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Proposed airspace changes at Birmingham Airport

Volume 584: debated on Wednesday 16 July 2014

I present a petition on behalf of my constituents regarding the proposed flight path changes at Birmingham airport in my constituency, which has been signed by more than 2,000 residents in the community at the southerly end of the runway. When a planning application was submitted in 2008β€”[Interruption.]

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. Lady, but will hon. Members who are leaving please do so swiftly and quietly? There is business going on in the Chamber.

When a planning application was submitted in 2008 for a runway extension, it was not clear to me, local councillors or residents that it might require a flight path change. Otherwise, opposition would have been greater. Aircraft are finding it impossible to stick to the route that was consulted on, and we urge the Transport Secretary to intervene and find a better solution for the community.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The Humble Petition of Communities Affected by the Proposed Airspace Changes at Birmingham Airport Limited.

Sheweth,

That we wish to bring to the attention of the Secretary of State that local communities in the vicinity of Birmingham Airport Runway 15 have been significantly affected by the noise and disturbance of aircraft flying departure routes established by Birmingham Airport Ltd (BAL) as part of their air space change proposal. BAL is conducting trial flights in relation to their preferred route options as submitted to the CAA (Options 5 & 6 of BAL’s proposal). During the public consultation process the community raised significant concerns about the loss of the existing Noise Preferential Route, and accurately predicted a significant increase in noise disturbance. Members of the community made detailed submissions to BAL highlighting how a departure that included a turn at altitude could closely replicate the existing Noise Preferential Route and accommodate the extended runway. This is an option that gained a great deal of community support but was rejected by BAL without any meaningful qualification. Additionally the CAA has confirmed that two of the departure routes from Runway 15 are not producing the intended flight paths. We should also like to bring to the Secretary of State’s attention that BAL has no mechanism for gathering community feedback on the trial routes being flown. Given that a technically valid alternative exists, which would substantially accommodate the noise preferential routing, but was not included in BAL’s submission to the CAA, we have no other recourse but to submit this petition to The Honourable House of Commons.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urgently review the proposed flight path changes at Birmingham Airport in view of the sharp increase in noise nuisance to the communities living at the southerly end of the extended runway and the failure of the trial to ensure aircrafts follow the new flight path options accurately and to explore an alternative option which was previously submitted to BAL by the community itself and which would substantially minimise noise nuisance.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.]

[P001370]