jet airplane flying overhead

Many of you will have noticed an increase in passenger jets flying over Bourn over the last few months. We can expect to see more as passenger flights return to pre-Covid levels. This is associated with a change in aircraft stacking for Luton airport, which used to share its airspace with Stansted. As Cllr Howells says in his statement below, aircraft are flying below agreed height limits and this is causing increasing concern to villages on the flight path into Luton. See below for further opportunities to have your say.

“You might have recently noticed an increase in passenger aeroplanes flying above our villages. More worryingly, you might have noticed an increase in noise pollution from the aircraft.

This is because, on the 24th of February, Luton Airport switched to a new arrivals flight path, which introduced a new stacking system centred around Grafham and passing directly over St Neots, Brampton, Buckden, and the Paxtons, from where aircraft exit the stack and descend over Abbotsley, Potton and Gamlingay.

Rob Payne, an Abbotsley resident, has been tracking the altitude of aircraft operations above the village (using transponders on the aircraft). At the time of writing, there have been over 2500 extra aircraft flying above these villages between 6000 and 9000ft. These numbers are likely to significantly increase over the summer (when many of us will be spending more time outside) as air traffic slowly returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Although most of us understood from the consultation that aircraft operations would be at over 9000ft, the data suggests that almost 70% of aircraft over Abbotsley are operating below 8000ft.

There is a 12-month post-implementation consultation window from June 1, 2022, in which residents can provide feedback on any negative impact of the new arrangements. Cllr West and I have been contacted by many residents who are bothered by the increase in noise from these aircraft. We are both very concerned with these developments and intend to raise a formal objection with the support of enough residents. We are also seeking the help of local Councillors, MPs and Mayor Nik Johnson.

We will be holding a public meeting in Little Gransden Village Hall on Tuesday, July 5, at 7:30 pm.

Mark Howell”