Heathrow consultation opens

Heathrow's airspace and future operations consultation opens

Spelthorne Borough Council is urging residents to respond to Heathrow's latest consultation on proposed changes to airspace and future operations.

The consultation covers:

  • Airspace design for the current two-runway airport including the design envelopes for new arrival routes, with the introduction of Independent Parallel Approaches
  • Airspace design for an expanded Heathrow including the design envelopes for three runways at Heathrow
  • How a three runway airport will be operated including directional preference, night flights and runway alternation

One of the main proposed changes to the existing airport will see Heathrow increase their flights by an additional 25,000 up to 505,000 a year, and changes to the use of runways at set times which will increase the number of early morning flights.

Included in the consultation are broad areas of where future flight paths might be positioned. Even though specific flight paths will not be defined until 2022, people need to comment now on the proposed changes. Flight paths have not been changed since the 1950s so any alterations in the future will potentially have an impact for many years.

In relation to night flights, the current night period defined by UK policy for scheduled arrivals and departures is 11pm to 7am (with additional quotas, a voluntary period for no scheduled flights and provisions for exceptional circumstances). In practice Heathrow operates restricted scheduled arrivals from 04.30 and full scheduled operations from 06.00 with the last scheduled arrival at 2305. Heathrow has stated a preference for the night period to be between 11pm and 5.30am.

Consultation materials are available to view at the Council Offices, Knowle Green and at the consultation events. Local events are to be held at Stanwell Moor Village Hall in Horton Road, Stanwell Moor on 26 January (10am to 4pm) and Thorpe Road, Staines on 14 February (2pm to 8pm).  The deadline for responses is 11.55pm on 4 March 2019.

Cllr John Boughtflower, Cabinet Member for Heathrow, said: "People need to be aware that changes to airspace will have an impact on the whole Borough, not just those towns and villages closest to the airport, and that that it is not just about expansion: it includes proposals to change the existing airport operations regardless of whether or not the airport gets a third runway".

Cllr Ian Harvey, Leader of Spelthorne Borough Council, said "We are doing all we can to get the best deal possible for our communities and as part of this we will of course be putting together a comprehensive response, but it is also crucial that people understand the full implications and have their say".

To find out more and respond, visit: https://afo.heathrowconsultation.com/

Updates and analysis of key issues will also be available via the Council's website www.spelthorne.gov.uk/Heathrow