Respite: the Airport won't talk
Trust broken again : Read on:
Following the recent angry meeting about respite routes, an ANAG supporter emailed the airport with some comments and got the following reply:
"As stated at the meeting, I am unable to discuss any further details on any alternative routes as this would jeopardise any future Airspace Change Proposal. The current position as outlined remains, that a decision has been taken not to proceed with an alternative departure route, this will be periodically reviewed.
When asked what "periodically reviewed" means, the Airport replied as follows:
"In answer to your questions, we have not set any timescales or parameters for a periodic internal review of departure routes. Any such review would involve the Board/Shareholders, the Airport Consultative Committee and the Noise Sub Group [of the Airport Consultative Committee], should it be formalised."
So, it looks like the Airport is shutting up shop, won't talk to anybody about respite issues and options - especially where alternative routes are concerned. And it won't say when it might review its decision not to look at alternative routes or what the triggers for a review might be. It's hiding behind CAP1616. CAP 1616 is the new official framework for managing Airspace Changes and it's a whole lot more demanding in terms of consultation.
CAP1616 says that a business case has to be made for an Airspace Change (a change of route) first. Widespread in depth consultation then follows and has to consider all options - atart with a blank sheet. The Airport says that to talk to communities and groups like ANAG now would prejudice this blank sheet.
We say this is nonsense, it can talk whenever it wants - if it wants to. CAP1616 says so: "While direct stakeholder engagement should be greatest during the stages of a formal airspace change, ongoing engagement and information can help stakeholders understand the context for proposed changes and provide constructive feedback and comments." (p137 of 221).