In the November issue of the magazine a summary was given of our proposals to alleviate aircraft noise and disturbance over Compton and Shawford. The meeting with Colin Hobbs, Managing Director, Southampton International Airport and Lewis Stringer, Head of Policy and Planning, Eastleigh Borough Council, duly took place on 19th November. The atmosphere throughout was excellent; our concerns were understood and constructively dealt with. As expected we did not achieve all our objectives, but agreement was reached on a number of points of importance viz: Departing Traffic
On this the airport agreed to move the northerly departure route further to the east. At the moment aircraft climb out on a bearing midway between Southdown Road and Fairfield Road. In future aircraft should follow a line that is approximately halfway between Shawford and Twyford. The benefits of this change should become apparent by about February 1998.
Aircraft Overflying Compton and Shawford
We have received an undertaking that whenever possible aircraft arrivals, mainly from the south, will be directed to make their approach on to the runway centre line for let down, from the east, instead of from the west as at present, i.e. thus not requiring to make a right turn at fairly low level over Compton and Shawford. This should be of considerable help to us, but we must emphasise the “whenever possible” aspect, because the airport insist they need to retain flexibility to route aircraft to carry out either a right or left hand circuit to maintain an orderly and expeditious arrival sequence.
Record of Incursions over our Area
The airport authorities felt that the incursions we have referred to over our area were relatively infrequent, but we maintained to the contrary, that this has been far from the case. It is for this reason we have instigated an aircraft survey to provide the documentary evidence needed. Helpfully the airport Management readily agreed to be involved in the survey and indeed proposed certain revisions to make it more specific from their point of view. The survey form is therefore being amended and will be reissued to enable a further and more comprehensive survey to be carried out next spring.
Further Meeting with Airport Management
On the basis of this, the airport management agreed to meet in about six months’ time for discussions on the results of the survey. By then it was hoped it would have been possible, in conjunction with Eastleigh Borough Council, to have produced maps showing departure and arrival routings that aircraft should be endeavouring to achieve.
On the question of aircraft types using the airport there are three developments which should be to our advantage:
- KLM intend to reduce aircraft frequency on the Southampton-Amsterdam route to about one or two a day. They will use a larger Fokker 100 Jet which will be quieter than the types currently in use.
- From February, Air UK will begin to phase out their old Fokker 27 aircraft replacing them with quieter ATR aircraft. These aircraft have a better climb capability so the benefits are self explanatory.
- British Airways have started replacing their Jetstream turboprop aircraft with the EMBRAER 145 which are amongst the quietest aircraft in their class in the world.
The Next Phase
Taken together these developments are undoubtedly moves in the right direction, although they do not represent total success. The survey we propose to carry out in the spring will however be of significant importance. Your help in providing accurate evidence of the noise problem affecting the parish will be invaluable in the further discussions to be held with the airport authorities.