FAS, Concentration, and the Public: An email to MPs

The following is an email trail from Rob Beere, who represents the Aviation Communities Forum, to Members of Parliament informing them that the threat of noise and pollution from the implementation of new aviation strategies needs to be taken seriously, and given the proper attention it deserves.

It makes for interesting reading and Rob certainly doesn’t hold back, succinctly getting his feelings across that represents many of the communities affected by the impact of the aviation industry’s inept attitude to those on the ground. And we believe Rob’s hard work will hit home to many of those MPs that have yet to consider the impacts from not just Heathrow, but all airports and changes in flight paths, which will affect so many residents in constituencies that these MPs represent.

The recipents include:

  • Patrick McLoughlin – Secretary of State for Transport
  • Robert Goodwill – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport
  • John Redwood – Conservative MP for Wokingham
  • Dr Philip Lee – Conservative MP for Bracknell
  • Fiona McTaggart – Labour MP for Slough
  • Chris Grayling – Secretary of State for Justice
  • Dominic Rabb – Conservative MP for Esher and Walton
  • Kwasi Kwarteng – Conservative MP for Spelthorne
  • Philip Hammond – Conservative MP for Runnymede and Weybridge
  • Jonathan Lord – Conservative MP for Woking
  • Adam Afriyie – Conservative MP for Windsor
  • Teresa May – Conservative MP for Maidenhead
  • Dominic Grieve – Conservative MP for Beaconsfield
  • Steve Baker – Conservative MP for Wycombe
  • Nicola Sturgeon – Leader of the Scottish National Party and SMP for Glasgow Southside
  • Jeremy Corbyn – Leader of the Labour Party and MP for Islington
  • Tim Farron – Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party and MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale

From: Rob Beere
Sent: 21 October 20:50
To: Patrick McCloughlin, Robert Goodwill, John Redwood, Philip Lee, Fiona McTaggart, Chris Grayling, Dominic Rabb, Kwasi Kwarteng, Philip Hammond, Annie Winsbury, Jonathan Lord, Adam Afriyie, Teresa May, Dominic Grieve, Steve Baker, Nicola Sturgeon, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron
Subject: The Future Airspace Strategy, concentration and the public.

Hello Members of Parliament,

You are all either representing constituency’s to the South and West of Heathrow that are or will be affected by the introduction of the F.A.S. in the UK.

If you are not, then you are at the Department for Transport or the leader of a political party.

The rolling out of this programme of concentrated flightpaths is having a serious effect on many community’s and this is a summary of the F.A.S. as seen (and heard) from Ground level. For some of you the full effects of the F.A.S. will not be seen until the completion of the third runway. For all of you the potential fallout is massive in terms of the health, wealth and quality of living for swathes of the communities you serve.

Whilst Mr Redwood, Mr Lee and Mr Afriyie are aware of the impacts in their communities, other including my MP are seemingly ignoring the fact they have problem.

This issue is here and now and it will not go away by trying to ignore it.

The concentration and lowering of Flightpaths which have been introduced to areas including those previously unaffected by aircraft noise, is causing abject misery and near instant health problems everywhere it has been rolled out.

A review of where we are now:

The attitude to concentration of flightpaths by the government and industry:

  • DFT states it is policy to fit in with European agreements and government policy
  • Robert Goodwill states that it is policy to fit in with European agreements and that this is government policy
  • Heathrow states we have to follow the FAS plan to comply with European Agreements and government policy
  • CAA, won’t comment comprehensively or clearly about anything. But one needs to assume that they agree that this is government policy
  • NATSnot a 100% sure but must assume they agree this is government policy
  • ALL agreethat you have a finite amount of airspace that can be used safely.

Attitudes to concentration by the public under the flightpaths:

  • Public @ Gatwick states this isn’t working for us
  • Public @ Heathrow states this isn’t working for us
  • Public @ Belfast states this isn’t working for us
  • Public @ every currently effected  UK airport states that this isn’t working for us
  • US public states Next Gen (FAS equivalent) this isn’t working for us
  • More and more MP’s and SNP’s are stating this isn’t working for us and our communities
  • It is appreciated that you have a finite amount of airspace that you can use safely BUT there will come a time, it is I suspect here already, when you need to stop trying to increase the number of  flights as it has a negative effect on health and wellbeing which has a greater financial cost on the country that whatever you will expect to get back in return.

To summarise: this is a government policy which isn’t working for the Public.

