Campaigners advise caution on proposed changes to Stansted Airport departure routes

Stansted Airport Stansted Airport

Thursday, June 19, 2014
9:37 AM

Whilst welcoming the consultation launched on Monday (June 16) by NATS on changing the use of existing departure routes from Stansted Airport, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has urged caution, insisting that there should be clear and compelling benefits for local residents before any changes are implemented.

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The proposed changes affect routes to the south-east and east of Stansted which account for approximately half of all departures.

The consultation closes on September 8 and SSE is urging local communities to the south-east and east of the airport to take a close interest in the consultation and make their views known.

The proposed changes involve switching daytime traffic from the existing south-east (Dover) departure route to the existing east (Clacton) departure route from both directions of the runway.

The consultation does not involve changes to the airspace structure and no other departure or arrival routes are affected.

NATS believes that the result would reduce the overall number of people regularly overflown in the day as well as reducing CO2 emissions.

In addition, NATS says that switching to the Clacton route would allow aircraft to achieve a more continuous climb than possible on the Dover route leading to more efficient operation.

This proposal would remove daytime departures for a large area to the south-east of the airport but double the number of flights towards the east coast.

SSE warns that intensification of flights to the east would need to be carefully studied for impact on the local communities since the largely rural region enjoys low ambient noise levels.

The group also lays emphasis on the importance of the consultation process and for NATS to ensure that local residents have the best information upon which to decide how the switching of daytime traffic would affect them.

SSE’s noise adviser Martin Peachey said: “For people living near Stansted Airport and under flight paths, there would inevitably be winners and losers if these changes were to be implemented.

“SSE supports all efforts which reduce aircraft noise and carbon emissions in the local community, and before making its response, will be consulting its members to learn from them what they think of the proposed changes.”

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