Response 901045514

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About you

A. What is your name?

Name (Required)
Charles Lloyd

C. Where do you live?

Please select one item
(Required)
East of England
East Midlands
West Midlands
North East
North West
Northern Ireland
Scotland
Ticked South East
South West
Wales
Yorkshire and the Humber

D. Are you answering this consultation as:

Please select one item
(Required)
Ticked Resident affected by aviation
Airline passenger
Member of the General Aviation community
Member of the commercial aviation industry
Military
Government and / or other regulators
Representative or national organisation or institute
Elected political representative

E. Are you affiliated with any organisation?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Affiliation
Gatwick Obviously Not
Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

F. Is there anything else that you would like us to know about you regarding this consultation?

Please enter any further details
This response is submitted by Gatwick Obviously Not (GON). GON is an unincorporated aviation-focused community group based in west Kent. GON was established principally to seek fairer dispersal of aircraft arriving at Gatwick airport from the east together with the implementation of a range of other arrangements intended to reduce aviation noise. It has subsequently sought to campaign and contribute constructively to a wide range of aviation noise matters both around Gatwick and nationally. It is a member of Gatwick’s Noise Management Board. Members of GON sit on the Department’s Airspace and Noise Engagement Group and the CAA’s Community Discussion Forum. We endorse the response submitted by the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC). Our response should be taken to include all of the points made in GACC’s response.

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

Please select one item
(Required)
Ticked Yes, with personal identifying information (name, location, respondent category, organisation, additional information - please note your email address will NOT be published if you choose this option)
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 Considering the draft guidance overall, to what extent does it meet the following criteria?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
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 would you improve?
Paragraph G19 says “Where there is a conflict, and therefore section 70(3) applies, the CAA will be prepared to provide impartial advice to the change sponsor prior to the proposal being submitted formally about how this conflict could be minimised … Any such advice will be published”. We believe it is critical that any such process is entirely transparent and fully involves impacted and potentially impacted communities. Informal, closed, discussions between the CAA and change sponsors will, we believe, compromise the CAA’s independence and erode trust in the process. Para 6 states that “… the design of airspace, and the airspace change process, do not specify, or limit future increases in, the volume of air traffic using a piece of airspace at any given point in time. The volume of air traffic using an airport may however be addressed by land-use planning conditions, where relevant.” We suggest the CAA considers a more interventionist approach whereby it sets limits on ATMs permitted at any airport following a change. We believe this would be one way in which the CAA could achieve a reasonable balance between the factors it is required to take into account in making decisions on airspace change proposals, consistent with the Government’s policy. If necessary the law should be changed to permit the CAA to set such limits. Alternatively such limits could be achieved through conditional approvals (see 7 below), or by the CAA refusing to approve changes unless the sponsor is willing to offer an ATM cap.
General observations
With the exception of the specific points made in our response we are generally supportive of the stages and the detailed process set out in the CAA’s draft guidance. But we are not confident that that process, as currently envisaged, will lead to decisions and outcomes that appropriately and fairly balance the interests of the aviation industry and its customers with those of people, communities and businesses impacted by its operations. This is for two related reasons: • first because the CAA’s duties and the factors it is required to take into account in airspace change decisions (under section 70 of the Transport Act 2000) generally prioritise aviation growth above reducing the impact on people overflown. We believe this is inconsistent with the policy requirement for “balance” set out repeatedly in the Government’s recent airspace consultation. • secondly, the CAA has compounded this inconsistency by failing to set out sufficiently clearly the way in which it will make decisions when its duties and the factors it is required to take into account conflict with one another, i.e. how it will behave when 70(3) of the Transport Act 2000 applies. Consequently, whilst the airspace change framework and process the CAA has set out may be sound, the foundations it is constructed on are not, and decisions emerging from it are unlikely to be satisfactory or sustainable. We appreciate that policy matters and legal change are outside the scope of this consultation. But we believe the CAA could and should do substantially more to clarify the position. We encourage it to work with the Government to create an environment in which the respective interests are genuinely balanced, in line with recent policy statements. We believe an amendment to Section 70 is required, making clear that environmental matters rank at least equally with the efficient use of airspace in all cases. Prior to any such change in the law, we believe the CAA can and should be clear that it will use the discretion it has under section 70 to seek to achieve the government’s policy objective to balance the interests of the industry and impacted communities. Our response sets out some of the ways in which this could be done.