Facing the facts at Heathrow:

  • They are getting over 100,000 noise complaints a year and rising
  • This equates to a 1600 % increase in complaints since 2013 when the F.A.S. programme was advised as starting
  • There are at least 25 noise groups around Heathrow alone which have been set up since this programme started
  • More MP’s and SNP’s are questioning the workability of the F.A.S.
  • The sound shadow impact is now as far out as 30 miles from the airport
  • Flying planes from the Ockham stack to Heathrow at below 7,000ft is not reducing nor trying to reduce the noise impact in 7 Boroughs
  • Any other commercial industry in the UK impacting on communities in this manner would be “slapped” with a noise abatement notice and either an H. S.E. stop notice or improvement order
  • A.S. benefits only the users and the industry and impacts negatively on more people than ever before.
  • Planes are not getting quieter
  • The “industry” by accident or design has tried to mislead the public and the local councils using many different means including the Heathrow Community Noise Forum and PR (propaganda)  generally for its own benefit and the wheels are starting to come off
  • The Heathrow Community Noise Forum recently received representation from its own members that they considered that Heathrow were using this to mislead and as propaganda
  • As a result they have had to remove articles from their website. They have not responded to the letter.
  • House prices within the affected swathes will suffer between a 35 and 70% loss:  No one wants to live under a flightpath especially if there is an alternative option.

F.A.S.

  • It may well be government policy and it may well need to be fully introduced by 2020 to comply with Europe. But it doesn’t work on the ground in the UK and objection is increasing
  • If this system isn’t working in both the US and UK, then it is unlikely to be workable or accepted in the rest of the free world particularly in built up areas like we see in the UK
  • The question of whether it is worth continuing without a review needs short consideration
  • A.S. has failed singularly to appreciate the issue of noise to people on the ground and the only consideration to the Public was F.A.S. point 29 (page 26) that we, the public, may object.  N.S.S!
  • The mantra from the industry at all levels from Robert Goodwill down, indicates that you are trying to reduce significant areas affected by noise, this in turn is significantly affecting areas with noise. There is clearly a massive unconsidered failing in the plan, that was the impact of those significantly affected.  Looks good on paper, fails in practice
  • The introduction of the FAS in its current format only benefits the industry and their users and the price for industry savings is paid too heavily by those on the ground in terms of noise, which in turn has a massive almost immediate detrimental effect on the health of those effected.

No other commercial business in the world would get the sort of feedback this industry is getting and continue blindly on with a programme in the abject belief that it will work out in the long term.  It won’t.

Actions Available.

To stop return the flight paths to dispersal and then re-evaluate the programme, and then redesign it.

This is going to be more cost effective than:

  • Full implementation to the point where it is finally acknowledged that it isn’t working, as is being seen in the US with the Next Gen programme
  • A redesign period  (for 5 years+? during which time illnesses relating to noise increase and compensation claims will be rising)
  • Consultation with the public
  • Re -implementation
  • Financial costs: Massive £b
  • Impact in terms of health: Massive £b
  • Socio economic upset: Massive £b
  • Compensation claims: Massive £b

That action to stop and re-evaluate isn’t wishful nor airy fairy thinking: it is sound economic business sense.

If all our airports were located in the middle of the desert with nothing around them for 30 miles, this would be a sensible programme, they are not and it is not.

This is a summary of the letter sent to Cheryl Monk, John Holland Kaye and Matt Gorman at Heathrow as well as to Stewart Wingate at Gatwick.

My group which represents the interests of aviation groups around the country affected by the concentrated flightpath issues and wants to get the flightpath issues resolved soonest.

This FAS programme has been rolled out under the guise of trials at every airport and these trials just never ended.

Someone, somewhere knew that this was going to be very contentious and must have known that the ramifications of stating that this was part of the FAS introduced without public consultation would cause local MP’s extreme problems within the constituencies particularly before the last election.

In their current format the aviation industry is heading towards the creation of noise ghettos and will change the socio economic of the areas they affect for decades.

This is not what you need nor want from this term in government.

We are looking for an all-party review into concentrated flightpaths, their effects on those beneath them and how these major changes in flightpaths were permitted in breach of the D.F.T. guidelines on “airspace changes likely to have a significant impact on the public”.

Thank you for your time.

You will appreciate that I am not a full time campaigner and I can be contacted either directly on my mobile or through the contact details below.

Kind Regards

Rob
On behalf of the Aviation Communities Forum


From: Rob Beere
Sent: 24 October 2015 11:58
To: Patrick McCloughlin, Robert Goodwill, John Redwood, Philip Lee, Fiona McTaggart, Chris Grayling, Dominic Rabb, Kwasi Kwarteng, Philip Hammond, Annie Winsbury, Jonathan Lord, Adam Afriyie, Teresa May, Dominic Grieve, Steve Baker, Nicola Sturgeon, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron
Subject: The Future Airspace Strategy, concentration and the public.

Hello Members of Parliament,

As a follow up to my last email.

The Heathrow Community Noise Forum was publicly condemned by the community groups on the forum last Monday @ 07:00 for:

  • Failing to Consider the health effects of concentrated noise on the public:
  • Failing to consider the health impacts of increasing the number of flights on public health.
  • Using the forum as justification and implying that the forum agreed to many issues that community members hadn’t even seen let alone agreed to,  such as planes getting quieter and less people affected by noise.

For the Minster Mr Robert Goodwill to use the Heathrow Noise Forum later that day as an exemplar and to show that Heathrow is doing everything it can do to reduce noise in the bill raised by Dr Philip Lee is somewhat farcical.

Aircraft Noise is increasing and having a greater impact on communities and the industry is not making any attempt at reducing this impact.

