '˜unwelcome' plans to concentrate flightpaths over landscape inside its boundaries.

Tuesday, 7th March 2017, 3:01 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:42 am

The statement came in response to TAG Farnborough Airport’s airspace change proposal which many people fear will bring more noise and pollution in the skies above Midhurst and surrounding villages.

SDNP officer Andy Beattie told East Hampshire district councillors: “Under the current arrangement, inbound flights from the south approach across a much broader area. TAG Farnborough representatives have indicated there is no safety benefit in concentrating flightpaths. The concentration of a flightpath into a narrow corridor will have greater impacts on the relative tranquillity of that specific corridor, whereas a more dispersed approach pattern would minimise disruption to tranquillity.

“The SDNPA would suggest that concentrating flight corridors over the national park is unwelcome.”

He said moving the main approach westwards also freed up airspace over the SDNP for Gatwick to use

which had the potential to impact on communities.

“Although there are winners and losers the consultation also shows that there are alterations to the heights flown bringing aircraft closer to the ground in some areas, increasing noise and visual impacts for residents,” said Mr Beattie

“The increased controlled airspace impacts others disproportionately, and reduces airspace for other users to enjoy Gliding and light aircraft clubs will have their airspace further restricted which has serious impacts for the viabilities of their clubs.”

He said the SDNPA did not consider the impacts of the changes “to be in proportion to the problem identified and unnecessarily creates issues elsewhere for communities and other users who have previously been unaffected.”

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