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Heathrow Airspace and Future Operations Consultation

New 3/2/19

As many residents in Riddlesdown will be aware, we have commercial jet aircraft flying above us, that peel off from the south eastern stack, the beacon of which is centrally located at Biggin Hill. Aircraft usually peel off from the stack over Biggin Hill at between 8,000 and 6,000 feet to come across Sanderstead and Purley (Riddlesdown) and then turn right, to go over central Croydon, then West Wickham, and Bromley, and then turn left for the final approach to Heathrow’s runways. The aircraft are descending all the time. The approach from this direction is normally with westerly winds. When there are easterly winds, aircraft will usually land from the west side of Heathrow (Windsor) and not affect us in Riddlesdown.

There are 4 main stacking areas for Heathrow flights (south east, south west, north east and north west London) and are used depending on wind direction etc. We do at times have take offs from Heathrow that come across Riddlesdown. Gatwick landings and take offs do not usually affect us in Riddlesdown.

With the future third runway to be built at Heathrow, the airport are currently out to consultation for changing the flight paths for landings and to try and better use the two existing runways. The consultation started on 8 January and runs until 11.55pm on Monday 4 March 2019. The RRA have only just found out about this consultation. It probably won’t affect us anymore than currently, as approaching aircraft will probably still be at 8,000 to 6,000 feet.

There is a consultation questionnaire on this link with some explanation and a short video. https://feedback.heathrowconsultation.com/?fbclid=IwAR2oSAbaCIsuiHNCfJ9r7Y_Q2uSGxQrzBGqXR58Ghe4Wjg-fCaqMu0OX1ro

To better understand the colour coding there is this document “Heathrow’s Airspace design envelopes for expansion” on this link. The south eastern quadrant is from page 7 to page 10 for landings, on the download document. It is page 20 to page 24 for Heathrow departures.

It is probably unlikely that noise levels will increase for us in Riddlesdown but no doubt with Heathrow’s third runway expansion, flight numbers will increase. Some of you may have noticed that flights can now land from 04.30 hrs at Heathrow and they can sometimes be the nosiest when passing over the Borough of Croydon, when there is little other background noise!

This flightradar24 link is useful if you want to track a plane and see the height, type of plane and destination etc; https://www.flightradar24.com/51.39,-0.28/10

With regard Biggin Hill’s change of approach for runway 03 landings (see below), which was out to consultation in 2016, and would have affected us in Riddlesdown, nothing further seems to have happened about this!




Update 1/5/16

E-mail Received from London Biggin Hill Airport (LBHA)

Dear Consultee,

LBHA would like to thank all those who responded to our consultation on the proposal to provide an Instrument Approach Procedure for Runway 03, and for your patience while the Post-Consultation Report was prepared.

The Post-Consultation Report is now available for viewing on the Airport’s website at: www.bigginhillairport.com together with the noise analysis used for the Consultation.

In the Report we have explained the basis for the consultation and answered your questions - insofar as is possible at the present - on matters including noise, alternative routes and the consultation process itself.

Work on the proposal is still ongoing and there is a section in the Report headed “What Happens Next?” For your awareness, the Report is only one of several documents that the Civil Aviation Authority will expect us to submit for consideration, including safety assurances and agreements with other air traffic management providers.

We will continue to update the LBHA website with information on the proposal.

Yours sincerely,

London Biggin Hill Airport Ltd

Direct link to the Report

Update 15/2/16

The nine Residents Associations in the south of the Borough have now sent in an objection letter to London Biggin Hill Airport about the proposed changes to flight paths over the south of Croydon Borough.

Residents can also object themselves to Biggin Hill. The objections must be in by the end of Wednesday 17 February. This is the Email address to object.

Update 25/1/16

Eight Residents Associations (RAs) in the south of the Borough, which include Riddlesdown, Hartley & District, Old Coulsdon, Coulsdon West, East Coulsdon, Kenley & District, Purley & Woodcote, and Sanderstead, are joining forces to campaign against the proposal by London Biggin Hill Airport (LBHA) to change flights paths over the southern parts of the Borough of Croydon, for flights landing from the south, at Biggin Hill Airport.

The RAs issued a press release on 19 January 2016 and the Croydon Advertiser did run a story in all editions on Friday 22 January 2016 about this.

At the moment most flights land at Biggin Hill from the north, which is for about 65% of the time (depending on the wind direction). This landing direction doesn’t affect us in Riddlesdown. However when they land into a north and or north easterly wind, they come in from the south and pass over airspace just to the east of Riddlesdown. Again it doesn't affect us too much.

However, London Biggin Hill Airport are proposing to change this so that planes fly in over parts of Selsdon, Purley and Coulsdon at 3,000 feet until the M23/M25 junction and then turn along the M25 corridor to then turn left to fly into Biggin Hill from the south. This will be by GPS. They say this will be for about 35% of the time, depending on the wind. Planes have to land into the wind.

The red line is the proposed route by GPS into Biggin Hill (see map below). Aircraft would come in from the southern tip of New Addington, then just south of Selsdon (over the nature reserve), then over Sanderstead Hill near to the Limpsfield Rd roundabout, over the Purley Downs Golf Course, Purley Bury Close, across Brancaster Lane and then turn left over Purley Cross and follow the Brighton Rd/rail valley down through Coulsdon and the new Cane Hill development, to just south of the M23/M25 junction and then turn left along the M25 before turning left again into Biggin Hill. These planes would be at 3,000 feet. It is expected noise will be heard from the aircraft for at least 1000 metres either side of this flight path (if not more).

Riddlesdown does suffer with overflying of aircraft, with the stacking of aircraft bound for Heathrow immediately above the Biggin Hill beacon (at about 9 -13,000 feet). This Heathrow bound air traffic is usually at 7 to 9,000 feet above us. It is proposed Biggin Hill arriving aircraft will be at 3,000 feet. Considerably lower. You also have to take into account the terrain and as aircraft altitude is taken at sea level, this means with some parts of the Borough at 500 feet above sea level, planes would be at 2,500 feet above those areas!

In addition we do also get outbound flights from Heathrow over us, which are usually below the inbound flights by about 1 to 2,000 feet. This Flightradar24 is a good website to track flights and the height (click on a plane to give more details).

This is the Biggin Hill consultation document Consultation closes on 17 February 2016.

We will be listing our objections on our website in due course, after Chris Philp MP and Steve O'Connell (GLA Member) have met with the Managing Director of Biggin Hill in early February.

Plan (below) of proposed flight path in red line. The blue lines are the current landing routes into Biggin Hill. Further details are on the London Biggin Hill Airport download.

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