Mr Redwood was correct in his speech on a number of points but the one that impressed me and should be noted by all was, (I paraphrase) you have all individually been voted to look after the best interests of your communities and failing to do this will not be warmly received at the next election.

There are some deeply divisive and unpopular bills being pushed through at the moment by the Conservatives, forcing ahead with the future airspace strategy knowing there are many medical issues doesn’t need to be added to the list, nor does it fit with the protection of the public.

Sugar may be bad for us but this can take years to manifest in terms of health.

Concentrated noise can do damage in days.

It is time that the devastating short term effects of aircraft noise are seriously considered before this government proceeds any further with his FAS mission and Mr Cameron / Mr Osbourne decide that another runway is needed anywhere where the public will be affected by concentrated and low flying planes.

This isn’t rocket science this is common sense.

Kind regards,

Rob
On behalf of the Aviation Communities Forum


From: Rob Beere
Sent: 26 October 2015 17:24
To: Patrick McCloughlin, Robert Goodwill, John Redwood, Philip Lee, Fiona McTaggart, Chris Grayling, Dominic Rabb, Kwasi Kwarteng, Philip Hammond, Annie Winsbury, Jonathan Lord, Adam Afriyie, Teresa May, Dominic Grieve, Steve Baker, Nicola Sturgeon, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron
Subject: Michael Gove and the adjournment debate

Hello Members of Parliament,

You are the MP’s of aircraft noise affected communities. Some of you though are an affected community in waiting and whilst this issue may not be on your radar now, it will be if you don’t seriously consider the impact of a third runway on your own constituencies, if this system of concentration continues unabated.

I have just had this letter sent through to me from the campaign leader of the Surrey Heath Group to Mr Gove MP it is long but worth considering the grass roots view of the attitude of this issue by one borough.

I have also included for your entertainment the minutes of the recent meeting between Stewart Wingate CEO Gatwick and the NATS CEO Martin Rolfe with local community groups in the Gatwick area.

John Holland Kaye has under pressure finally decided to hold a similar meeting, but not until December. The reason for his slow progress can only be imagined, but how many of you will vote for Heathrow having a third runway knowing that your communities are or are about to be, blighted by concentrated noise?

With the Heathrow Community Noise Forum fast approaching critical mass, as the communities groups are fed up with the FAS policy being presented as the only option on the table and Heathrows PR machine dishing out whatever doctored news it thinks the public and press will swallow, it is time that MP’s and Councillors from all boroughs stopped listening to polished PR and started listening to grass roots groups fed up with the noise in their communities.

With more MP’s appreciating the impact of concentrated noise on communities and whispers coming from our contacts within NATS that they don’t think concentration is going to “fly” it may be politically advantageous as well as socially and morally correct to join in with the opposition of this element of the Future Airspace Policy.

Concentration blights lives, homes and relationships, it causes accelerated illness, stress and anxiety.  None of these are vote winners nor beneficial to the future of GB PLC especially.

Kind regards,

Rob
On behalf of the Aviation Communities Forum

Attached:

Michael-Gove-Adjournment-Debate-Heathrow

Minutes of meeting 25.09.15 CAANATSGALHWCAAG


From: Rob Beere
Sent: 27 October 2015 22:00
To: Patrick McCloughlin, Robert Goodwill, John Redwood, Philip Lee, Fiona McTaggart, Chris Grayling, Dominic Rabb, Kwasi Kwarteng, Philip Hammond, Annie Winsbury, Jonathan Lord, Adam Afriyie, Teresa May, Dominic Grieve, Steve Baker, Nicola Sturgeon, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron
Subject: Wrong Picture

Hello and Good Evening.

Unfortunately I have been coping with concentrated arrivals into Heathrow all day and my mind is fried by having a plane every two and half minutes over my house and office.

Obviously this bombardment of concentrated noise adds to the pressure and stress of employing 15 people plus subcontractors and running a company that pays all its VAT and taxes on time without a fuss.

Still I should get an hour of quiet before I go to bed as the noise calms down to near bearable around 23:00.

I won’t need to set my alarm clock because Heathrow will wake me at around 05:30 and unlike the trusty alarm clock of old there is no “snooze” button.

Unfortunately the weekends are much the same as the week so it’s not much fun being part of this particular government policy.

Concentration and lowered Flight paths are negatively impacting on all areas of the UK, it is time for a review.

Just a picture tonight for your consideration.

wrong picture

(TAG are members of the Aviation Communities Forum.)

As always thank you for your time.

Kind regards,

Rob
On behalf of the Aviation Communities Forum

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2 Comments

  1. PAULINE
    3rd November 2015
    Reply

    Excellent. The continued use of these flight paths is an absoute disgrace and everything should be put back to how it used to be immediately and the whole industry needs a complete rethink because they are completely our of control.

  2. Gill Holmes
    30th October 2015
    Reply

    Brilliantly put. Is there no way we can challenge these changes through the courts? It is simply outrageous to put the public across the world needlessly at risk in this way.

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