UK Airspace Policy Consultation

In light of the problems with aircraft noise and nights flights in the constituency I have lobbied Ministers, Heathrow and the National Air Traffic Services (NATS). Please find below the letter I have written to Department of Transport in response to their consultation on night flights.

I would also strongly encourage residents to contribute to the consultation which ends on 25 May. The link is available here:

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  1. acorn
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Your second to last paragraph is extremely naive. A friend of mine is recently retired from air traffic control at Heathrow and lives your way. I will spare you the comments. Mind you, you probably know more than the Minister does. Forget Heathrow and build Boris Island (BI). Post Brexit, it will be a long time before BI’s capacity will be used up.

    The Heathrow 3 degree ILS Glide Slope, will put aircraft about 6,500 feet above Wokingham; one and a quarter miles up!. Did you ask if a 3.5 degree glide slope was possible? The cowboys at London City Airport are reported to be using 5.5 degrees but their planes are smaller.

    • hefner
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      Ouch, you’re tough! Not everybody can know about this type of intricacies. However, one could expect such a letter to be written after consulting with the experts (Vade retro Satanas, garlic and crucifix, quick). Unfortunately in this day and age, it might not be the way to go, thanks to luminaries like Michael Gove.

      • acorn
        Posted March 2, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Apologies JR, I was OTT, I am having problems this week with supposedly skilled persons, making statements that they are not qualified to make; but, being believed by other persons, who know even less at no fault of their own.

        There are far too many epsilon tails wagging far too many alpha dogs nowadays.

        PS. JR, concerning Heathrow ILS Glide Slopes, have you questioned the minimum heights at which planes are allowed to join the slope?

    • WingsOverTheWorld
      Posted March 2, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Although a higher glideslope angle would increase an aircraft’s elevation wrt lateral distance, you may find the natural inclination for pilots would be to lower the drag devices (flaps and landing gear) earlier, or to a higher degree (more flaps) to control the higher rate of decent. This would partially undo any benefits of having a higher slope, while the minimum decent height would also be affected (become higher), with the result that there could be more missed approaches and diversions from LHR in poor weather for some aircraft. That being said, a smaller angle above 3° than the one you propose may have benefits without the compromising response from pilots, as would Mr. Redwood’s proposal to insist on CDA and LDAs, in the vernacular (continuous descent and low drag approaches respectively).

    • Iain Moore
      Posted March 2, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      The British people have been too tolerant and trusting of Government to look after their interests. In Osaka, the protests were so overwhelming against a new runway , they gave up on the idea, realised how stupid it was trying to cite an airport near a city, and built one off shore.

    • David Price
      Posted March 3, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      So what do you expect to happen to the Thames Valley economy if Heathrow were closed down and the facility moved to the other side of London?

      • alan jutson
        Posted March 3, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink


        No need to close Heathrow down, just build an additional airport or runways elsewhere to spread the load and increase our capacity over a larger area to give us options in the event one airport having problem, be it weather, access roads/rails closed, or the worst nightmare scenario a terrorist attack..

      • acorn
        Posted March 3, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        I expect a large increase in the Conservative vote in West London. A small reduction in the Conservative vote in East London. Net Conservative win.

        Nobody is talking about closing down Heathrow, just scaling back its darkness hours operations. Boris Island has a transport system plan integrated into it to get staff across London.

        The Thames Valley economy will continue to be based on escalating house prices, like it always has been.

  2. turboterrier
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic but it needs to be said:

    The time to close down the other house in Westminster has arrived.

    The vote tonight is just a posturing to show that ultimately it is they the unelected members of an institution that has long outlived its usefulness have the real control of this country.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted March 2, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Light aircraft are worse.

    Never, in the field of human leisure, has the peace of so many been sacrificed for the pleasure of so few.

  4. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 3, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I live near Wokingham. A plane is over my house as I write. It is barely audible. I only noticed it because I happen to be reading this article. Normally, I never notice them – other than on a summer’s evening when I might notice the very large number of contrails above me. Aircraft, out where we live, are so quiet they are completely unobtrusive. I wouldn’t like to be living in Colnbrook or Hounslow though.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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