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.
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.
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.
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 years by 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, having factored in the time management believe it will take to gain the necessary approvals, construct and start operations held a consultation on its plans during the autumn on 2021. A copy of the Buckland Parish Council submission to this consultation is available to download.
GAL submitted a Development Consent Order application to the Planning Inspectorate on 6th July 2023, to seek permission to increase capacity of the airport by bringing the existing emergency runway into use. On 3rd August 2023 GAL announced the Planning Inspectorate had accepted GAL’s application, which will now progress to full public examination. For the latest update visit the news page.
Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) made clear in its formal response to GAL’s 2021 consultation that MVDC finds the proposal unacceptable in terms of the impact it would have on the environment and on the health and wellbeing of Mole Valley residents. The Lead Councillor of MVDC has now expressed disappointment at the decision and stated that MVDC, together with the nine other councils that surround Gatwick will continue to engage with the Planning Inspectorate on the many outstanding issues that are unresolved and without agreement across a wide range of issues.
Buckland Parish Council continues to take up any opportunities to engage with GAL with the aim of being in the the best position possible to explain any concerns Council has with GAL proposals.
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 has expressed its belief that the Covid-19 pandemic provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a greener, cleaner, less noisy, more responsible and better regulated aviation industry and advised it was working with a range of national groups to try to ensure community and environmental views are heard and fully considered as aviation restarted.
GACC has since expressed disappointment that GAL had not withdrawn what GACC considers to be unnecessary and damaging expansion proposals. GACC is committed to opposing GAL’s expansion proposals 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.