Damian continues to raise issues that impact local communities across East Hampshire, including concerns about flight traffic and noise at Farnborough Airport as well as concerns regarding motorbike noise along some key routes within the constituency.
Developments at Farnborough Airport
Pic: Damian with representative from Lasham Gliding Society
Farnborough Airport consultation on increasing capacity
On 4th September 2023, the airport announced plans to increase its annual flight limit to enable it to remain competitive in future years. These plans are now subject to a consultation - details can be found here: Share your views – Farnborough Airport (farnboroughairport2040.com). In summary, the airport is proposing to:
- Increase annual flights from 50,000 to 70,000 per year.
- Increase non weekday flights (weekends and bank holidays) from 8,900 to 18,000 per year.
- Extend operating hours on weekends and bank holidays from 8am-8am to 7am - 9pm.
The consultation is open until 18th October 2023 and the airport is hosting a number of drop in events at local venues to help residents understand what is being proposed. Damian would urge anybody currently living under the Farnborough flight paths to go along to one of these events and find out how it might affect you.
Damian has submitted a response to the consultation and this can be found below.
Airspace Change Proposals
Farnborough Airport began work on an Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) as far back as 2014, with a view to introducing a new airspace design near the airport. After several consultations, the ACP was eventually approved by the CAA in July 2018,
Lasham Gliding Society applied for a Judicial Review of the CAA decision in October 2018, which was ruled on by the High Court in August 2019. Their decision was not to uphold the JR, with the implementation of the ACP going ahead in February 2020.
Throughout the consultation period, Damian continued to engage with local stakeholders, the CAA and TAG, representing the concerns of local residents and communities.
Part of the engagement with the CAA and the airport was to seek greater clarity on the proposed change in flightpaths and the potential impact this may have on communities in terms of being overflown, and at what height.
The matrix below was put together by TAG (the owners of Farnborough Airport at the time) and gives more information for the towns and villages most affected within East Hampshire. The chart includes details of the current arrival and departure flightpaths, and heights they're flown at, compared to the new flightpaths and heights proposed in the ACP.
A Post Implementation Review of the ACP was due to take place in late 2020, but had been postponed due to the impact of the pandemic. The 12 month period of data gathering for the Review was completed by March 2023.
Details from the PIR were published by the CAA in May 2023, followed by a feedback 'window' for comments to be made by stakeholders and members of the public. My response to this request for feedback can be found below. The CAA is due to be publish its final report by the end of August 2023 but it has not appeared yet.
For the latest on the PIR, visit the CAA's website: Farnborough Airport airspace change proposal | Civil Aviation Authority (caa.co.uk)
Farnborough Airport has proposed a second ACP to address constraints with the current performance of inbound and outbound traffic flows to/from the airport. More information is available at: https://airspacechange.caa.co.uk/PublicProposalArea?pID=497
Other interested parties:
The Farnborough Aerodrome Consultative Committee (FACC) is the forum in which the management of Farnborough Aerodrome interacts with local public agencies, residential communities and with Airport users on a range of environmental and other airport issues. More information is available at: http://www.facc.org.uk/
The Farnborough Noise Group (FNG) is a local association that seeks to represent the interests and concerns of local residents regarding traffic and noise from Farnborough Airport. More information is available at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/farnboroughnoise/
Noise from motorbikes is a concern for residents who live close to routes used by bikers, including along the A32 and A272.
Damian has continued to work alongside Donna Jones, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire County Council to consider ways to reduce the impact that is effective and sustainable.
In May 2023, average speed cameras were installed along stretches of the A32 and A272 in order to address the long standing issue of excessive vehicle noise that impacts residents who live close by. Along with other road policing tactics, it is hoped that this will reduce the blight on an area that is known and valued for its peace and tranquility.
Damian said in a statement: “It’s fantastic to see the cameras appearing on the A32 and A272. Sadly, we are all too aware of the horrendous consequences of speeding, particularly on country roads.
“Excessive noise from speeding vehicles can be a real blight on people’s lives and destroy the tranquillity of the countryside. Those who choose to drive or ride recklessly, with little thought for other road users or the communities living close by, will hopefully think twice now that the cameras are in operation.
“My thanks go to the Commissioner, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary and the Hampshire Highways team for bringing this project to fruition.”
For information on the local Communities Against Noise and Speed group (CANS), please go to: https://www.canshampshire.co.uk/community/communities-against-noise-and…
A local trial using acoustic cameras was completed in 2019 and the Department for Transport has now extended the trial to other areas across the UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/noise-camera-trials-to-detect-rowdy-…. We are awaiting an update from the Department.