Response 55250412

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G. Do you consent for your response to be published?

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Ticked Yes, anonymised
No

General observations

1. Considering the draft guidance overall, to what extent does it meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How would you improve?
Whilst we believe that the draft guidance is good and meets the criterion such that it is comprehensible, transparent and proportionate we wish to make the following additional comments: - Paragraph 10 points out that the CAA has no legal enforcement powers to ensure that the Airspace Change Sponsor implements the guidance as required. The CAA is just a regulatory body that will ensure that the Airspace Change Sponsor follows the guidance and completes each stage/gateway before moving on to the next stage in the process. The Council is of the view that the CAA (or another) should be given legal powers to ensure that any noise reduction and mitigation proposed by the Airspace Change Sponsor and agreed with all stakeholders is implemented as approved and not forgotten/ignored. - The guidance proposes that the CAA ‘may’ hold public evidence sessions (paragraph 47). However, the Council believes that the public evidence sessions should be a mandatory part of the process before any decision is made. Not only will this help build trust and improve the relationship between local communities, the CAA, the Airspace Change Sponsor and government departments but ultimately this will provide local stakeholders with the opportunity to present their concerns (positive or negative) regarding the proposed change in person to the CAA. - We note that the guidance states that ‘The CAA expects airspace change sponsors to be mindful of current best practice and to factor it into a proposal where relevant’ (paragraph 53). The Council is of the view that as a regulatory body the CAA should ensure that all current best practice and guidance should be factored into the development of the proposal set out by the Airspace Change Sponsor. By just expecting the Airspace Change Sponsor to be ‘mindful’ of the guidance, will result in particular standards and metrics not being considered as there is no strict requirement. - We strongly believe that the priorities the CAA gives to environmental impacts that consider the impact of aircraft noise on local communities should not end at 7000ft (paragraph 71). Whilst it is not the CAA responsibility, we believe that the CAA should put pressure on central government to clarify and further define ‘priority’ using practical and suitable noise metrics and explain how these thresholds have been derived. Once clarified, this will enable all stakeholders involved in the airspace change process to understand the impacts of the proposal and where required mitigation is discussed, proposed and implemented.
General observations
GENERAL COMMENTS The Council of the London Borough of Hounslow welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) consultation on the draft Airspace Design Guidance (CAP 1520). Whilst we appreciate that the draft guidance is aimed at all airports, our response primarily focuses on the impact of airspace changes that will be proposed at Heathrow Airport and will impact local communities in borough as well as the surrounding area. Hounslow Council has a long held position that Heathrow should be ‘better, not bigger’. Whilst the Council has been opposed to a bigger Heathrow, either by additional flights whether by the addition of a third runway or a relaxation on runway operations and night flights, we never the less want a better and successful Heathrow. The Council continues to push for the very best noise protection and pollution control measures for our residents – and in particular, our schools. Hounslow Council does, however, recognise the significant local and national benefits Heathrow Airport brings in terms of the economy and employment. For this reason, we are working to build a better working relationship with the owners of Heathrow to maximise the benefits that the airport should be bringing to the borough as well as ensuring we secure the most suitable and practical mitigation and compensation that addresses all the negative impacts. The CAA has addressed a number of issues we raised in the revised Airspace Change Process (CAP 1389) consultation (issued in spring 2016) and referenced the Department of Transports consultation on the Airspace Policy (issued February 2017) and the Airports National Policy Statement (issued February 2017) in the consultation on draft Airspace Design (CAP1520). Whilst we appreciate that the CAA has made an attempt to incorporate issues raised by local authorities, the aviation industry and local communities, we would like to iterate our concerns regarding the following: - Whilst we welcome the CAA’s role as a regulatory body whose purpose is to guide and ensure that the Airspace Change Sponsor is following and implementing the guidance as outlined. It appears, that each stage is merely a tick box exercise that the CAA is regulating by continuously stating that they are just the regulatory body. We believe that this does not build confidence between local stakeholders (whether they are impacted positively and negatively by the change), the CAA and the Airspace Change Sponsor. The Council wishes that the CAA also acts as an advisory body between all stakeholders involved. - The Council is of the view that the CAA (or another) should be given legal powers to ensure that any noise reduction and mitigation proposed by the Airspace Change Sponsor and agreed with all stakeholders is implemented as approved and not forgotten/ignored especially if the CAA will not be granted any legal enforcement powers to ensure that the Airspace Change Sponsor implements the guidance as required. - It appears that the guidance in its current form is a rather long and technical document that is aimed at the aviation industry and not the general public that may have limited knowledge on this topic. We believe that this does not enable them to understand and implement the guidance should they wish to ‘Airspace Sponsor’ on an airspace change. The Council would welcome the publication of a smaller executive summary document (in PDF form) that can be circulated to the general public increasing the level of engagement with the process. - Whilst the aim and the use of an online portal is to improve transparency and help build the level of trust between local stakeholders, the CAA and the Airspace Change Sponsor as all documentation will be published online and be available in the public domain, in our mind, it appears this will only benefit the CAA and the Airspace Change Sponsor who will be able to upload information online and make changes as required. At this stage it is not clear how the general public will be able to summit comments on the documents viewed. - We again reiterate the need for an appeal mechanism to be incorporated within the process. We are of the view that by not incorporating an appeal mechanism within the overall process once a final decision has been made, would appear to contradict the objectives of this process i.e. that is it should be more transparent and should build trust between all stakeholders involved e.g. the CAA, NATS, Sponsor, communities etc. - We ask that the CAA incorporate a requirement for the Airspace Change Sponsor to complete a ‘Statement of Community Involvement’ which should capture the consultation and stakeholder engagement requirements as part of the process. - We believe that an independent third party facilitator should be mandatory in order to ensure that the Airspace Change Sponsors consultation is effective, impartial and fair. This will prevent a breakdown in communication between the sponsor and the community. Furthermore, we request that within the guidance notes the CAA should outline what the facilitators role should be and clarify who is expected to appoint or fund the facilitator i.e. the Airspace Change Sponsor or the CAA. - We are also of the view that it is appropriate for the CAA to publicly draw attention to the fact that the industry has chosen not to follow the CAAs guidance in respect of changes proposed and when and where there has been a clear breakdown of trust between an airport and its stakeholders. We have endeavoured to answer all questions outlined in the consultation questionnaire below. This submission represents the view of our elected administration and we remain available at any time to meet with you to discuss our overall response and key concerns. Cllr Amrit Mann Deputy Leader of the Council Cabinet Portfolio Holder responsible for Heathrow

