CAA’s Gatwick review ‘ignored’ human cost of changed flightpaths

Sally Pavey
Sally Pavey

A campaign group has said a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) review on changes to Gatwick flightpaths was ‘extremely disappointing’.

The CAA’s report on the departure routes which it approved in August 2013 concluded a path which takes off to the west and turns north had to be changed; a route towards the south-coast and another heading east were acceptable but should be reviewed by Gatwick; the remaining six routes did not need to change.

Sally Pavey, chairman of Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE), said: “For a Government, in this day and age, to implement and subject residents to such an airspace concentrated system without any research into the noise readings or emissions from concentrated routes is beyond belief.”

She criticised the reports and said they should be reviewed by the aviation minister Robert Goodwill.

She added: “The noise shadow is far grater from a concentrated route than a dispersed route. It’s like having a country lane next to your home, which might see a few cars throughout the day and night, and changing it to the M1 overnight. The noise is relentless.

“Until the aviation industry recognise that concentrated routes create noise shadows these reports are pointless as they serve only the aviation industry and not the taxpayers.”

A CAGNE statement said the report gave ‘no consideration’ to the impact concentrated routes have on residents’ lives.

The report was ‘particularly disappointing’ for the residents of Slinfold and Southwater.

“Copthorne may find the route SEAFORD tweaked to help with the concentration of flights but none of the other routes, that West Sussex are blighted by, are to be improved for residents,” said CAGNE.

“The report expects residents to tolerate a three per cent increase in noise and is done with no compensation or mitigation proposals by Gatwick Airport.

“Dispersal is mentioned in the report but is dismissed without any evidence to the impact that concentration are having on the environment ie people.

“Concentrated flight paths were introduced with very little consultation in May 2014 on all departure routes out of Gatwick. The Government having undertaken no research to the health impacts that they would have on people’s lives nor mental state. These factors have cost implication, which are simply ignored by this CAA report.”

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