D-day approaches for flight proposals

SKYLORDS are set to announce this week new routes for jet planes over Suffolk to cater for the huge growth in air traffic.The changes to airspace are expected to allow thousands more flights over the county every year - and could mean more noise for communities currently not affected by aircraft.

SKYLORDS are set to announce this week new routes for jet planes over Suffolk to cater for the huge growth in air traffic.

The changes to airspace are expected to allow thousands more flights over the county every year - and could mean more noise for communities currently not affected by aircraft.

There has been speculation the changes will open up new flight corridors over north Suffolk, and could create new stacking areas over mid-Suffolk.

While some villages and towns may find more planes over them, the changes to the use of the airspace could mean some communities seeing less planes - at least for the time being.


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Routes may be reorganised to reduce traffic on some flightpaths, but proposed expansion of Stansted, Heathrow and other airports in future may only make the respite temporary.

Campaigners have been told the proposed changes will be unveiled later this week by NATS (National Air Traffic Services) and a period of consultation launched.

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The changes will not just affect eastern England, but parts of London and southern England and - if agreed by the Civil Aviation Authority - will cater for air traffic for the next decade.

Aviation bosses have described them as major changes to “the most complex area of airspace in the world”.

The Evening Star's Air Fair campaign has been highlighting the growing problems with jet planes over Suffolk due to the explosion of cheap flights and the concern over increasing noise and worries over pollution.

More than 1,200 flights go over Suffolk every day - 600 of them over the Felixstowe area.

The campaign has called for “load sharing” and routes to be found which take some of these flights over less populated areas some of the time.

NATS - which wants to bring in its changes next year - says the airspace changes are needed to improve the safety and efficiency of air traffic control because of the growth of air travel and to minimise future delays.

The changes are not because of any particular airport expansion but simply to cope with demand for more flights and extra routes.

Should more planes be sent over Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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