Luton Airport plane stacking plan under review

A PLAN to stack planes above Huntingdonshire skies could be reconsidered, the National Air Traffic Service has said. In its initial response to a four-month consultation period, NATS says that the location of the proposed hold for Luton Airport will be re

A PLAN to stack planes above Huntingdonshire skies could be reconsidered, the National Air Traffic Service has said.

In its initial response to a four-month consultation period, NATS says that the location of the proposed hold for Luton Airport will be reviewed.

However, a spokesman for the firm said this did not mean the stack would necessarily be repositioned.

NATS wants to allow planes waiting to land at Luton Airport to enter a stacking system 7,000ft above Huntingdonshire and South Cambridgeshire.


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Campaigners fear the stacks will reduce tranquillity for people living directly underneath, which include the villages of Hilton and Cambourne.

Sue Chase, from campaign group, RuralPeace, said: "We welcome the news that NATS are now to consider the location of the aircraft stacking hold over rural Huntingdonshire and South Cambs.

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"We can only wait and see what happens next and hope that NATS will be influenced by the thousands of signatures on paper and e-petitions signed locally - and that our communities can continue to preserve their rural tranquillity."

The final decision on whether or not aeroplanes are to be stacked above Huntingdonshire lies with the Civil Aviation Authority.

NATS will report its recommendations on how to proceed to the CAA, although there is no timetable for the report.

Jonathan Astill, head of airspace management for NATS, said: "There have been many constructive suggestions made during the consultation process and we will take as long as is necessary to give them proper consideration."

Last week it was revealed that the House of Commons Transport Committee was launching its own inquiry into the airspace proposals.

n During the public consultation, which closed in June after an extension, there were 578 responses from representative bodies across the country and a further 14,467 responses from individuals.

Eighty-six per cent of respondents opposed the proposals in their current form, while 13 per cent supported it. The principal concerns raised were about noise in rural areas and the consultation process itself.

INFORMATION: View the proposals at www.consultation.nats.co.uk

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