Response 940541320

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About you

A. What is your name?

Name (Required)
Katie Pettitt

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)
Resident affected by aviation
Airline passenger
Member of the General Aviation community
Member of the commercial aviation industry
Military
Ticked 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
Kent County Council
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
KCC has 84 elected Members representing approximately 1.5 million residents in Kent.

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(name, location, respondent category, organisation, additional information - please note your email address will NOT be published if you choose this option)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 Considering the draft guidance overall, to what extent does it meet the following criteria?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
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
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?
The guidance is not available for the Tier 2 changes as proposed in the concurrent consultation on UK Airspace run by the Department for Transport. We therefore consider that this guidance is premature and should have waited for the outcome of the other consultation before being published. Tier 2 changes are the currently (seemingly) unregulated changes that have caused great distress to West Kent’s communities in terms of Gatwick Airport. When the joining point to the Instrument Landing System (ILS) was moved it consequently changed flight paths and turning points above the Tunbridge Wells area, which dramatically altered the noise landscape above West Kent. The same issue of prematurity applies to other sections of the guidance, such as the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise, which we do not yet know if it will go ahead or in what constitutional form.
General observations
Page 23 of the guidance states that “7,000 feet is the maximum height at which noise is an impact for consideration;” however, we do not consider this to be correct. Rather, 7,000 feet is the threshold for which noise is no longer the primary consideration but that is not to say that it has no impact. Paragraph 5.4 of the recent Department for Transport consultation document UK Airspace Policy: A framework for balanced decisions on the design and use of airspace says in regards of the altitude based priorities (ABPs): "The ABPs state that noise should be the environmental priority for route design up to 4,000 feet amsl. They go on to say that noise and carbon emissions should be balanced between 4,000-7,000 amsl, and that above 7,000 feet amsl, noise is no longer an environmental priority."

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

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

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
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
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
We consider that the categorisation process, dividing consultation responses into those containing material that may alter the outcome of an airspace change proposal and those that do not (e.g. commenting on government policy), could be clearer. It is very likely that many consultation responses will contain both types of information and therefore further information is needed on how they will be categorised. It is also unclear what will happen to that information if a response is categorised as outside of the change sponsor’s control, for example will the CAA comment on it, will the respondent be directed to the appropriate body to make their comments, or will the response be categorised and then no further regard given to it?

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
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
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
We would like to see guidance issued to the airspace change sponsors on the requirements of the consultation response document. This would ensure that a consistent layout with all useful information is presented, as well as being easy to interpret by those who responded to the consultation. The online portal should enable notification to consultation participants. This should, therefore, be used in cases where a second round of consultation is required so that respondents can assess the changes to the proposals and make further representation.

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
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

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

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
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

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
Yes
Ticked No
Don't know
What else to show two way conversation?
As stated earlier in Appendix C, the two-way conversation needs to be an on-going process that may in fact be underway before the new airspace change process has begun. The Consultation Strategy will not be reviewed by the CAA until Stage 3 and will provide clarity on how stakeholder input was collated and responded to as well as altering the design process. Before Stage 3, however, we are unclear how this engagement will be carried out and monitored, but we would expect the CAA to see evidence of the communication channels open to stakeholders (such as website portals) and full utilisation of existing relationships with local organisations and airport Consultative Committees, and so on. The earlier drafts of the Consultation Strategy (referred to as an ‘Engagement Strategy’ in Appendix C) would be a good means of monitoring this early engagement. It should, therefore, be more strongly recommended by the guidance or even compulsory.

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
Ticked No
Don't know
Facilitator further detail
We do not consider it necessary to be more prescriptive about the use of a facilitator. It is the responsibility of the Change Sponsor to determine the best way to adhere to the process and timescales. Consequently, we consider it in the Sponsor’s interest to use a facilitator when conversations are stalling and/or a consensus cannot be reached otherwise.

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

Facilitator - which places
We consider that this should be for the Change Sponsor to decide as appropriate for individual airspace change proposals.

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
Ticked No
Don't know
Categorisation - additional detail
The descriptions given in the guidance do not acknowledge that consultation responses are likely to contain information in both categories, such as several possible ideas as well as comments on UK aviation policy. We consider the ‘We asked, you said, we did’ format to be extremely useful at conveying what has changed in the proposals as a result of the consultation responses and wider engagement but we are not sure that the guidance needs to be so prescriptive about categorising individual responses. Rather, how the responses are to be analysed could be detailed in the Consultation Strategy. It would also be helpful if the Consultation Strategy explained what would happen to the responses that are outside the scope of the airspace change proposal, such as referral to the Department for Transport or elsewhere (see our answer to question 4).

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
The options appraisal is a part of the process that takes shape dependent on the local circumstances of individual airspace change proposals and therefore we consider it appropriate that the exact methodology should be designed and agreed with the CAA on a case-by-case basis.

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
We do not hold a particular view on this as it should be determined by those with an expert knowledge of the safety considerations. However, the plain English summary could include references to sections of the full version to direct those with a greater interest in the content.

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
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

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
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

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
We consider that with greater experience of the process in use for traditional aviation its suitability for commercial spaceflights will become apparent.

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
In the recent Department for Transport consultation on UK Airspace Policy we welcomed the addition of Tier 2 airspace changes because it recognised that such changes can have impacts of the same scale as a Tier 1a airspace changes even though they are primarily changes to operational procedures. In the past, such operational changes have caused distress amongst the communities surrounding Gatwick Airport, leaving a legacy of mistrust and requiring significant work to alleviate the resultant problems. One such example is the change to the joining point of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) final approach, which altered the turning movements of aircraft and led to an increase in noise over West Kent. Communities were angered that this did not constitute an airspace change, meaning that no consultation was required, when the noise effects were so significant. Consequently, the same stages and rigorous process should apply to Tier 2 as to Tier 1 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
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know
Tier 2 - scaled reasons
We consider that Tier 1 and Tier 2 changes should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and where there are impacts on noise then greater consideration given to the impact on the ground. This may be based on the altitude-based priorities, but even above 7,000 there can be significant noise and overflight impacts.

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

Tier 2 - other comments
As per questions 18 and 19, Tier 2 changes should be treated with the same rigour as Tier 1a changes. This especially applies to consultation and engagement and ensuring that impacted communities, decision-makers and the Change Sponsor themselves are fully aware of the implications of the proposals.

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

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
Trust and transparency are vital for the success of this process, particularly in terms of public confidence. This will also be true of the proposed Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise if it is set up within the CAA. Previously there has been criticism that the CAA is too industry-focused, particularly due to its funding arrangements, so by publicly drawing attention to failures to adhere to the guidance it will illustrate that the CAA is being critical of the aviation industry where it is appropriate to do so. However, this should be done proportionately and the industry should be given a chance to rectify failures rather than public shaming being the first port of call.

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
Whilst the range of data and information that the guidance suggests would be useful for understanding Tier 3 changes does provide important comparative data, it does not tell the story of the changes that have occurred. Something like an annual report on changes over the year and events that made the pattern of arrivals and departures different than the average year would be helpful. A plain English summary of the proposed information would be beneficial to stakeholders. It might be that a leaflet could be produced and made available locally or through letter drops, as well as being published online.

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
Tier 3 changes are generally those outside the control of any party or due to incremental changes to destinations flown. It is therefore difficult to be more specific on what mitigation could be possible and we agree that two-way dialogue would be a good way forward to alleviating concerns and making changes that can benefit those negatively impacted. An example of this in practice has been the Gatwick Arrivals Review and consequent establishment of the Noise Management Board. Such an approach should be specified in the guidance as a possible course of action.