As readers will know, I made strong representations about the trial of new routes for planes to and from Heathrow last autumn. There was more noise over Wokingham, and as a result of the pressure I and others applied they ceased the trials early on 12 November.
There still seemed to be more noise after the trials ended in some places. When I raised this with the airport they could only think that there were more easterly winds which can cause more noise for us. Following further complaints, I have now been told that NATS did make a further change to operations last year without consulting or telling us. It coincided with the trials of new routes, but has remained in place after the end of the trials.
What they have done is concentrated more flights within a 7 mile wide corridor instead of the 13 mile wide corridor they used to allow, increasing the number of flights over part of the Wokingham constituency including Wokingham town. Heathrow Airport have now apologised for not telling us about this change, but say they did not know this was happening, a statement confirmed by NATS.
The bad news is NATS have the power to make this change without consulting us, and are currently determined not to switch back to the previous pattern of flights. I will take this matter up directly with NATS, now that we know a change was made which has worsened the aircraft noise for some residents. NATs argue that overall fewer people are affected by aircraft noise, and argue their new routes are safer as well.
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