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
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
Para 8 states “ … for example, changes may be needed to enable UK airspace to accommodate more flights, to incorporate new technology, to allow aircraft to fly more direct routes or to keep them away from particular areas”. This statement may be correct, but it is telling that it makes no reference to the need for changes that are intended to reduce noise and other environmental impacts. It is indicative, in our view, of a culture within the industry and the CAA that fails to take proactive steps to minimise the noise impacts and an absence of adequate regulation requiring it to do so. The airspace change process is managed by the industry and changes will generally only be initiated when the industry stands to benefit from them, usually through increased capacity or reduced costs. We believe a mechanism is required that obliges the industry to come forward periodically with change proposals intended to achieve environmental benefits. Ideally this would be part of a set of much wider changes to the regulatory arrangements for the industry. But prior to such wider changes we suggest that the CAA: a. requires all designated airports to consider and report formally, at least every five years, on airspace changes that could reduce aggregate noise; b. requires each proposed change to be accompanied by a set of environmental measures designed not only to minimise the impact of the specific change being proposed but also to reduce the noise impact of the airport’s operations generally (this could be likened to section 106 undertakings attaching to airspace change proposals); c. alternatively to (a) above that airports should provide funding enabling local communities to develop such proposals and collaborate with them.

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
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
We believe that categorisation of changes is flawed because it focuses on aviation industry definitions and activities rather on impacts on the ground. One way to address this partially would be to cap the extent of change that can occur under tier 3 airspace changes and to define any change in excess of that cap as a tier 2 change with the associated requirement that it would therefore be more fully consulted on. We encourage the CAA to adopt this approach or to press the Government to adopt it. As part of the stage 2 options appraisal change sponsors should be required to carry out a Health Impact Assessment. In the case of a tier 1a change and a tier 2 change with potentially equivalent impacts, this should be a comprehensive exercise with sponsors required to identify and fund exhaustive measures designed to mitigate as fully as possible the health impacts of the change.

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
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
Change sponsors should be required to fund reasonable consultancy support for impacted or potentially impacted communities, particularly in relation to the need for a change and options for achieving the change objective.

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
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

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
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
In setting out the way in which it will evaluate airspace change proposals and balance the section 70 factors it is required to take into account we believe the CAA should: • establish general design principles (a) that no change can result in an increase in the impact of noise and (b)that all changes will, in order to achieve the government’s policy objective of “balance”, be required to reduce the impact of noise, on a basis to be agreed with communities, directly in proportion to any increase in maximum capacity expected to be generated by the change. So a change or a series of changes expected to increase capacity by 50% (the objective of the FAS programme) would only be approved if the industry could demonstrate that it would reduce the impact of noise by 50%, and would be conditional on that noise reduction actually being achieved. • establish “safety net” arrangements that define the maximum noise exposure any community can be subject to, making clear that any proposals that exceed the safety net will not be approved. The CAA should make all future approvals of tier 1a and equivalent tier 2 changes subject to a wide range of conditions. These should include: • Monitoring and further mitigation of actual health impacts caused by the change; • Progressive and material reductions in noise impacts in all areas impacted by the change; and • The payment of full compensation for all effects of the change, on the basis set out in GACC’s response.

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
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

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
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

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

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
Yes
No
Ticked Don't know
Facilitator further detail
Change sponsors should be required to fund reasonable consultancy support for impacted or potentially impacted communities, particularly in relation to the need for a change and options for achieving the change objective.

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

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
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know
OA - explain re proportionality
All appraisals should include a do nothing option. For each tier 1 and equivalent tier 2 change a fully quantified socio economic cost benefit appraisal should be carried out.

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
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
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

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
Ticked None of these
Ticked Don’t know
Tier 2 reasons
We believe that the categorisation of changes is flawed because it focuses on aviation industry definitions and activities rather on impacts on the ground. A tier 2 change can have the same impact as a tier one change and so should include the same stages.

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
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know
Tier 2 - scaled reasons
On an equivalent basis to tier 1 changes.

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
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 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
We believe that the categorisation of changes is flawed because it focuses on aviation industry definitions and activities rather on impacts on the ground. One way to address this partially would be to cap the extent of change that can occur under tier 3 airspace changes and to define any change in excess of that cap as a tier 2 change with the associated requirement that it would therefore be more fully consulted on. We encourage the CAA to adopt this approach or to press the Government to adopt it.

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
Where industry does not follow guidance in relation to Tier 3, the change should be regarded as a tier 2 change and more fully consulted upon.

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
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know
Tier 3 mitigation - reasons for Q24 answer
The CAA (or DfT) should cap the extent of change permitted under tier 3.