No solution to airspace problems

SUFFOLK: Fresh proposals for changes to airspace are still not ready for publication - more than a year after the previous ideas were shelved after a public outcry.

SUFFOLK: Fresh proposals for changes to airspace are still not ready for publication - more than a year after the previous ideas were shelved after a public outcry.

Plans to put new airport holding stacks over the countryside between Hadleigh and Stowmarket caused uproar while other communities feared the new routes would pave the way for more noisy flights above them.

Air traffic experts are still working on the design for the new flightpaths and holding areas needed to deal with the huge increase in a passenger jets over the past few years and the bottlenecks and delays this has created.

Suffolk's skies are part of an area known as Terminal Control North, one of the most complex and busiest airspaces in the world.

With the government determined to see air traffic double in the next 20 years, the big fear is that the county - which already has hundreds of jets going over it every day - will take the brunt of the increase, destroying its peace and tranquillity.

Some areas are already feeling the impact - Felixstowe has around 600 flights a day going over it, some evenings there is not a moment when a plane cannot be heard in the sky.

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Air traffic management company NATS is hoping to have fresh consultation on its next raft of ideas later this year.

A spokeswoman said: “We have not set a date yet and we are still working on what will be put forward.

“Even when the proposals are announced, they will not be finalised because there will be consultation and we will need to look at the comments we receive.

“The changes are being drawn up in accord with our requirements and feedback we got last year.”

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

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