More low flying planes set to cross north Essex

Stansted Airport.

Stansted Airport. - Credit: Archant

More low flying planes look set to come across north Essex as they leave Stansted Airport following the end of a public consultation.

National Air Traffic Services (NATS), the main UK air traffic management provider, is proposing to route more outbound planes along a flightpath towards Clacton to avoid congestion in the skies over London.

It says the move will also be more environmentally friendly as it will allow planes to continuously and more quickly climb to higher altitudes. Around 50 more planes per day would fly along the East route along north Essex, double the current number.

The planes are unlikely to reach 7,000ft until around Kelvedon.

Several hundred objections were made to the plans during a 12-week public consultation.

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However while noting the feedback NATS has said none of the responses presented a new case to not go ahead with the proposed changes.

Witham MP Priti Patel said: “Increases in low flying flights will be a cause of concern for residents affected.

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“I would expect NATS and the airline companies to engage with communities to mitigate these effects and take a sensible and pragmatic approach should serious complaints be received.”

NATS will submit an Airspace Change Proposal to the Civil Aviation Authority on Wednesday, including all of the feedback.

If approved the change will come into effect in December next year.

Paul Haskins, general manager of London Terminal Control at NATS, said: “We are not surprised by the ratio of objections to expressions of support – in any consultation people are more likely to voice their feelings if they oppose the proposal or feel that it will have a negative impact on them.

“The response confirmed our understanding of general stakeholder concerns and demonstrates that the views of the Stansted community group are in line with general environmental issues highlighted in Department for Transport guidance.

“This is the first part of a long and complex set of airspace changes to deliver the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy. This first proposal will provide environmental benefits through more efficient routings and climb profiles, whilst enabling future stages of the airspace programme, all of which will be widely communicated and consulted on.”

Craig Martin, chairman of Kelvedon Parish Council, said: “Realistically there is not much we can do about it. We have a grudging acceptance that that’s what is going to happen.

“Although it will cause some annoyance and disturbance it is likely to happen, and NATS has a hard job as wherever they send planes it will annoy someone.”

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