Tier 1a: Stages 1 to 7

2. Considering Stage 1 (Define) of the process , to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
Whilst we believe that the draft guidance is good and meets this criterion such that it is comprehensible, transparent and proportionate we wish to make the following points: - The guidance suggests that it is up to the Airspace Change Sponsor to consider and decide which design principles form the framework that ‘can’ be used to evaluate the design options (paragraph 29). Hounslow Council believe that it should be mandatory for the Airspace Change Sponsor to use an agreed framework when assessing the design options before they are allowed to proceed to the next stage and/or gateway. This will ensure that any local criteria (i.e. agreed planning conditions, S106 agreements, noise mitigation etc.) has been taken into consideration at the start of the process. As part of the framework we would expect that the Airspace Change Sponsor takes into consideration Local Development Frameworks e.g. allocation of new sites for residential and commercial development. The Council asks that the sponsor incorporates this within their proposal as these will be new communities and developments that will be impacted. - We also seek further clarity on how the Airspace Change Sponsor aims to prioritise the principles that form the framework (paragraph 102) i.e. how will each principle be weighted and agreed to determine its level of priority.

3. Considering Stage 2 (Develop and assess) of the process, to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
No additional comments to make.

4. Considering Stage 3 (Consult) of the process, to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
No additional comments to make.

5. Considering Stage 4 (Update and submit) of the process, to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
Whilst we believe that the draft guidance is good and meets this criterion such that it is comprehensible, transparent and proportionate we wish to make the following point: - The guidance states that re-consultation should not take no more than 12 weeks (paragraph 186) however the Council is of the view that further clarity should be provided on the minimum level of consultation that is required. The Council believes that justification on why the consultation needs to take place needs to be given in order for the general public to develop trust in the process being implemented.

