Fighting for fairer skies
The Government is pursuing a process of airspace ‘modernisation’, designed primarily to facilitate aviation growth. But recent proposals and trials have generated significant community opposition, not least because airspace change sponsors (airports or air traffic control providers) have been able to make significant changes to how flight paths are used with little to no public consultation.
As a result, people can find themselves under a flight path without either having their say or being entitled to compensation. Many communities feel that they have no voice within the process and that their interests are effectively ignored. Both the regulator (CAA) and the Government have acknowledged the problem and have begun to consider ways to make the decision-making process more transparent and robust. But communities also have concerns about whether the demands of industry are balanced by effective protection of the public from noise impacts.
What we want to see
- Airspace change proposals should take full account of environmental impacts, particularly in relation to noise, for which appropriate long-term objectives should be defined
- Industry growth should be accommodated only to the extent that it does not compromise achievement of appropriate noise objectives
- Policy should seek local input at every stage and be flexible to take account of local circumstances
- An independent noise regulator with effective enforcement powers should be set up
What we’re doing
- In April 2017, we held an event to hear our members’ view on airspace issues, and to give them the opportunity to speak directly to the Department for Transport and Civil Aviation Authority about their concerns
- We responded to the Government’s consultation on airspace and noise policy highlighting the need for tougher noise regulation and highlighting gaps in the process
- We continue to engage with Government, including through the newly-created Airspace and Noise Engagement Group (ANEG), and with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the aviation regulator