Meeting documents

Aviation Forum
Wednesday, 25th February, 2015 7.00 pm

25 February 2015

PRESENT: Councillors George Bathurst (Chairman), Malcolm Beer, Simon Dudley and John Lenton.

Also in attendance: Councillors David Hilton and Wisdom Da Costa.

John Bastow, John Endacott, Councillor Chris Turrell (Bracknell Forest Council) and Paul Wheaton.

Officers: Rob Cowan (Clerk), Louisa Dean (Communications and Marketing Manager), and Chris Nash (Team Leader - Environmental Protection).


The Chairman welcomed the Forum.

The Chairman informed the Forum that the meeting would be audio recorded.


There were no apologies for absence.


There were no declarations of interest.


The minutes of the meeting of the Forum held on 8 January 2015 were approved subject to the following amendments:

On page v, at the final paragraph “it was suggested by one attendee” be amended to read “it was suggested by Cllr Beer”. Also, “assumptions regarding transport links would have to be reassessed” be amended to “assumptions regarding ongoing transport links would have to be reassessed because of the limitation of crossings”. This would result in the Sunnings community being closed 42 minutes of every hour.

On page vi, in the 3rd paragraph of Any Other Business, “the commission had requested” be amended to read “the commission had requested”. In the 4th paragraph “he informed the Forum that he had arranged” be amended to “he informed the Forum that Old Windsor and West Windsor Residents association had arranged”. On the 5th paragraph “Alan Davies” be amended to read “Andrew Davies”.


The Forum noted Heathrow Airport were undertaking consultation with local communities. At the consultations, the community could be represented by 1 Councillor and up to 2 community representatives. Councillor David Hilton noted he was aware of a number of people who had expressed interest in being involved and offered to select candidates for the community representative role for the approval of the Chairman.
      ACTION: Chris Nash, Environmental Protection – Team Leader to produce a briefing note breaking down the results of the Aviation Poll with ‘further granularity’ to show the opinions of residents within defined areas (wards affected / not affected).


The Forum received an update from Louisa Dean, Communications and Marketing Manager. They noted officers continued to publicise the Council’s stance and update residents via the use of twitter and facebook. Additionally, the RBWM website had been reviewed and the summer edition of Around the Royal Borough would dedicate space to the matter.

Officers were trying to work with other Councils. Ms Dean noted that so far there had been little interest however she would continue to try to build connections.
      ACTION: The Chairman to ask the Leader of the Council to speak with the Leaders of other Councils to encourage cooperation between Councils.


The Forum received a briefing note from Chris Nash, Environmental Protection – Team Leader, regarding the Heathrow Flight Path Trials. Mr Nash informed the Forum that trials had been scheduled from 25 August 2014 until 26 January 2015. However the trials had stopped on 12 December 2014. Out of the three routes trialled, the Borough was affected by the Midhurst NPR route which flew over Old Windsor, Sunningdale and Virginia Water, and the Southampton NPR route which flew over Old Windsor, Winkfield and Warfield.

It was noted that the Webtrak information needed to be available to compare the difference between aircraft frequency and height before, during or after the trials.
      ACTION: Chris Nash, Environmental Protection – Team Leader to produce a letter to HAL and the CAA highlighting the need for transparency of data, particularly with Webtrak data (aircraft frequency & height) prior, during and after the trial period.

      ACTION: Officers to invite representatives from NATS to the next meeting of the Aviation Forum to present the mechanism by which aircraft are diverted after 4000ft.


The Forum received a briefing note from Chris Nash, Environmental Protection – Team Leader, regarding Heathrow Mitigation Proposals. It was noted that on 2 February 2015, Heathrow Airport Limited had released details of their proposed insulation scheme should they be granted permission to construct a third runway. The scheme was based on a 55 decibel noise contour, which was assumed to be the 55LDEN noise metric ued by other major EU airports.

It was noted that Heathrow Airport Limited spend comparatively less than other major EU airports on mitigation.
      ACTION: Chris Nash, Environmental Protection – Team Leader and Louisa Dean, Communications and Marketing Manager, to produce an aggressive press release on just how poor the current mitigation at Heathrow is in comparison to its European counterparts in terms of spend per resident overflown. The press release is to emphasise that more needed to be offered now, without it being dependent on a 3rd runway being accepted.


Councillor Malcolm Beer noted that LAANC (Local Authorities Aircraft Noise Council) had held a meeting on 23 February 2015 to fine tune its response to the Airports’ Commission. LAANC opposed a new runway at Heathrow and supported the expansion of Gatwick Airport. He noted that there was strong opposition to the continued use of ‘grandfather rights’ for runway ‘slots’ by airlines and that more efficient use of the slots would free up capacity and increase seat take up.

He also stated that HACC (Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee) had held a meeting under its new Chairman on 28 January 2015. HACC’s structure had been reviewed and 3 more Councils would be represented, they were Runnymede, Surrey Heath and South Buckinghamshire.

Members highlighted a HACAN (Heathrow Airport Campaign Against Noise) meeting which was to take place on 3 March. Members who were to attend agreed to report back to the Forum at its next meeting.


The dates of future meetings were to be confirmed.


The meeting, which began at 3pm ended at 4.15pm.