District Councillor Eleanor Bailey reported that Southampton Airport is currently consulting councils, local organisations and residents on noise nuisance levels associated with the existing flight paths and approaches. Winchester Air Group (WAG) (Chair Robin Tice) will coordinate a response on behalf of its constituent organisations whilst WCC (Environmental Protection) will also respond. Parish councils and local residents can make their own representations directly or through either of the above routes. A link to the consultation is provided on the WCC website.
Councillor Frank Pearson, Winchester City Council, was invited to give a presentation to the Parish Council on his work in respect of Eastleigh Airport and the question of Aircraft noise over the Parish. Councillor Pearson is Winchester City Council's representative sitting on Eastleigh Airport Consultative Committee. In the past, the activities of the Consultative Committee have concentrated on issues affecting Eastleigh and Southampton and it is Councillor Pearson's brief to raise the level of influence that Winchester and its surrounding district has on the Committee.
Councillor Pearson made it clear that with the concentration of residential areas surrounding Eastleigh Airport, it is not possible for aircraft never to fly over some residential areas. Current aircraft routing has been designed to minimise the amount of disturbance over residential areas by following a flight path over the least populated areas. Noise surveys have been undertaken, however these have proved to be in-conclusive as such surveys cannot take into account background ambient noise. Similarly, such surveys do not adequately take into account issues such as height above sea level of residential areas which essentially places the over-flying aircraft closer to the dwellings than would be otherwise desired. This is particularly so in the Southdown area of this Parish.
It was commented that complaints about aircraft noise received by Eastleigh Airport appear to always be made by the same few individuals, which in effect dilutes the effectiveness of such complaints. A new computer system at Eastleigh Airport now enables the Airport Authority to clearly identify any aircraft which deviates from the specified flight path. It was pointed out that only aircraft using visual approaches and departures from Eastleigh Airport, are the subject of concern. Aircraft using the Instrument Landing Systems, (ILS) are automatically restricted to the specified flight paths.
Sue Broadbent of Winchester Air Group, attending in the absence of Robin Tice, outlined the objectives of the group and stressed that it is necessary to take a long term view.
District Councillor Murray Macmillan reported upon the introduction of the new Embraer aircraft to be introduced by Flybe next year. This aircraft is reported to be 35% quieter than the existing Flybe BA146, and produces approximately 20% less pollution.
District Councillor Murray Macmillan reported the significant increase in Aircraft Noise over the village. He reported that this increase was due to new trials in Aircraft Routing being undertaken by Eastleigh Airport, which had been in operation for some ten days and is likely to continue until the end of the month. Councillor Macmillan is arranging a meeting with interested parties, (restricted to Parish Councillors and representatives from affected Parishes), on the 18th July 2006 at which the format and content of a resolution to be presented to Winchester City Council for onward submission to Eastleigh Council, will be discussed. In the meantime, it was emphasised that it is vital that as many residents as possible raise complaints concerning the increased levels of noise. Such complaints should be from individual residents as it is the number of complaints received that may have an impact. Councillor Macmillan would be pleased to receive these complaints and he will then forward them to the Airport Authorities as appropriate.
It was pointed out that enquiries of the Community Officer at the Airport resulted in a different answer to that being reported by Councillor Macmillan is being given. It appears that different stories are being given out by the Airport Authorities. Accordingly, Councillor Macmillan will be getting the assurance from Mr. Chris Butler, M.D. Eastleigh Airport, that the increase in noise levels is as a result of the new routing trials and not because of a breakdown in the I.L.S. systems.
District Councillor Macmillan continues his involvement with the Southampton Airport Stakeholders Conference and keeps the Parish Council informed of developments.
District Councillor George Beckett reported upon Southampton Airport Master Plan consultation and it was concluded that the Parish Council would make representations similar to those made by Winchester City Council.
District Councillor Murray MacMillan reported on issues relating to Southampton Airport. A new trial period for routing aircraft into and out of Southampton Airport is commencing. This new routing will take the aircraft to the east of the City of Winchester. Written details of this new Trial period are awaited. Councillor MacMillan emphasised the need to raise any complaints in writing to the Airport Authorities.
District Councillor Murray Macmillan and Mr. Robin Tice reported to the Parish Council on issues related to Aircraft Noise. Whilst it appears that the results of last year's trials were uncertain in their outcome, there was concern that the Airport Authority may not be serious in their attempts to resolve the many complaints from residents living under the flight path of incoming and departing aircraft. The ability of the Airport Authority to enforce restrictive flight paths was questioned. A bi-annual ad hoc meeting between representatives of the affected Parishes, Eastleigh Borough Council and the Airport Authority is to be established so that all parties can work together and achieve a mutually beneficial outcome to the problems. Complaints about not being able to get through to the Airport Authority to register complaints on Aircraft noise, were raised. Mr. Robin Tice was charged with preparing a short article for publication in the Parish Magazine, detailing the process of registering complaints with the Airport Authority.
Cllr. Nick Campbell-White called for greater involvement in the debate with Southampton Airport on the question of Aircraft Noise. He considered that the time is ripe for the Parish Council to take a lead in representing the concerns of residents over this issue. The formal complaint from a body such as the Parish Council may have greater weight than that of individual residents.
District Councillor Murray Macmillan reported on proposed meetings with Mr. David Cummins of Southampton Airport on the question of Aircraft Noise, on the introduction of "Planning Policy Statements" in the planning process of Winchester City Council and on proposed meetings regarding the matter of Shawford Station and the reduced train service.
It was reported by Mrs Charlotte Bailey in her capacity as Transport Representative, that a revised flight path will be instigated for a three-month trial period which will result in aircraft entering Southampton Airport on a longer approach avoiding the flying over certain parts of Compton and Shawford, together with steeper rate of climb resulting in aircraft achieving a higher altitude at an earlier point on leaving Southampton Airport. At the end of this three-month trial period, flight paths will revert to the existing patterns. By this means, it is hoped to establish that the revised flight paths will result in fewer complaints than the existing flight paths.
General disquiet was voiced over the marked increase in Air Traffic and its failure to keep to the agreed flight path , into and out of Eastleigh Airport. It is understood that the Local Member of Parliament, Mark Oaten, is entering into discussion with the Airport Authorities over the impact the increased Air Traffic is having upon the residents of the Parish.
It was generally felt that aircraft using Southampton Airport were taking short cuts. Parishioners who are worried about overflying should continue to report to Grp Capt M Dawson or Mr R Tice with as many details of date, time, type of aircraft and direction of flight as possible.. Our representatives need to be able to submit detailed evidence when talking to the Southampton Airport liaison committee about aircraft movements.
Grp Captain Dawson will be advertising in the May Parish Magazine for volunteers to help with his survey of aircraft overflying the parish in preparation for his meeting with the Managing Director of the Airport later in the summer.
A letter had been sent by the Parish Transport Representative, Group Captain MEH Dawson, to Eastleigh Borough Council, enclosing an article on the considerable rate of expansion of traffic at Southampton Airport expected over the next six or seven years. The noise problems will be discussed at a meeting to be held on 19 November, between the Managing Director, Southampton International Airport, Eastleigh Borough Council and the Parish Council. A group of local volunteers is collecting details of aircraft flying over our village so that we can assess for ourselves adherence to flight path restrictions.
Complaints of aircraft departing from the flight path and flying over Hurdle Way and other parts of the parish have been passed to the Parish Transport Representative, Group Captain MEH Dawson, who plans to arrange a meeting with the Southampton Airport management