Villagers celebrated last weekend as a flight path trial, which has been taking planes over their homes for the past six months, came to an end.
Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE) was formed in February after aircraft departing Gatwick started flying over Warnham, Rusper, and the surrounding area.
Consultation on flight paths in and out of Gatwick Airport is due to close at midnight tonight (Thursday August 14), and CAGNE held its last information drop-in session in Rusper at the weekend.
Sally Pavey, chair of CAGNE, said: “The sad thing is that Gatwick Airport should have undertaken these public events to help residents to complete this highly complex, jargon filled consultation document but they chose not to, it was left to volunteers to help very concerned residents.”
According to Rusper resident David Lawton the trial has masked the true effect of new satellite navigation, which had accentuated the impact of aircraft noise by reducing air traffic to a single track rather than a broad flight path.
Last week Gatwick said the ‘ADNID route’ has been tested to gather data as part of wider work looking at how to use UK airspace more effectively and efficiently, as part of the Government’s Future Airspace Strategy, which it says all airport in the UK will be required to implement by 2020.
It said that no further trials are planned at present.
Meanwhile North Horsham Parish Council’s Planning, Environment and Transport Committee resolved last Thursday to reject all three options put forward in Gatwick’s consultation.
Parish councillors also felt the consultation document was ‘confusing’ and not easy to understand by members of the public.
Ray Turner, chairman of the committee, said: “There are a lot more [planes] and they are a lot closer. There’s a feeling that this is pretty unacceptable.”
Tony Rickett said that residents and the parish had enough ‘disturbance, worry and concern’ and the council should insist that the flight paths go back to their original route.
David Searle added: “It’s a very confusing document. I will support what Tony Rickett has said and feel we should reject the three proposals.”
Peter Burgess, a parish and Horsham district councillor, explained to members the impact of introducing satellite navigation.
He said: “The drawback is it will take everybody down the same track. In the past there was a spread.”
For more see politics p.70.