6. Considering Stage 5 (Decide) of the process, to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
Whilst we believe that the draft guidance is good and meets the criterion such that it is comprehensible and proportionate, the following issues require further explanation in order to improve the transparency of the process: - Whilst we welcome the CAA’s keenness to ensure transparency in the process by utilising the online portal to receive written statements during the public evidence sessions (paragraph 201), we are concerned that this may exclude those members of the general public who will have comments to submit but do not have internet access and therefore are unable to use the online portal. As a result, we believe that it is unfair that they are discriminated due to lack of online access and alternatives should also be provided. - The guidance should clarify the exact time period allocated to the Airspace Change Sponsor to enable them to provide the additional information requested by the CAA to avoid any unnecessary delays in the process (paragraph 202). - We strongly believe that the guidance clarifies that the public evidence sessions should be chaired by a professional independent facilitator and not by the CAA in order to build trust between the general public and the CAA. - We strongly disagree with the CAA proposal as outlined within the guidance that only a sample of the Airspace Change Sponsors results will be analysed (paragraph 217). The Council is of the view that the CAA should check all of the Airspace Change Sponsors results as well as undertake their own analysis especially as it takes into consideration the noise, CO2 emissions and air quality impacts of an airspace change proposal. We believe that these issues impact communities and their overall well being the most. By just undertaking a sample does not help build trust in the process or the work of the CAA as key information could be missed as it was not considered part of the sample. - The Council would like to reiterate the following comments that were made to the Department for Transport (DfT) on their consultation on the Airspace Policy that we believe to relevant to Stage 5 of the airspace change process: o Whilst the Council welcomes the proposed call-in function proposed for the Secretary of State for airspace changes required in Tier One as outlined in the DfT draft Airspace Policy (issued for consultation February 2017), we seek greater clarity and explanation on the criteria that triggers a ‘call-in’ process and detail on the practical steps and/or legislation that would be put in place, in order to achieve the objectives (paragraph 230 – 231). For example, the criteria states that the proposal should not be linked to a planning decision which has already been decided (paragraph 232). It is our understanding that within a planning application, the applicant can utilise indicative flight paths and then determine their potential impacts. In our opinion the use of indicative flight paths does not provide communities with enough information to truly understand the environmental impacts (particularly from aircraft noise) especially if they are unsure whether or not they will be impacted from a possible increase or decrease in noise. Therefore, we believe that the Secretary of State should not exclude a proposal that is linked to planning decision just because the decision has already been made as there maybe topics (incorporated within the decision) that may need to be addressed again when new information has come to light. o We also note that within the criteria proposed to enable the Secretary of State to call in a proposal, there is no definition of when the government considers an airspace change to be of ‘strategic national importance’ (paragraph 232). o The Council also seeks further clarity on how the following criterion was developed/derived and how the government and the CAA anticipates it will work in practice: ‘the proposal could lead to a change in noise distribution resulting in a 10,000 net increase in the number of people subjected to a noise level of at least 54dB LAeq 16hr as well as having an identified adverse impact on health and quality of life’. The Council is of the view that: - the figure of 10,000 might be well above a significant proportion of overall population impacted by an airspace change proposal in some densely populated conurbations. We suggest that the criterion in paragraph 232 (4th bullet point) should state, “it could lead to a change in noise distribution resulting in a significant increase in the proportion, say 10%, of population subjected to a noise level of 54dB LAeq, 16hr or having an identified adverse impact on health and quality of life”. Furthermore, we strongly suggest that the latter part of this criterion relating to ‘health and quality of life’ should be removed because as it takes long time for those subjects impacted by an airspace change to show symptoms of adverse health impacts, i.e. adverse impacts are evident only after long-term exposure, therefore making it difficult for local communities impacted to produce evidence to enable the Secretary of State to call-in a decision. Furthermore, we believe that individuals and/or communities should not have to provide evidence that an adverse effect from an airspace change proposal is, or likely to occur. Particularly if the adverse effect is likely to result after a long-term exposure to noise resulting from such a proposal. We believe that the burden of proof should not be necessary as there is sufficient evidence produced by the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and Hounslow Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) that points to much higher stroke rates, coronary heart disease and cardiovascular heart disease, for subjects exposed to day-time noise level above 51dB LAeq, 16hr, which is the case for majority of Hounslow residents. We note that the 28-day period within which to ask Secretary of State to call-in a Tier One Airspace change after the proposal has been submitted to the CAA is rather short especially if the call-in party has to commission evidence from external contractors. Therefore, the Council believe this period should be extended to a more acceptable time-frame. - The Council is disappointed that the CAA has not considered and incorporated an appeal mechanism into the process (paragraph 236). We would reiterate that the purpose of the airspace change process review is to increase transparency about airspace changes with the all stakeholders and communities. Just because the process is transparent, does not mean that the decision will be. The Council believe that by not incorporating an appeal mechanism within the overall process once a final decision has been made would appear to contradict the objectives of this process i.e. that is it should be more transparent and should build trust between all stakeholders involved e.g. the CAA, NATS, Sponsor, communities etc. Therefore, the lack of appeal indicates that a judicial review remains the only mechanism, a deterrent that has worked in the past because it has been expensive. The Council proposes that an appeal process should be implemented with independent experts commissioned from within the aviation industry especially if the Airspace Change Sponsor and CAA are determined restore ‘transparency’, ‘trust’ between them and the communities impacted and restore confidence in the overall process, despite implementing additional gateways. The proposed Independent Commission for Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) could also be engaged at this point to ensure that the process is fair.

