Respite from aircraft noise

This is a pdf of the PowerPoint presentation use by the Airport on March 19th 2019 to tell us that they are going to do nothing about respite. 

This is the presentation from the 19th March 2019 from Osprey, the consultants retained by the Airport to look at respite options.  It's about how changes might be made not the changes themselves.  

These are the rules that Newcastle Airport will have to follow if and when it decides to apply for approval to change its departure routes.  It's a long read!

This is the currently applicable Noise Action Plan for Newcastle Airport.  These plans have to be updated every 5 years so this one, from 2013, will be updated this year.

These are our comments on the 2018 - 2023 Newcastle Airport Noise Action Plan draft (which we can't show you, the Airport asked us not to) here 

Detailed and sometimes technical, these reports are nonetheless worth looking at.


Aviation Environment Federation: Aircraft noise and public health  Click here for the full report or Click here for a summary 

Queen Mary University: aircraft noise effects on health  Click here

British Medical Journal (BMJ): Aircraft noise and cardiovascular disease near Heathrow airport in London: small area study  Click here  

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Before the Airport started using satnav, departing flights were spread over a wide area.  The noise was shared - everybody got some respite from it.  Before the pandemic started, the Airport was starting to come under pressure to address this issue - the content below reflects ANAG's engagement with this.

In spite of the pandemic, this issue has not gone away and is likely to return. The aviation industry is desperately trying to get back to where it was before the pandemic hit us all

Departure flight paths should not have been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority

In 2014 the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved the use of satnav by the Airport.  As a result, people living under or near the centre line of the Airport's departure flight paths are suffering.  Which is why ANAG came into existence. 


We have seen the CAA's assessments of the proposal the Airport made for this change.  ANAG thinks that, on the basis of its Environmental Assessment alone in which the CAA made negative comments - especially about noise issues, the CAA should never have approved the introduction of satnav.  We think the CAA failed in its duty of care and that it looks like the Airport effectively withheld information on noise that would have led to opposition to the proposal.   You can see our more detailed comments here.   If you want to read the CAA's  assessments in detail they are here: Operational; Environmental; Consultation (we'll be commenting on this one soon)

​We've sent an open letter to the Airport and the Board and MPs challenging the Airport and asking for answers to questions. 


We want to know why they won't talk to us (or anybody else) about departure route changes and respite from noise.  We also want to see the report they commissioned that came to the conclusion that route changes were not viable.  And we want to know what they think about the health impacts of aircraft noise. 


You can read the letter here.  It's a long one - sorry!  If and when we get answers, we'll put them on line here.  And if we don't get any, we'll also say so on here.

​It looks like the Airport is shutting up shop, won't talk to anybody about respite issues and options. It says CAP 1616 (the new official framework for managing Airspace Changes) tells it not to unless it has applied for a new route, 

We think the Airport is wrong.  Actually, CAP1616 says it can and should talk to communities at any time - no need for an application for a new route for this to happen.  More... 

Extracts from our comments page:

"Very disappointed and sorry to say the meeting with NIA tonight felt like a total waste of time" ... "Saying they are being transparent but not providing information when asked. Why am I even surprised! .."

"Last night's angry meeting was essentially a waste of time, the Airport basically waved two fingers at us." ...   "Newcastle Airport's communication skills are sadly lacking as it its understanding of how to to talk to and consult the communities around it."

"Very poorly advertised meeting to make sure few turned up. They are not interested in the wellbeing of the public." ... "No respite routes considered until 10 years!"

" I have lived in Heddon for more than 50 years and have never considered living anywhere else until now." ... "The airport are not concerned in the slightest about the health and wellbeing of the public - they proved this last night with their contemptuous attitude."

At the moment, most aircraft taking off to the west turn south around 1.5 miles from the end of the runway which results in a steep climb to get up to altitude.  This turn takes them over where we live and, because the turn is early in the flight and aircraft lose height when the turn, they have to open the throttle wider to keep climbing.  This is worse in the holiday season: when the air is warmer aircraft don't climb as well as when it's colder, jet engines are less efficient and it's exactly when aircraft are more likely to be fully loaded.


We think that the Airport could use a flight path to the west that goes straight up the Tyne Valley over an unpopulated area.  They could climb more gently and turn south several miles later at a height at which noise impact would be minimal. It's a slightly longer route but it would make a huge difference to us.

The Airport won't do this, they think that this will put airlines off flying services out of Newcastle.  It claims that there would be an increase in fuel use and hence CO2 emissions as well as cost to airlines.  We think that this might be wrong and that the difference would be small, if any: a more gentle climb would need a smaller throttle setting added to which there would be less wear and tear on engines with reduced maintenance costs

We asked the Airport to show us the evidence for their conclusion - they refused saying the report was a private internal document.  We think their assertion should be exposed to scrutiny for independent validation.

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© 2018 by Aircraft Noise Action Group.       

Tyne  & Wear, UK

phone:  0333 303 0966

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