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NATS Flightpath Review

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NATS Flightpath Review

Old 12th Feb 2008, 19:17
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NATS Flightpath Review


I'm a regular observer of this board, but I rarely post. I hope someone can perhaps shed a bit of light on some rumours that have been circulating in my local press.

I live in a village in Suffolk, just south of Bury St Edmunds. In nearby Sudbury aircraft noise has become a problem in recent years, due to the positioning of a holding stack named ABBOT, also used by Luton airport, above the town. Due to increased numbers of flights it is said that this holding stack is no longer sufficient. There are rumours that NATS is planning two new holding stacks in the East of England.

I have contacted the CAA. They said they have not yet recieved formal proposals and suggested that I contact NATS. I rang NATS and they said that 'yes' new proposals are likely to be announced shortly (by mid spring was a close as I could get them to disclose) and then passed to the CAA for approval. But until then could not reveal any details. Stories on airport specific news sites on the internet in the last twelve months indicate that at least one of these new 'holding stacks' is likely to be over central Suffolk. For planes waiting to land at London Stansted, Luton and even East Midlands - it has been mooted.

In one of the articles published in the Ipswich Evening Star, a journalist contacted the CAA with regard to aircraft noise in Suffolk present and future. He was told by the CAA spokesperson that "if you don't like aircraft noise, I wouldn't move to Suffolk."

My village, called Stanningfield, is 28 miles from the runway at Stansted. Am I right in thinking at this distance to landing the average passenger jet would be at around 8,000ft? They would therefore appear the eqivalent height of a 4cm wingspan plane drawn indoors at ceiling height from the floor in a regular room, assuming CDA are used.

If someone could pass their thoughts on these proposals, and the liklihood of them coming true I would be very grateful.


Last edited by sunday8pm; 13th Feb 2008 at 13:07.
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Old 12th Feb 2008, 20:49
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Hi there,

Once NATS has any plans for airspace changes, in a mature state, they must then go through a consultation exercise with interested parties. This will include local councils, national park authorities, etc, as well as airspace users.

The 7 stage process is detailed in the CAA's CAP725 document '''CAA Guidance on the Application of the Airspace Change Process''. You can find more details here, as well as a link to the document.


Until the process is initiated (by NATS), preparatory work is not in the public domain, nor should it be. Otherwise all sorts of hares might be set running for something which turns out to be totally different from the fully developed public consultation proposal. This would be a waste of time and effort on everyones part.

The CAA will publish consultation documents for the public at the appropriate stage in the process, usually on their website. At that point, folks can have their say.
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Old 13th Feb 2008, 07:13
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Join Date: Oct 2000
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I've lived either under or close to Heathrow holding areas for much of my life and have to say that I do not find the noise of the aircraft in any way intrusive. Many years ago when jets first started, sure they were noisy but modern jets are very quiet. Where I live at the moment, aircraft inbound to a Heathrow holding area pass over at 8-12000ft but because they are descending they are almost inaudible.

If you want to be sure of what you are seeing you need one of the "virtual radar" gadgets on the market Set up correctly it will show most commercial aircraft together with their altitudes and other information.
Old 14th Feb 2008, 17:48
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Not sure where Stanningfield is, but have you looked at

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Old 21st Feb 2008, 04:49
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New airport flight paths proposed

Plans to move flight paths in and out of major British airports away from built up areas have been launched by the firm that manages UK air traffic.

National Air Traffic Services says its plans would cut by 20% the number of people affected by noise from departing planes flying below 4,000ft (1,219m). Airports including Heathrow, Stansted, Luton and London City may be affected.
full story http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7255717.stm
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Old 21st Feb 2008, 08:48
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Give it 5 years and they will have built towns under the new flight paths which will be bought by people who will then complain about the noise.
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Old 21st Feb 2008, 11:39
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Leave them alone.

Why mess up the countryside? What are the numbers...30 million people living in towns and cities currently affected by flightpaths...30,000 people living in the countryside.

BUT...big but...statistically that's 1000x more people from the cities actually doing the flying..so they make the noise..so leave the bloody things alone.
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Old 21st Feb 2008, 17:30
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Thumbs down Pitstone

Having read the proposal, I seem to be one of the very unlucky ones. I live in Pitstone near Tring which appears to have been turned into a roundabout for Luton's westerly departures.

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Old 21st Feb 2008, 19:08
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TC North consultation


NATS has launched the consultation for the proposed TC North airspace development.

The TC North consultation is the largest such exercise ever undertaken by NATS. Not only is the consultation a large exercise, but the airspace change itself is also complex. In addition, P-RNAV is being implemented on a widespread integrated basis for the first time in Europe, if not the world. The way in which ATC is provided in this volume of airspace is being changed.

GATCO will be providing a response to this consultation. If you are a member and wish to channel your response via the Guild, please visit the forums on the GATCO web-site (www.gatco.org) or e-mail [email protected].

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Old 22nd Feb 2008, 00:29
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Having read the proposal documents on the NATS website I thought that the most telling quote was in The Times this morning.

A 60+ gentleman was quoted in the paper edition as being disappointed that he would be subject to more aircraft overhead; his next comment being a (deliberately ironic?) statement that he would be on one of those aircraft in a few months while going on holiday.

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Old 22nd Feb 2008, 15:40
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There is a whole website dedicated to the NATS consultation, which even has a postcode checker which should answer any questions which you may have.
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Old 22nd Feb 2008, 17:41
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Join Date: May 2003
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The Times article mentioned by Mocoman has generated a number of comments. Here's one of the more 'unusual' views:

"I have heard said that there are a higher number of breathing related problems such as asthma in Stevenage due to the high level of aviation fuel in the air over the town.
This is because planes jetison taxable loads from aircraft tanks before they land."

Times article
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Old 22nd Feb 2008, 22:35
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Location, Location, Location
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Age: 57
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yes I noticed that as well; but couldn't stop laughing for long enough to post about it.
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