MPs to lobby air minister over flights

TWO Suffolk MPs are meeting a government minister on Monday to try to persuade him to intervene and change proposals for a new holding stack for Stansted.

TWO Suffolk MPs are meeting a government minister on Monday to try to persuade him to intervene and change proposals for a new holding stack for Stansted.

David Ruffley and Tim Yeo will meet the air minister Jim Fitzpatrick to lobby for a better deal for residents living in the peaceful countryside south and west of Stowmarket.

More than 25 villages between Stowmarket and Hadleigh fear they will have to put up with a noisy jet every two minutes if the changes to airspace go ahead, ruining the area's tranquility.

Air management company NATS, which has put forward the airspace changes, is currently reviewing its proposals and making some changes to them.

It has said its plans to bring in the changes to flightpaths early next year have been delayed - and currently cannot give a timetable.

If the changes are significant, then the Civil Aviation Authority may decide to hold further public consultation.

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Mr Ruffley said he would be speaking to Mr Fitzpatrick about the “devastating effect” of the proposed Stansted Eastern Hold.

He said: “NATS are trying to justify the new holding areas by saying fewer people across the region will be affected by aircraft noise.

“This may be true but the major issue of concern, for both me and my constituents, is that these new holds are over predominantly rural areas.

“Of course the new holds will affect fewer people - they are over far less densely populated areas.

“This does not mean the impact will be any less.

“In fact, I would argue that as the level of ambient noise in these villages is much lower, the aircraft noise overhead will be all the more noticeable.”

He would be asking the minister to intervene and put a stop to the proposals before it is too late.

In the consultation on the changes, 86 per cent of people and 76pc of organisations objected to the proposals.

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