Heathrow’s trial flights – Bracknell
Posted: Sep 22, 2014
Dr Phillip Lee MP has today been in contact with Heathrow Airport Ltd to express his concern over the new flight paths that are being trialled over Bracknell, Windsor and Ascot.
Following concerns raised by residents at Dr Lee’s public question and answer session in Crowthorne last night, the MP for Bracknell has called on Heathrow Airport to work with the local community who are being adversely affected by an increase in aircraft noise disturbance. Dr Lee spoke with Cheryl Monk, Head of Heathrow’s Community Relations, and sought reassurances that this issue is being taken extremely seriously.
Dr Lee commented: “I have been in talks with representatives from Heathrow and am taking urgent action to ensure that an acceptable solution is sought for the local community. I have been inundated with correspondence expressing concern about the new flight paths. I understand the impact that this is having on my constituents, and I will ensure that everyone who has written to me will receive an update on the situation.
“I have previously stated that I believe the expansion of Heathrow to be in the economic interests of the constituency. However, the environmental impacts of any proposed expansion should be shared equitably across the region. I will continue to work hard to ensure that Heathrow is aware of all the issues that are brought to my attention and I will do everything I can to help resolve this issue.”
Trials are currently underway to establish new designs for Heathrow’s airspace. The current flight path trial at Heathrow is due to finish in January 2015. In light of residents’ concerns, Heathrow have requested that further consideration is given by NATS (the United Kingdom’s main Air Navigation Service Provider) and the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) to the duration of the trail.
The next trial period is scheduled for August 2015, which will be followed by a public consultation. The Heathrow authorities are monitoring the feedback they receive and have assured Dr Lee that this will be considered in any future airspace design.
Heathrow Shortens Current Flight Trials
Dr Phillip Lee, the MP for Bracknell, is pleased by today’s announcement that Heathrow Airport will be ending their current flight trials on November 12th earlier than the original end date of January 26th
Following issues raised at one of his public Q&A sessions and an influx of correspondence from constituents, Dr Lee has worked with Heathrow to ensure that the views of local residents were taken account of and responded to accordingly.
As a consequence of feedback received from local residents, meetings with local authorities and Members of Parliament, Heathrow asked NATS (the United Kingdom’s main Air Navigation Service Provider) to consider shortening the flight trials. Satisfied that sufficient data will have been collected by November 12th current flight trials are to be shortened. Heathrow have also announced that they will postpone trials scheduled to start later this month to Autumn 2015.
The flight trials are part of the Civil Aviation Authority’s plans for future airspace modernisation, which incorporates all airports throughout the UK. As such, Heathrow will be required to run further flight trials in the future. However, Heathrow have assured Dr Lee that details of the next trials will be fully publicised in advance. A review is also to be carried out as to how trials are conducted in the future.
Dr Lee commented: “I am very pleased that Heathrow have today announced the end date for the current flight trial period is to be brought forward by over two months to November 12th. The trials have caused significant and unacceptable levels of disruption to my constituents. It is good news that Heathrow have recognised this, and they have assured me that public engagement over future trials will be improved. I will continue to monitor the current and future trials closely.”
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