7. Considering Stage 6 (Implement) of the process, to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
Whilst we believe that the draft guidance is good and meets this criterion such that it is comprehensible, transparent and proportionate we wish to make the following point: - The Council is of the view that if problems arise, then the airspace change sponsor should not only be expected to engage but also consider what steps it can take to address these problems (paragraph 247). The airspace change sponsor should also aim to provide and implement solutions in order to mitigate these problems in order to address the negative impact on local communities.

8. Considering Stage 7 (Post-implementation review) of the process, to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
Whilst we believe that the draft guidance is good and meets the criterion such that it is comprehensible and proportionate, the following issues require further explanation in order to improve the transparency of the process: - The Council seeks further clarity on what the purpose of the post implementation review is, in order to manage the public expectation of what will and will not happen as part of the review (paragraph 250). We also seek clarity on what the CAA means when it states ‘proportionate and reasonable response will be submitted if a redesign is required’ (paragraph 265).

Tier 1a: Evidence of engagement

9. At certain stages in the process (starting with the development of design principles at Step 1b) the CAA will look for evidence of a two-way conversation to see that the sponsor has adequately engaged stakeholders. In paragraph C9 the CAA describes the evidence that we will look for as "detail of what sponsors have been told by their audiences; how they responded to this feedback; and how it has affected the proposals they are bringing forward".    Has the CAA adequately detailed what we would expect to see to know that a two-way conversation has taken place?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know
What else to show two way conversation?
Hounslow Council believe that the draft guidance clearly outlines the evidence that is required to ensure that the airspace change sponsor has engaged with all stakeholders. However, we recommend that as part of the airspace design process, the airspace change sponsor should contain a requirement to complete a ‘Statement of Community Involvement’ which should capture the consultation and stakeholder engagement requirements outlined throughout Stages 1, 2 and 3. This would be similar to the process required for planning applications.

Tier 1a:Third-party facilitation

10. At various points in the process (starting with the development of design principles at Step 1b) the CAA suggests that voluntary use of a third-party facilitator could be useful. Should the CAA be more prescriptive as to how and when a facilitator could be used?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know
Facilitator further detail
Whilst the CAA suggests that a voluntary use of a third party facilitator would be useful, the Council are of the view that an independent third party should be mandatory and should make the Airspace Change Sponsors consultation more effective and independent. This is because an independent facilitator will prevent a breakdown in communication between the sponsor and the community. The Council believe that the CAA should be more prescriptive as to how and when a facilitator could be used in order for an effective consultation to take place and to moderate the interaction between stakeholders. We believe that within the guidance notes the CAA should outline: o What the facilitators role should be; - Who is expected to appoint or fund the facilitator i.e. the Airspace Change Sponsor or the CAA. If the CAA appoint the third party facilitator, then they should be held accountable to the CAA. However, if the Airspace Change Sponsor is responsible for appointing the facilitator, then all stakeholders should be given the opportunity to review the terms of reference between the sponsor and the third party facilitator so that they can ensure that they are truly independent; - Whether ICCAN can fulfil the role of the independent facilitator particularly when engaging with communities.

11. Are there any other places in the process at which you feel that a facilitator would be useful?

Facilitator - which places
We believe that a facilitator would be of value throughout all stages of the process. This will not only strengthen the transparency of the process but also help to strike a proportionate balance between the different stakeholders involved. In particular, we would value the use of a facilitator during the public evidence session. The sessions should be chaired by a professional independent facilitator and not by the CAA in order to develop trust between the public and the CAA.

Tier 1a: Categorisation of responses

12. In paragraphs 177 and C34-C36, and Table C2, we discuss the categorisation of consultation responses. The sponsor is required to sort consultation responses into two categories: i) those responses that have the potential to impact on the proposal because they include new information or ideas that the sponsor believes could lead to an adaptation in a lead design option or a new design option, and ii) those that do not. Is the CAA's explanation of the categorisation exercise and description of the categories sufficient?

