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New flight plans impact study unveiled

PUBLISHED: 10:19 14 June 2008 | UPDATED: 20:37 05 July 2010

PLANS to alter the way aircraft are directed to fly in eastern England are unlikely to have any significant impact on parts of the Suffolk area is the conclusion from a council after seeking views and opinions.

PLANS to alter the way aircraft are directed to fly in eastern England are unlikely to have any significant impact on parts of the Suffolk area is the conclusion from a council after seeking views and opinions.

The National Air Traffic Service (NATS) has asked Suffolk Coastal Council for its views on the proposed development of the Terminal Control North which governs the way that commercial aircraft are managed over eastern England and a large part of London and the south.

“This consultation by NATS is strictly about the way flights are managed in our region and has nothing to do with any possible expansions of airports or increases in air travel. This council has been asked for its comments and we contacted our town and parish councils to find out what were their views,” said Andrew Nunn, cabinet member for the green environment.

“After looking at the few responses we received and the detailed proposals, and a very useful meeting with NATS representatives, our conclusion is that it is unlikely that the proposed changes will have a significant impact on our district.

“However, we have pointed out that the changes could have a more significant impact on some rural communities in neighbouring councils and we have expressed our opposition to the principle that aircraft should be routed away from urban areas to more sparsely populated rural communities as noise from aircraft, although quite low, is more intrusive in the quiet of the countryside than in towns,” added Mr Nunn.

The NATS proposals would see a change in the way that the airspace is controlled over Suffolk, Cambridge and Essex, the full details of which can be seen on www.consultation.nats.co.uk

“We have also made it clear that we would expect our district not to be adversely affected by any future changes to air traffic handling arrangements in the region because so much of our district is an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). We would demand that the coast and heaths AONB be given the same protection that has been awarded to Dedham Vale,” added Mr Nunn.

The official closing date for comments to NATS is June 19 and comments can be made via its consultation website. According to NATS, it is applying the “utmost rigour” to develop proposals which give full consideration to all the issues regarding safety, efficiency and the environment.

NATS is seeking feedback on this proposal before submitting it to the UK airspace regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, for a decision.

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