Where will the superhighway be? who knows – in a bizarre ‘Pin a Tail on the Donkey’ way, it’s up to us apparently to comment on a narrow flight path when we don’t actually know its location. ‘Map 35′ in the 2nd consultation shows a large red swathe between Tunbridge Wells and East Grinstead. Within this, Gatwick propose to create a very narrow ‘Superhighway’ where ALL Easterly aircraft will approach (excluding the existing narrow corridor between Hildenborough and Tonbridge) from the ‘merge point’ down south. This proposal is not linked to the 2nd runway, therefore if a second runway is agreed we may end up with 2 Superhighways – would the second be placed in the ‘respite’ route shown? who knows?
The red area is optimistically labelled ‘more than 35 planes a day’ in reality this means 250+ per day at between 2300ft and 4000ft!
What we know is that this Superhighway will be like ‘standing within 1 metre if a vacuum cleaner’. If the aim is to lessen the impact on numbers of communities overflown, bizarrely this will actually mean a corridor of communities having an intolerable increase in noise pollution day and night whilst a wider swathe approx 1mile either side also having constant noise… no one wins. (see our FAQs on what the Point Merge system is)
Yet we are being asked to decide what we feel about this on the basis of a vague .ppt map by August 14th 2014! FYI the ‘respite’ option shown is proposed only for night time and has not been agreed at any level. Therefore there is no respite.
Worryingly for residents as far south as Crowborough and the Ashdown Forest, who border the sub 4000ft zone…Map 35 does not even cover their area, yet the proposed Superhighway will impact them greatly. Here are a few numbers:
To download our 2nd consultation guidance below click on these files below
What happens next?
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will assess the airspace change proposal that is being developed by Gatwick Airport Ltd and National Air Traffic Services (NATS). The CAA will then make a recommendation to the Department for Transport (DfT) and it will ultimately be the Government, through the Secretary of State for Transport, to approve the changes.Download post pdf