Campaigners speak out on flightpath delay

CAMPAIGNERS have today spoken out after air traffic bosses revealed it will be at least a year before they bring forward fresh proposals to change flightpaths over the county.

Richard Cornwell

SUFFOLK: CAMPAIGNERS have today spoken out after air traffic bosses revealed it will be at least a year before they bring forward fresh proposals to change flightpaths over the county.

Despite mounting concern and frustration at the number of passenger jet planes criss-crossing communities, air traffic management company NATS says it will not carry out a fresh consultation until September 2010 or after.

The previous proposals, which included creating holding stacks for Stansted near Newmarket and over 37 villages between Hadleigh and Stowmarket, generated thousands of objections.

Carol Barbone, campaign director of Stop Stansted Expansion, said they would be asking NATS to ensure a new consultation fully considered all options.

“In view of this latest postponement, NATS should, as a matter of urgency, look for other ways to fully implement continuous descent approaches for Stansted and thereby reduce the noise impacts upon many local communities to the west of the airport,” she said.

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“We will also be asking NATS to ensure that any new consultation - if and when it ever does resurface - fully examines the option of offshore stacking and that it takes account of the second runway proposals for Stansted.”

Alex Bristol, NATS' general manager for strategy and investment, said that because of a downturn in air traffic levels it was not so urgent to review the flightpaths.

“We are continuing to develop alternatives following the feedback that was received during the first consultation that, where possible, address some of the concerns that were raised at that time,” he added.

“Doing nothing is not a long term option if we are to further enhance safety in the area and we anticipate bringing forward some smaller changes from the proposals while we continue work on the overall design.”

Are planes driving you mad? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

More than 1,200 planes currently cross Suffolk every day and the number could double in the next two decades

The planes bring noise, pollution, and blot out the sun with their contrails, and the fear is flights will get lower.

Our campaign agrees with and supports Stansted Airport at its current flight and passenger limits - we do not agree with its expansion or the second runway plan.

The campaign wants a full review of pollution being caused by the jets and of the increasing noise being caused by the aircraft 24/7.

We want assurances that planes will not be allowed to fly lower than the present lowest levels across Suffolk.

There must also be a full review of the current flightpaths to look at the possibility of moving flight corridors on a regular basis so the same communities do not suffer noise nuisance incessantly.

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