Agenda and minutes

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No. Item




The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked everyone to introduce themselves. He also said that the proceedings were being recorded.



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Cllr Bowden and Cllr Dexter Smith of Slough Borough Council.



To receive any declarations of interest.


No declarations of interest were noted.



Presentation to be received by Jane Dawes, Airside Business Change Manager.


Members received a presentation from Jane Dawes, the Airside Business Change Manager at Heathrow, regarding the Compton 09 flight path. She was accompanied by Cheryl Monk, Head of Community Relationships and Policy at Heathrow.


Mrs Monk said that changes had been made to the Compton route in 2014 as there had been issues with it for several years. Mrs Dawes explained that the Compton route was designated as a Noise Preferential Route, meaning that aircraft had a swathe of airspace 3km wide that they should fly through while operating at less than 4,000ft. However the percentage of aircraft that remained on track using the Compton route was far lower than other routes.


Mrs Dawes went on to explain that Heathrow was trying to redesign the Compton route without affecting other flight paths. A trial PIBUG was carried out in July 2014 but abandoned after one day due to some confusion caused to pilots’ considerations. Mrs Dawes said the Community Noise Forum was set up to help investigate, amongst other items, what redesign options were open.


Cllr Beer arrived at the meeting at 7.28pm.


Mrs Dawes said that it was unlikely the Compton route would be redesigned before the 2020 deadline.


Mrs Dawes said that ANSPs, airlines and Heathrow Airport and the community had each been consulted over their prioritised design principles over flight paths. Both groups indicated that safety was their top priority, with noise levels and their consequent health effects considered a key priority by the community. However tests to establish to what extent there is a correlation between the height a plane flies at – up to 7,000ft - and the amount of noise that is heard at ground level still need to be carried out. Mrs Dawes said that Heathrow wanted to make sure that all aircraft stuck to the Noise Preferential Routes, and that airlines were keen for this process to be carried out and completed in the short term. The Chairman said that the Council agreed that its priority was to consider aircraft noise levels up to a height of 7,000ft.


A member of the public told Members that the main concerns of Datchet residents related to noise pollution and air pollution. He said that most aircraft overfly Datchet at heights of approximately 3,000ft, but A380 aircraft fly lower than that. He suggested that departures should not be concentrated over one flight path. Mrs Monk said that the subject of respite for residents was being included in the Future of Airspace report, but this would not be ready for some years.


A member of the public stated that population growths should be considered as part of the redesign of flight paths.


Another member of the public asked how the Compton route would be affected if the Government ruled that a third runway should be built at Heathrow. Mrs Monk said that a number of indicative flight paths had been submitted, but at the moment it was impossible to say where future flight paths would go  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


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To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 10 May 2016.


The minutes of the meeting of Tuesday, 10th May were agreed as an accurate record.


The Acting Head of Community Protection & Enforcement Services said that the second item for Action made at the meeting of Tuesday, 10th May had not been completed due to the changes at the DfT and Cabinet. He said the Action would not be able to be completed until a political decision could be made.



To consider any matters arising.


The Acting Head of Community Protection & Enforcement Services reminded Members that since the last meeting a new Prime Minister and Cabinet had been appointed. He noted that all of the new appointees to Cabinet had had their stance over expansion at Heathrow published in the media, with the new Transport Secretary being reported as saying he wanted a decision to be made at the earliest possible opportunity.


A member of the public raised the fact that a recent report, which was discussed at the last meeting, stated that 36 per cent of passengers at Heathrow were transfer passengers. The member of the public went on to say the Council should therefore challenge the importance of the economic argument in Heathrow’s expansion plans. The Acting Head of Community Protection & Enforcement Services said that this had been raised in the Council’s original submissions to the Airports Commission.



Update to be received from Chris Nash, Community Protection Officer.


The Acting Head of Community Protection & Enforcement Services reminded Members that the Royal Borough undertook an opinion poll in January 2015 to gauge residents’ views on airport expansion in the south-east.


In light of the General Election and EU Referendum held subsequently to the survey, the decision was taken to carry out a second poll and compare the responses from residents, in order to give a clearer outline of the Royal Borough’s position going forward.


The second survey was carried out in July 2016 by Ipsos Mori, following instructions from the Royal Borough. Ipsos Mori were told to take sample answers from all age groups and wards, and to ensure a proportionate sample of residents that are overflown by Heathrow air traffic and those that are not.


Ipsos Mori informed the Royal Borough it was confident that a sample of 1,000 people would provide an accurate account of residents’ views on airport expansion. It therefore interviewed a total of 1,004 people.


The Acting Head of Community Protection & Enforcement Services told Members that the results of the second survey were broadly similar to the one carried out in January 2015. The new survey showed a 4-6% net opposition to a new or extended runway to the north-west of Heathrow Airport, compared to 8% opposition in the previous one. It also stated there was a net 37% support for a new or extended runway at Gatwick Airport, and that residents had expressed a preference for the number of air traffic movements at Heathrow to remain at their current levels.


The Acting Head of Community Protection & Enforcement Services said this reaffirmed the Council’s mandate of highlighting that more can be done to mitigate the impact of Heathrow air traffic on residents who are overflown. He added that the results of the survey, including a full breakdown of answers to the questions, would be published to the Council’s website.


The Leader said that as a result of the survey the Council would write to the new Prime Minister to outline its residents’ mandate. He added that the Royal Borough had authorisation – along with partners at Hillingdon Borough, Richmond Borough and Wandsworth Councils – to launch a legal challenge in the event of Government recommending an expansion of Heathrow as a result of the survey findings.



To receive an update regarding key developments from Strategic Aviation Special Interest Group (SASIG), Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee (HAAC) and Local Authority Aircraft Noise Council (LAANC).



The Acting Head of Community Protection & Enforcement Services said there were no comments relating to SASIG.



The Acting Head of Community Protection & Enforcement Services said that there was no update in relation to HAAC as Cllr Bowden had attended the previous meeting.



Cllr Beer said the group had recently received a presentation from the new Public Relations Officer for NATS and had had the opportunity to question him at length. Cllr Beer said the group was very impressed by the Officer and would look to build on this new relationship.


Cllr Beer said new statistics relating to noise monitors had become available and requested a discussion on them. The Chairman indicated this could be an agenda item at the next meeting.



Members to note dates of future meetings.


1 November 2016

27 February 2017

8 May 2017


The date of the next meeting was noted by Members.