Please select one item
Yes
No
Ticked Don't know
Categorisation - additional detail
Whilst we welcome the guidelines for categorising the consultation responses received by the Airspace Change Sponsor, without seeing an example of how this will work in real world scenario we cannot comment on whether the description or the categories are sufficient.

Tier 1a: Options appraisal

13. In paragraph E25 and E34 the CAA states that methodologies for the various aspects of the options appraisal should be agreed between the CAA and the sponsor at an early stage in the process, on a case-by-case basis. This provides flexibility for different local circumstances. Does this approach strike the right balance between proportionality and consistency?

Please select one item
Yes
No
Ticked Don't know
OA - explain re proportionality
The Council agrees that the various aspects of the options appraisal should be agreed between the CAA and the Airspace Change Sponsor at an early stage in the process on a case-by-case basis so that it provides flexibility for different local circumstances to be taken into consideration. This is because each case will be different and the options appraisal will need to reflect the circumstances of the scenario. At this stage we are unsure whether or not it strikes the right balance between proportionality and consistency until it has been implemented.

Tier 1a: Safety information

14. At each stage in the airspace change process that an options appraisal takes place, the sponsor will be required to submit a safety assessment. The sponsor will be required to provide a plain English summary of the safety assessment and the CAA will provide a plain English summary of its review (i.e. of the Letter of Acceptance, which forms the CAA’s review of the safety assessment) when it makes a decision. These documents will be available on the portal.   Do you have any views on specific information that should be included and/or excluded from the plain English summary of the sponsor’s safety assessment and the CAA’s review? 

Safety assessment
Hounslow Council does not have any views on the specific information that should be included and/or excluded from the plain English summary of the sponsor’s safety assessment and the CAA’s review. However, we believe that it will ultimately depend on who the reader will be and what level of pre-existing knowledge and understanding they will have on the topics being presented and discussed.

Tier 1b: Temporary airspace changes

15. Considering Tier 1b changes, to what extent does the draft guidance on temporary airspace changes meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
The guidance clearly states that the temporary airspace arrangement will apply for a period of no longer than 90 days after which the airspace will revert back to its original form (paragraph 273). However, the CAA may consider approving an extension beyond 90 days. We question how many times the CAA will continue to approve an extension before it is evident that it is becoming a long term arrangement and the Airspace Change Sponsor will need to undertake a full airspace change process. (See paragraph 283). Further clarity is required here.

Tier 1c: Operational airspace trials

16. Considering Tier 1c changes, to what extent does the draft guidance on operational airspace trials meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
The Council strongly believe that all stakeholders (even those situated in areas where aircraft is above 7000ft) should be informed of the trials taking place (paragraph 289).

Tier 1: Spaceflights

17. On 21 February 2017 the Government published the Draft Spaceflight Bill. As the foreword to the draft Bill sets out, “This legislation will see the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the UK Space Agency, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Health and Safety Executive working together to regulate and oversee commercial spaceflight operations in the UK.” Do you have any views on whether this process could be used or adapted to suit future airspace change proposals to enable spaceflights, as anticipated in the Draft Spaceflight Bill?

Spaceflight
No comment.

Tier 2: Permanent and planned redistribution

18. The Government proposals talk about a Tier 2 change as one which is likely to alter traffic patterns below 7,000 feet over a populated area and which therefore could have a potential noise impact for those on the ground. The key requirement is that the air navigation service provider must demonstrate that it has assessed the noise impact of the proposed change and engaged with affected communities as appropriate. Which stages of the Tier 1a airspace change process do you think are necessary for a proposal categorised as a Tier 2 change? Please select all those which apply:

Please select all that apply
Ticked Stage 1 Define
Ticked Stage 2 Develop and assess
Ticked Stage 3 Consult
Ticked Stage 4 Update and submit
Ticked Stage 5 Decide
Ticked Stage 6 Implement
Ticked Stage 7 Post-implementation review
None of these
Don’t know
Tier 2 reasons
Hounslow Council is of the view that all stages outlined for a Tier 1a airspace change should be addressed when considering a Tier 2 change particularly with regard to Tier 2 changes being proposed at Heathrow Airport. The Council welcomes the proposed ‘environmental metrics and assessment requirements’ as outlined in Appendix B. However, we strongly believe that both the CAA guidance and indeed the draft Government policy (Airspace Policy and the Airports National Policy Statement) should provide much needed clear steer on use of ‘alternative and additional noise metrics’, including the use of short-term time averaging that is synonymous with sleep disturbance and adverse health impact, as opposed to just using 16-hour (day) and 8-hour (night) noise contours to measure the change in noise and assessing impacts resulting from future airspace changes.

