Our Mission Statement
Full dispersal • • • Maximum altitude • • • Continuous Descent
Around about a year ago we first heard about the concept of a 'Quiet Night Noise' (!) trial of the satellite controlled flight paths known as PR-NAV or PBN from the industry. Ever wary, we have awaited more details, which have emerged in recent months and weeks. (For clarity, I copy in below the recent comments from the Noise Management Board's section on Gatwick's website).
Now called the 'Reduced Night Noise' trial, it states "…a specific aim of the trial would be to see if - by using new navigation techniques - the height of arriving aircraft can be increased"
While greater altitude makes sense in itself of course, any use of PR-NAV will, without any question, lead to the severe concentration of flight paths. All sides fully accept that. Concentration is absolutely inevitable.
We're not Luddites, and welcome any development that reduces aircraft noise. However GON's very great concern, shared by many Community Noise Groups ('CNGs') is that any trial will also supply data that will in turn be used to introduce PR-NAV on a much wider scale.
PR-NAV could possibly lead to a dispersal of sorts - IF the industry commit to a multitude of tracks over the arrivals swathe. There are no such guarantees as part of this trial.
The NMB notes below state that the trial will not:
But who knows who will be running Gatwick in a year's time? Let alone 5? (PR-NAV generally seems to be about 5 years away) Are these guarantees written in stone?
Do you trust the aviation industry to do what is best for the communities affected?
The GON committee of 14 - a sensible, serious, dedicated group virtually unchanged since we started in the Spring of 2014 - has considered this issue very carefully and at this stage unanimously and very firmly opposes supporting the trial.
The NMB, on which we have a seat, continues to debate its merits and the June meeting will give a go/no-go decision from them. It should be noted that Gatwick can probably try and continue with the trial whatever others say, including the NMB.
We are not alone. All 8 CNG groups on the NMB do not, at this stage, support the trial and delivered the agreed statement below to the NMB Chairman on 6th April. It includes this paragraph:
"We recognise that the trial could achieve some noise benefits by optimising approach profiles. However, we believe these benefits could largely be obtained through better monitoring and management of arriving aircraft and do not require a trial of the sort proposed."
We are not asking you to do anything at this stage, except ready yourself for a call to action if we think it necessary in the near future as the June meeting approaches. The CNG's will be having further meetings and discussions with the industry on this before then.
Since the arrivals swathe was re-widened in August 2016, (thanks to immense pressure from so many of you and other groups' supporters) we have been pushing for data to measure the use of the swathe. We need to see how it has been used pre-2013, pre-August 2016 and critically, since.
Around a year ago the industry asked us CNG's to propose virtual 'gates' over the arrival swathe for those measurements, which we duly did. However the data still has not been supplied and I can assure you we are pushing extremely hard for it.
Some of you have been asking why the long gap between newsletters recently. It's very simple; We've never believed in campaigning for campaigning sake. There has to be a reason for every newsletter or action. Especially as each newsletter costs funds to send out that you have donated. Rest assured, we will be in touch, like now, when it's right to do so.
Various GON members continue to attend countless meetings at Gatwick and elsewhere on many fronts.
Saturday 5th May 10.30am – 12.30pm
Leicester Arms, Penshurst, TN11 8BT
Please do come by with any questions you may have. I will do my best to answer them. Come straight over to the table, even if you see others there. We've done quite a few of these now and what tends to happen is that a group builds up and it morphs into a general discussion, as well as answering any specific questions.
Gatwick Obviously Not
Included in the work plan for the Noise Management Board (NMB), which was adopted in June 2017, is a proposal to explore the possibility of conducting a Reduced Night Noise (RNN) trial.
If the trial goes ahead, it will look at whether more precise satellite navigation techniques could be used to potentially avoid overflight of populated areas and reduce the effects of aircraft noise.
A specific aim of the trial would be to see if - by using new navigation techniques - the height of arriving aircraft can be increased, and in doing so the noise impact reduced.
The proposed trial, which is likely to begin in early 2019, will involve some fine tuning of approach procedures to reduce the noise impact on the ground.
All members of the NMB, including the community groups, have been engaged throughout the development of this activity and will continue to be fully involved as the project plan is developed. This includes a number of NMB facilitated workshops to help develop and refine views. These workshops will continue to include industry and community representatives.
The RNN workshop on 14 March will consider high-level concepts for dispersal by design with RNAV, for discussion and feedback, with further external communication.
If it goes ahead, the trial would be just the first building block in assessing the feasibility of using precise navigation by aircraft on approach to Gatwick to potentially avoid overflight of populated areas and reduce noise.
A Reduced Night Noise Community Workshop was held by the Noise Management Board at Gatwick on 14 March 2018. The workshop began with an overview of RNAV operations, traffic details, design considerations and next steps. The purpose of the trial is to demonstrate the noise benefits of RNAV by gathering factual noise data. The trial is proposed to be operated between 01.30 - 05.30 for a period of six months.
The trial will:
The trial will not:
Following on from the RNN community workshop, members of the NMB will review the outcomes at its April meeting and will decide how to advance plans for the trial at Gatwick. A final decision on whether or not to proceed with the trial in January, as proposed, will be recommended by the NMB in June 2018.
On Twitter (@manvplane):
May 1st 2018
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