Airspace Change Consultations

Mole Valley's airspace is used heavily by air traffic predominantly associated with Gatwick Airport and Heathrow Airport, which can have noise impacts upon local communities.

Performance Based Navigation

Performance based navigation (PBN, also referred to as P-RNAV and RNAV1) was introduced at Gatwick Airport in November 2013 and became mandatory for all departures in May 2014.

The greater accuracy of performance based navigation has had the effect of concentrating flights along much narrower routes than has been the case in the past. Concentrating flight paths may have reduced the total number of people affected by noise, but has increased it for those who live or work close to the route.

Gatwick Route 4 Airspace Change

Gatwick Airport's departure Route 4 sees aircraft take off toward the west, before wrapping 180 degrees round to the right and heading east, flying close to areas of Capel, Beare Green, South Holmwood, Newdigate and Leigh.

Following an airspace change for Route 4 to utilise PBN in 2013, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reviewed the redesigned departure route in 2015 to assess whether the anticipated impacts and benefits of the airspace change happened in practice. They found that Route 4 had not delivered the aims of the airspace change and required it to be modified. This was undertaken by Gatwick and then ratified by the CAA in their Post Implementation Review in April 2017.

However, following a legal challenge, the CAA found that the historical changes to the conventional route were not for entirely the reasons originally identified, and therefore asked the Court to quash their decision.

This means that the amended Route 4 (Standard Instrument Departures) remains in place but has a temporary status, as was the case prior to April 2017. A new airspace change proposal has been initiated by Gatwick Airport and is currently ongoing. For more information on Route 4, see Gatwick Airport's website and Airspace Blog.

Future Airspace Strategy Implementation (FASI) South

The Department for Transport has launched a major programme of airspace modernisation that will change the architecture of airspace design across the South East of England. NATS, the main air navigation service provider in the UK, are responsible for airspace above 7,000 feet and all airports affected, including Gatwick and Heathrow, are responsible for their airspace below 7,000 feet.

MVDC will engage with both Gatwick and Heathrow throughout this programme to ensure that the redesign of airspace brings benefits to residents. Further details on airspace modernisation can be found on the CAA's website and Gatwick Airport's website.

MVDC's responses to both Gatwick and Heathrow can be found in the 'Downloads' section below.

Aviation Strategy

The government is currently developing an Aviation Strategy for the UK. In December 2018, a consultation on the Department for Transport's green paper, titled Aviation 2050, was launched. MVDC's response can be found in the 'Downloads' section below.

Noise information and Complaints

There is a range of information available on Gatwick Airport's website relating to aircraft noise.If you are disturbed by aircraft noise either generally or as the result of a trial, it is open to you to register a complaint by:

Gatwick Airport: use the complaint form on the Gatwick Airport website.

Heathrow Airport: use the complaint form on the Heathrow Airport website.

Related Pages

Last Updated: 06/11/2019

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