London Luton Airport (LLA) has co-sponsored an Airspace Change Proposal which will create a new arrivals “holding stack” - a racetrack-shaped route travelled by aircraft while waiting to land – in Huntingdonshire. LLA's Consultation Document describes re-routing flights into and out of a new holding stack above our heads. We have determined that the proposals could impact 38 villages and towns with a total population of over 88,000, and subject many to significant noise.
Not only are we concerned about the noise and pollution consequences of a new stack, but also the fact that the consultation appears to show the new hold as a given - in other words, we are not actually being consulted about it. We believe there are better options that can meet both the need of aviation stakeholders and our communities.
To read our summary document with more detailed background on the proposals and our views on it, click here.
To read Jonathan Djanogly MP's response to the consultation, click here.
How will this affect me?
We perceive sound if it can be distinguished against the ambient background (noise). Above a city or a large town, aircraft flying overhead at 8,000ft or higher are not normally noticeable. However, in a village or small town, where the background noise is much less, plane noise can be perceived - and could even be annoying.
To help assess the impact that the proposals could have on you, we have cross-referenced the 38 villages and towns under the stack with Defra noise maps that include noise from major roads and railways. Please note that this is only meant to give an indication, and will not precisely account for very local noise sources (eg. farm traffic).
Enter the name of your village in the box below to find out.
Local Councils have been asked to submit their opinions about the proposal to Huntingdonshire District Council by 15 December 2020, and the main consultation closes on 5th February 2021. So we urgently need your help in communicating the issues and raising awareness about what is going on.
It looks like the new holding stack stretches roughly from St Neots around to Kimbolton, up to Buckworth and Alconbury and back down the A1 and around again. In other words the effect of this proposal is directly above 38 of our neighbouring villages and towns with a population of approximately 88,000 people - 25,000 of whom are located in very quiet areas and thus would be significantly impacted by the noise. These villages typically have background noise of around 45dB during the day, though this may vary due to local factors such as nearby roads. An airplane passing overhead at 8,000ft can cause noise in excess of 55dB - this means the noise from the plane would be ten times as intense as the background noise! Under the proposals, this could happen up to six times per hour, day and night. Below is an example of what a single aircraft could sound like.
We have identified the following towns and villages as being impacted by the new hold; Alconbury, Alconbury Weston, Barham, Brampton, Buckden, Buckworth, Catworth, Diddington, Dillington, Easton, Ellington, Godmancheater, Grafham, Great Paxton, Great Staughton, Great Stuckley, Hail Weston, Huntingdon, Keysoe Row, Kimbolton, Leighton Bromswold, Little Paxton, Little Staughton, Little Stuckley, Offord Cluny, Offord D'Arcy, Perry, Pertenhall, Southoe, Spaldwick, St Neots, Stirloe, Stonely, Stow Longa, Tilbook, Toseland, Upton, and Woolley.
In addition to Huntingdonshire, other towns and villages in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire will be under the new approach route that roughly follows the A1. For more information on these changes, please see Ladacan's excellent summary.
Against Luton Airport Stack
As our campaign grows we will provide more information on the consequences of the proposals.
Here’s what you can do to help:
1. Write to your Parish Council objecting to the proposed hold, and ask them to communicate your concerns to Huntingdonshire District Council.
2. Write to your MP
3. Complete the online Consultation
4. Bookmark our website and join our Facebook page for updates
5. Share this information with everyone you know in the area!