Council confirm Biggin Hill Airport can extend operating hours but campaigners share ‘disappointment’
PUBLISHED: 11:29 04 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:54 10 May 2017
Residents can also now track flights in and out of the airport
Bromley council has confirmed that Biggin Hill Airport will now be allowed to extend its operating hours, however, this has been met with ‘disappointment’ from a local campaign group.
The decision to grant an extension of operating hours with conditions, including a noise action plan, follows executive approval in June 2016.
The airport is owned by the council, and therefore an application had to be sent to them to extend the current operating hours which are, 6.30am to 11pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 10pm at the weekend and Bank Holidays.
A Deed of Variation, which sets out conditions that need to be met before an application can be put into practice, was completed in July 2016, and left four remaining conditions. Bromley council have since confirmed that these have been met, allowing the extended hours to begin.
A noise monitoring and track keeping system is now in operation, which enables interested residents to see departure and arrival flight tracks associated with aircraft using the airport and report concerns if needed.
The airport has was also required by the deed provided details of the no fly zones, its scheme of sanctions and a ground action plan.
But a spokesperson from Flightpath Watch, has hit back at the council, saying: “We have expressed disappointment at Bromley Council not having kept its promises to cap flights at 50,000 per annum, introduce an effective noise measure (the one adopted is based on averages) and divert 30 per cent of air traffic from the most affected areas before declaring that all the conditions are complied with.”
Stephen Carr, leader of Bromley council, added: “It is disappointing that some residents mistakenly do not recognise that there is now indeed a 50,000 cap at the Airport as part of the introduction of the Noise Action Plan and the change to hours which was agreed last year. This figure is substantially down from the 125,000 movements permitted in the lease.
For the first time, there is a limit on movements in the early morning period, with absolute noise control measures also in place as well as noise controls throughout the remainder of day.
“It was always recognised that the Airport’s proposal to essentially re-route aircraft approaching runway 03 away from the existing flightpath, reducing arrival numbers by a third over areas such as Farnborough and Locksbottom, would require CAA approval. We remain hopeful that the airport will be able to achieve this but neither the Airport nor the Council are the final decision makers in this.”