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 is not 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.

Council is a parish council member of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (“GACC“) and relies upon GACC for advice and notifications of developments in the air industry that relate to LGW.  GACC does not address issues concerning LHR.

In March 2017, Council attended the first public meeting of the Gatwick Noise Management Board and a meeting of the Heathrow Community Noise Forum.  Council submitted a response to the Q1 2017 Department for Transport consultation about night flying; following which the Government published a report setting limits for night flights to apply for the next five years.  Click GACC to view their press release issued when the report was published.  To view the Gatwick Noise Management Board’s website (including papers presented to the latest annual public meeting held in December 2018) click here.

A Department for Transport consultation about the future use of all UK airspace and its management and control closed on 25th May 2017 – Buckland Parish Council submitted a response as did GACC. The Government published its response on 24th October 2017, and, a day later, launched a further consultation to invite comment on a Revised Draft Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) that has been updated to reflect changes in the evidence base and to consider the impact of the publication of the UK Government 2017 Air Quality Plan.  Buckland Parish Council submitted a response to the consultation as did GACC.

On Thursday 18th October, 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 a statement issued in response to this announcement GACC has advised its member parish councils of GACC’s intention to “study the proposals with care” and then to issue advise to its members as to how to respond.

Future changes in the airspace in Southeast England are possible, especially with the development of a third runway at LHR, about which there will be other consultations as yet to be published.  Council recently submitted a response to a DFT Runway Consultation and continues to monitor developments and respond accordingly.

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. On 1st April 2019 Gatwick reintroduced the option of calling 01293 311568 to register a complaint and also publicised links to submit an online complaint via PC or mobile.