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New Gatwick flightpath trials are 'destroying' Sussex village life
Trials for a new flightpath from Gatwick Airport are “destroying” the lives of villagers.
Residents in Warnham, half an hour from Gatwick, are fed-up with low-flying aircraft going over their homes from 6am each day.
The trials, which started on February 17 and will continue for six months, are being run by National Air Traffic Services working with the airport.
Planes pass over the village at approximately 2,000ft and villagers say they can be as frequent as every five minutes.
Concerns have been raised for the health of the residents – particularly the elderly and disabled.
Resident Laura Standing said: “My daughter suffers with autism, sensory processing disorder with severe stress and anxiety and any change to her surroundings has a huge impact on her.
“The sounds of the planes and the vibrations they cause going over the house have already had a massive impact on her. She feels scared and even petrified at times.”
With a population of 2,000, residents feel the tranquillity of the village is being destroyed.
Resident Orla Constant said: “Warnham has never been on the flightpath and to suddenly find that Gatwick Airport is running a six-month trial overhead without consulting any of the local residents is quite simply unbelievable.
“Warnham is a traditional and tranquil Sussex village and this has suddenly been destroyed by the bombardment of low-flying noisy planes.”
As the new flightpath is running on a trial basis, no consultation is required for change of airspace. It also has the full permission of the Civil Aviation Authority.
Resident Sally Pavey said: “It feels like we are being bombed and they are destroying the village. They just decided without giving us any thought.”
The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) claims that rural residents suffer more from noise pollution than urban residents as they are used to the peace – saying that this factor has been acknowledged in the noise regulations used by local authorities.
Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC, said: “GACC is concerned that the trial of the new flightpath over Warnham is designed solely to get more aircraft off the Gatwick runway.
“It is intolerable that new misery and decline in house values should be caused just to create extra profit.”
GACC is fighting against proposals for the construction of a new runway at Gatwick.
A spokeswoman for Gatwick Airport said: “The trial is part of the Future Airspace Strategy; a UK-wide programme looking at modernising airspace routes and improving the efficiency of airspace.
“The departure route, which enables aircraft to climb more quickly after take-off, reduces the overall number of people affected by aircraft noise and overflight.”