Greater accountability, measures to cut emissions, tackle delays, reduce stacking and a new, independent noise body have formed part of a series of new measures, recently announced by the Government, to bring Britain’s airspace policy into the 21st century.
A revised Airports National Policy Framework; the introduction of which coincides with the Civil Aviation Authority’s planned redesign of UK airspace, has been welcomed by local MP, Dame Caroline Spelman as well as local residents and campaigners who live on the flight paths which serve Birmingham Airport.
Announcing the changes, the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP, told MPs that the proposals would include;
- a new Secretary of State ‘call in’ power on airspace changes of national importance; allowing them to provide direction and act as a democratic backstop on the most significant decisions;
- changes to aviation noise compensation policy;
- the creation of the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) as a new non-departmental public body;
- a new requirement for options analysis in airspace change;
- as well as new metrics and appraisal guidance to assess noise impacts and the impacts on health and quality of life.
Mr Grayling added that these updated measures will “help address the concerns of residents” and “provide greater democratic accountability on the most significant decisions”.
Speaking about the impact these changes would have on local residents, the MP for Meriden, Dame Caroline Spelman, said:
“I welcome these proposed changes to airspace policy which, whilst recognising the significant economic contribution aviation makes to our economy, ultimately serves to mitigate the impact of noise and air traffic pollution on the communities that lie in close proximity to major airports such as Birmingham.
“I know from my ongoing dialogue and work with the residents and campaigners in Castle Bromwich who are affected by Birmingham Airport’s current flight path change proposals, that the establishment of an Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise is an important step forward in their campaign to secure maximum relief from aircraft noise and nuisance.
“Having raised the issue of both the northbound and southbound flight paths with the Secretary of State, I am pleased that the Government has listened to local communities and is acting on resident’s concerns”.
The Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) will be set up in 2018 and a review of its service and practices will take place within the first two years. The purpose of this review is to ensure that the organisation is promoting best practice and that it is trusted and transparent to the public.
You can read more about the proposed changes here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-airspace-policy-a-framework-for-the-design-and-use-of-airspace
About Birmingham Airport’s consultation:
Birmingham Airport is undertaking a consultation about proposed new flightpaths for aircraft departing the Airport to the north from Runway 33.
They are required to implement new flightpaths because of a national programme to modernise UK airspace, which is introducing changes in the technology used to navigate aircraft and which aims to deliver a more efficient airspace system for the UK.
In response to a number of requests, please note the consultation period has been extended and will now close on THURSDAY 16TH NOVEMBER 2017. The consultation is available here: https://www.birminghamairport.co.uk/about-us/community-and-environment/flight-path-changes-north-runway33/.