New route idea for planes

SKYLORDS were today asked to consider a load sharing scheme to try to spread the number of planes criss-crossing Suffolk's skies and disturbing communities with jet noise.

SKYLORDS were today asked to consider a load sharing scheme to try to spread huge number of planes criss-crossing Suffolk's skies and disturbing communities with jet noise.

The Evening Star has put forward the idea to try to reduce problems for families who have found themselves living under busy flight paths.

While aviation bosses say pilots can take virtually any safe route once they have reached the Clacton radar beacon. research has shown many are taking the same bearing, day in, day out.

Observers have found dozens of planes flying in and out on the same corridors around the same times day and night.

However, The Star has put forward an idea to vary routes so communities share the load - creating quiet times.

This will be crucial in the years ahead if the government continues to press on with its determination that air traffic should double, and if Stansted is allowed to use its runway to the maximum and even build a second runway.

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Both representatives of Stansted's owners BAA and officials from the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) have been given details of the load sharing idea.

The Star will be putting the scheme forward when consultation takes place next year over changes to the airspace to allow even more planes to fly over Suffolk.

With around 600 jets flying over the Felixstowe peninsula every day, and many more over other parts of Suffolk, the idea would be to force pilots to choose bearings which take them over certain areas on different days.

By moving course two miles northward, dozes of planes which currently trace an east-west route off the sea and across Old Felixstowe and down Candlet Road, would instead fly up the River Deben, over a few homes instead of thousands of properties.

If they were sent three miles south it would take them up the River Orwell with similar impact.

This could be done at several hotspot locations and if it happened every other week or weekend, it would provide peace for those normally affected.

Alan Line, chairman of the South Suffolk Air Traffic Action Group, welcomed the idea of load sharing.

He said: “I think it would be great and it would be a big step forward if they would look at the idea - knowing you would have periods of less planes would be a big benefit for those living directly beneath flightpaths.”

n What do you think of the load sharing idea? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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