19. The CAA’s process for Tier 1a changes is scaled into ‘Levels’, based on the altitude-based priorities in the Government’s Air Navigation Guidance (i.e. where noise impacts are to be prioritised or considered alongside carbon emissions, a more demanding consultation is required). Could the future Tier 2 process also be scaled?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Don't know
Tier 2 - scaled reasons
No comment.

20. Are there any other comments that you would like to make about the CAA’s potential Tier 2 process?

Tier 2 - other comments
Hounslow Council appreciates that the government will consider the outcomes of the DfT’s draft Airspace Policy consultation before advising the CAA on the potential Tier 2 process. However, we seek further information on the mechanism that would be put in place and the level of powers that would be bestowed on the CAA to enable them to increase their current level of oversight. We would like to point out that whilst we support the proposals for Tier 2 airspace change (as outlined in the draft Airspace Policy), we are seeking clarity on the: - circumstances that would require such a change, and the criteria that would be utilised to determine a ‘significant’ detrimental effect on environment? In other words, the Council seeks definition of ‘significance criteria’? - definition of ‘appropriate’ consultation and ‘suitable’ level of engagement and believe that the approach needs to be ‘proportionate’, when implementing the Tier two airspace change. For example, within the detailed proposals that have been proposed within the draft Airspace Policy consultation we query at what point does the Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) realise that vectoring procedures are becoming regular occurrence and have to be changed to Permanent and Planned Redistribution of aircraft (PPR)? What is the timeframe for determining when vectoring becomes PPR? We believe that a timeframe needs to be set out within the policy or by the CAA so that the ANSP can determine the period when vectoring becomes PPR so that they can undertake suitable consultation on the proposed change with local communities and any adverse/significant adverse impacts resulting from the proposed change are mitigated and minimised to an acceptable level. We are of the view that vectoring practices can cause as much noise impacts as changes to formal airspace structure, and as a result there should be a clear timeframe for agreeing a change process and timeframe for implementation, which can help manage stakeholders’ expectations. Therefore, the Council welcomes any guidance that will assist ANSPs and CAA in assessing when PPR is likely to create adverse/significant adverse or unacceptable adverse impacts that will require consultation. In Council’s view at least, there is much needed research required by the Government, in order that aircraft noise impacts may be assigned different categories (LOAEL, SOAEL and UAEL) that will determine the extent and nature of mitigation measures during airspace changes in future.

Tier 3: Other changes to air operations affecting noise impacts

21. To what extent does the draft best practice guidance on Tier 3 changes (other changes that may have a noise impact) meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
Ticked 1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
No additional comments to make.

22. Where industry does not follow the CAA’s guidance in respect of Tier 3 changes, or where there is a clear breakdown of trust between an airport and its stakeholders, is it appropriate for the CAA to publicly draw attention to this?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know
CAA action on Tier 3 further detail
Hounslow Council believes that it is appropriate for the CAA to publicly draw attention to the fact that the industry has chosen not to follow their guidance in respect of Tier 3 changes and that there has been a clear breakdown of trust between an airport and its stakeholders and when this took place. This will ensure that the CAA is being open and transparent throughout the airspace change process and that will help build trust between all stakeholders. This information can be published on the online portal. Whilst we appreciate that the CAA has no direct regulatory role in respect of Tier 3 (paragraph 305), we do believe that the CAA should publicly challenge airports and air navigation service providers to ensure that clear and useful information is being provided to local communities that are being impacted by Tier 3 changes.

23. Considering the list of potential information proposed, would you suggest any additions which would help stakeholders, including communities, understand the impacts of Tier 3 changes and enhance transparency?

Additional information on Tier 3 impacts
Hounslow Council does not have any additional information which they would include to Tier 3 that will enable communities to understand the impacts of Tier 3 changes and enhance transparency. The information provided within the guidance is very useful and will assist local communities in engaging with the two-way dialogue that is to be used to assist with the proposed mitigation discussions.

24. In relation to mitigating the impacts of Tier 3 changes, our draft guidance says that the focus should be on exploring the options for mitigating the change through two-way dialogue, because of the local and often incremental nature of Tier 3 changes. Does the guidance need to give more detail?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Don't know
Tier 3 mitigation - reasons for Q24 answer
At this stage the guidance provides sufficient detail to enable the start of the dialogue. However, we believe that the CAA should continue to act as the advisory body within the Tier 3 change process and facilitate the discussion between the airport and the local stakeholders impacted. -ENDS-