Aircraft movements affecting Buckland

Buckland is currently affected by four principal flight paths as follows:

  • Aircraft with routes to the east of Gatwick Airport (LGW) but which depart on a westerly heading (Runway 26L departures), turn right after take off through 180 degrees and fly due east to continue their journey. This route takes them over swathe of Surrey between Norwood Hill to the south and Leigh to the north depending on the tightness of the initial turn.  This is known as Route 4.
  • Aircraft with routes to the west of LGW but which depart on an easterly heading (Runway 08R departures), turn left after take off through 180 degrees and fly due west to continue their journey. This route takes them over a swathe of Surrey between Leigh to the south and Buckland to the north depending on the tightness of the initial turn.  This is known as Route 3.
  • Aircraft arriving at Heathrow (LHR) are sometimes directed into the Ockham Stack which they join over the beacon near Ripley and immediately turn to the north to begin a circuit of the stack. They then fly in a straight line for 1 minute before turning to the right back towards Ockham.  The most south easterly point of the turn is in the skies above Headley.  (This is to change and aircraft will in future fly for 5 nautical miles before turning over Headley which will have the effect of more closely defining the point at which all aircraft begin to turn.)
  • The third route is aircraft departing from LHR and flying south over the North Downs towards Brighton. These aircraft fly below 6,000 ft which is lower than they could otherwise do if it were not for avoiding any aircraft in the Ockham stack.

Whilst Buckland residents are not currently as seriously impacted by aircraft noise as some Surrey residents (who find themselves permanently under a flight path and over flown by low altitude aircraft), Buckland Parish Council (“Council”) continues to monitor developments.

Future changes in the airspace in Southeast England are expected, especially if the development of a third runway at LHR proceeds, about which there will be other consultations as yet to be published. Council continues to monitor developments with the intention of submitting responses to relevant consultations.

Should you be affected by noise there are two sites you can use to monitor aircraft movements, identify specific aircraft and register a noise complaint – click Gatwick or Heathrow. Gatwick provide the option of calling 01293 311568 to register a complaint or submitting an online complaint via PC or mobile.

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL)

On Thursday 18th October 2018, Gatwick Airport published its 2018 Draft Masterplan which included details of the proposal for utilising the emergency northern runway as a full operational runway.

In July 2019 Vinci Group, GAL’s majority owner, announced its plans to grow the airport’s capacity by between 20% and 50% over the next ten to twelve yearsby harnessing of new technology on the main runway and repurposing its emergency runway.

Notwithstanding the immediate and likely longer-term fall in demand for the airport’s services, GAL recently confirmed it intends to continue with its plans and expects to hold a public consultation on its emergency runway development in 2021.

Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC)

Council is a parish council member of GACC and relies upon GACC for advice and notifications of developments in the air industry that could have an impact on operations at Gatwick airport.  

GACC recently expressed its belief that the Covid-19 pandemic provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a greener, cleaner, less noisy, more responsible and better regulated aviation industry and advised it is currently working with a range of national groups to try to ensure community and environmental views are heard and fully considered as aviation restarts.

GACC has expressed disappointment that GAL has not yet withdrawn what GACC considers to be unnecessary and damaging expansion proposals, and committed to continue to oppose them at every opportunity. GACC does not address issues specific to London Heathrow Airport.

GACC invites all local residents to consider joining GACC to help protect the interests of communities around the airport and under flight paths.

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