Anti-airport expansion groups urge UK government to tighten ATC rules

1 June 2015 (Last Updated June 1st, 2015 18:30)

Anti-airport expansion campaigners have joined forces to urge the UK Government to introduce changes to its aviation policy.

gatwick

In a letter to the UK transport minister, the protestors demanded tightening of air traffic control (ATC) rules to bring down aircraft noise and to make better use of airspace, reported the Financial Times.

According to the letter, the new flight routes that were introduced as part of a European initiative have resulted in an increase in the number of people getting affected by aircraft noise.

"A new class of significantly affected people has been created, in the name of the government's policy, with no consultation or redress," the letter noted.

"The country cannot afford to make the wrong choice and risk years of delay on a project that is eventually halted because of its unacceptable impact."

Anti-Heathrow group, Communities Against Increased Aircraft Noise source Helen Hansen said: "It's time to put human health and wellbeing before profits for airlines and airports, by instituting proper regulatory safeguards to minimise aircraft noise over heavily populated areas."

The letter has been written weeks before the UK Airports Commission is scheduled to decide about the expansion of either Gatwick or Heathrow airport.

The Gatwick airport has been voicing its concerns about Heathrow's breach of the legally-permitted limits of air quality.

Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: "The country cannot afford to make the wrong choice and risk years of delay on a project that is eventually halted because of its unacceptable impact.

"There is now an alternative - Gatwick has never breached legal air quality limits and would operate comfortably within these standards with a second runway."


Image: Gatwick airport says that Heathrow airport has repeatedly breached permissible air quality limit. Photo: courtesy of Gatwick airport.