Further delay to flight changes

NEW proposals for changes to flightpaths over Suffolk will not be revealed until the autumn at the earliest.

NEW proposals for changes to flightpaths over Suffolk will not be revealed until the autumn at the earliest.

Experts say they are still working on the changes, having withdrawn previous plans which caused an uproar - but cannot say for certain if changes will happen at all.

Whether the new scheme will satisfy objectors - who were fiercely against changes which would have created new holding stacks for Stansted over dozens of villages and hamlets - remains to be seen.

Air management traffic company NATS says it needs to alter flightpaths and holding areas to deal with bottlenecks in what it describes as the most complex and busiest airspace in the world.

But growing numbers of Suffolk people are becoming annoyed and frustrated by noise from passenger jets shattering the county's peace and tranquillity and with air travel expected to increase dramatically there is no easy answer.

A spokesman for NATS said work was still taking place on the revised proposals.

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“We plan to publish new proposals for the region later this year,” he said. “A date has yet to be decided and that decision will not be made until later in the summer.

“The plans will be the subject of a stakeholder consultation and the feedback received will inform any decision on whether or not to seek Civil Aviation Authority approval for an airspace change proposal.

“Approval and implementation will depend on the ongoing design process, a subsequent consultation and the CAA's approval processes.

“We are therefore unable to say at this stage when or even if approval and implementation could be achieved.”

Government expects air travel to double in the next 25 years and most airports are drawing up expansion plans.

Should jet planes be sent over rural or urban areas? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk