Farnborough Airport Expansion – Public Consultation

Your chance to be heard!

Farnborough Airport owners are seeking to increase the annual number of flights from 50,000 to 70,000 a year – including a jump in weekend traffic from 8,900 to 18,900. As Bentley is on the main take-off flight path and aircraft are still often below 4000ft when passing over the village this move will have a huge impact on the peace and tranquillity we currently enjoy.

It is estimated that only some 2000 travellers fly in private jets from the airfield and we on the Parish Council assume that most of you reading this are not amongst them. So whilst we might wish this privileged elite well, we’re sure you’ll join us in agreeing that this is an unwanted development in the skies over Bentley.

Farnborough Airport are conducting a public consultation, which is due to close on 18th October 2023. The exercise is collecting public comment through a Consultation Feedback Form, which can be found and completed on-line through www.farnboroughairport2040.com , “Share Your Views”. The feedback is in the form of a questionnaire with answers ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” and, as you can imagine, questions are designed to give a positive spin to responses. However, there are spaces for “additional comments”.

Below we have drawn up a set of comments that you might find useful in framing your response on the feedback form. They are taken mainly from the Farnborough Noise Group publications, including their review of the Farnborough Airport Post Implementation Review (PIR). We have aligned the comments with the five questions on the form as a guide. Please use and embellish them as you see fit.

Finally, your voice needs to be heard, log in and complete the on-line form.

Farnborough Airport Expansion

Q1. Role in the economic success of the area “Additional Comments”

  • Farnborough Airport benefits some 2000 individuals who fly in private jets: These flights benefit the elite few, whilst the residents on flight paths suffer the consequences.
  • Most flights are leisure rather than business. The claim that an increase in flights is needed to meet shifting needs of business travellers is false.
  • Farnborough Airport claim there is an economic benefit to local residents. Maybe a limited case in Farnborough but no benefit to Bentley.

Q2. Important for Farnborough Airport to plan for future (stupid question but here’s some additional comments)

  • 99% of destinations are served by commercial flights. Therefore, should plan to reduce Farnborough private jet capacity.
  • Farnborough Airport business plan appears only to consider benefits to Farnborough Airport with no thought to the inconvenience to residents on flight paths.

Q3. Changes to operations “Additional Comments”

  • Most flights are leisure rather than business. The claim that an increase in flights is needed to meet shifting needs of business travellers is false.
  • 99% of destinations are served by commercial flights. Therefore, no need to increase Farnborough capacity.
  • Farnborough Airport aim to have take-off and landing from 7am to 9pm on weekends and public holidays, an hour earlier and later than currently permitted. This should not be allowed to go ahead and further disturb residents’ weekends and holidays.
  • The increase in heavier business aircraft is likely to increase noise and should not be allowed.

Q4. Balance between economic benefits and environmental impact “Additional Comments”

  • Compensation packages are aimed mainly at residents of Rushmoor Borough, presumably to gain planning consent from the Rushmoor Borough Council.
  • The compensation packages presented for residents of Hampshire and Waverley are derisory.
  • Expansion plans are not reconcilable with government 2040 net zero carbon emissions targets.
  • CAA is aware of the public health impact of aircraft noise, reporting effects on its website. In the case of Farnborough Airport it appears to ignore this evidence.
  • Noise monitoring has not been validated as required by 2010 planning consent.
  • No measurements of noise have been made apart from those at Farnborough Airport.
  • No measurements or analysis have been conducted of pollutants and air quality under the flight paths.
  • No assessment of the health impact to residents under the flight paths.
  • Flight path over Bentley continues over SDNP, which should be protected from aircraft noise under Dept. of Transport guidelines. Many people benefit from National Parks. Only a few though thousand fly in private jets disrupting the leisure and pleasure of many hundreds of thousands. A re-evaluation of flight paths over SDNP required. Certainly an increase in air traffic is unacceptable.
  • Routing flights over rural areas is assumed to be a “good thing” in the PIR to reduce population overflown. However, rural areas are affected more severely than urban areas since baseline noise is lower and, therefore, contrast more pronounced.
  • Section 3.9 of the PIR presents noise analysis over Churt as representative of postal district GU10. Churt is on the southern border of GU10 and furthest from Farnborough Airport. This is a misleading guide for most residents of GU10 who are closer and experience aircraft noise at lower altitudes.
  • In the same section, altitudes above mean sea level (MSL) have been presented rather than the topographic ground level (GL). Bentley is approximately 350ft above MSL. This is a significant difference given passing aircraft are under 4000ft.

Q5: open section for comments.

The PIR only considers Farnborough aircraft (not aircraft using the same airspace and other airports and airfields). Therefore, does not consider:

  • All aircraft movements in the area: Only areas close to Farnborough Airport (not areas like Bentley)
  • Many flights using airspace around Farnborough are excluded from the statistics presented in the PIR e.g. flights to and from Blackbushe, RAF Odiham, Fairoaks, LHR, LGW, Lasham. It is misleading to represent the Farnborough Airport flights as the total in the local airspace.
  • All stakeholders, such as residents on flight paths, the flight path over Bentley, for example.

The PIR shows no proposals to mitigate effects of noise through:

  • Selection or restrictions on aircraft type, for example.
  • Alternative flight paths that would reduce disturbance to rural communities.

The treatment of aircraft noise in the PIR is poor and inconsistent:

  • Aircraft noise is experienced for short intervals, which increases disturbance compared to, say, road noise which is more constant.
  • Although lower average noise, it is more disruptive, especially in rural areas.
  • Aircraft noise data have been averaged, which disguises the effects of the increased weekend air traffic from Farnborough Airport. The weekend is a time when more residents are at home.