Posted on 10 October, 2016Comments (0)
Bentworth Parish Council Response to TAG Consultation
The following is the text of a response to the TAG Farnborough consultation on changes to air space.
Councillor Veronica Parker, representing Bentworth Parish Council. Rose Cottage, Holt End Lane, Bentworth, GU34 5LB
Bentworth sent in a response to the original consultation and have not been consulted on the latest amendment, but feel that this amendment could impinge on the community further than the original consultation and hence we have decided to respond.
1. It seems that this consultation does not comply with the cabinet office regulations on consultations as it contains at least 3 pages of it in “airpace” speak that the general population could not be expected to understand.
2. we would like to point out that the consultation document does not give enough information for Bentworth PC to respond fully therefore Bentworth PC would ask for some explanation as to the justifications and the objectives stated as the reasons for this proposal.
3. There is no explanation about how this proposal will bring benefits to “other airspace users in the region”
4. There is no explanation about how much the noise impact will be reduced by this proposal. What is the noise level now? And what are the justifications for promising a reduction in those noise levels if this proposal is approved?
5. In the objectives it is stated that TAG Farnborough would establish a route structure that as far as practicable avoids towns and villages below 4000ft yet it seems to Bentworth PC that when you bring down the controlled airspace in the the Lasham area and squeeze the general aviation into a lateral choke point that the noise over Bentworth will increase considerably just because there will be many more general aviation flights diverting over Bentworth than there are now.
6. This route from the south has moved over to the west and will therefore mean that the smaller aircraft that wish to fly in uncontrolled space will have to circumvent CTA7 and that means there will be a choke point to the west and North of CTA7 which will be elongated meaning more planes will fly directly over Bentworth.
7. Bentworth PC are at a loss to understand how creating a choke point corridor is conducive to better safety. It seems to the PC that the direct effect of concentrating more planes into a choke point and keeping them there for longer can only cause greater safety issues rather than reducing them.
8. Tag have not produced any height contour plans or noise level contour plans making it impossible for the villages that are likely to be affected able to determine by how much the noise will impinge on their communities? It also makes it impossible for TAG Farnborough to determine either the noise levels or the heights at which aircraft will be flying
9. At the meeting that members of Bentworth PC attended in Midhurst, it was claimed that Heathrow and Gatwick flights were being affected by TAG not having these routes but no data was presented to support this claim.
10.There does not seem to be any information on flyability of the routes in question. Surely if all the claims that TAG are making are to be treated seriously tests must have been carried out and some data available to support the application.
11.The general aviaition in uncontrolled space are already going to be seriously impacted by not being able to fly East of Lasham and will there fore need to fly west of Lasham and in so doing will be directly over Bentworth.
12.There are approximately 250000 movements of general aviation in the area around Lasham a year. This is 5 times the amount that TAG foresee they might have in the future, and 10 times the quantity that they have now. Surely the safety of the general aviation in the area is important and should be considered seriously.
13.Bentworth PC believe that this proposal will push many more small aircraft over Bentworth increasing the noise and ruining the tranquillity of the village and the PC are very concerned that this cannot be safer than the current situation
14. There is also a concern with regard to the extra CO2 pollution as a result of the increase in such air traffic.
15. With a decision on the extra Heathrow/Gatwick runway yet to be made, should all airspace control decisions in this area wait until it is known where the new runway will be and what controlled airspace may be needed for that decision.
16. Lasham Gliding are a local employer. They are very concerned that if this proposal were to go ahead that they would be unable to run public trial flights and training flights in the reduced airspace. This will considerably reduce their income and make the running of the airfield completely unviable. If Lasham were to close the area would lose much valued employment . Lasham Gliding brings money into the area with national competitions and these would be jeopardized if the southern routes were to be restrictd by this proposal.
This proposal should be rejected on the following grounds:
TAG are making claims regarding safety and noise impacts that have no substantiating data; and say they are asking for routes but actually have not shown the exact routes, only the “swathes” of airspace they think they “need”.
From the evidence that Bentworth PC have from the TAG consultation we think that there will be many more general aviation flights directly overhead, they will be lower (having been pushed down by the proposed controlled airspace) and therefore we will experience more noise and more pollution. We are also very concerned for the safety of these aircraft while being forced into a narrow corridor west of Lasham.
Bentworth PC have also noticed that the village of Bentworth is in a direct line with the main runway at Farnborough. This will undoubtedly impinge on our tranquillity when TAG Farnborough decide to do instrument only landings after they have procured the current “swathes” of airspace in this proposal.