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Council flooded with objections to Farnborough Airport expansion

Keith Parkins | 31.07.2009 14:36 | Climate Chaos | Globalisation

Plans to double the number of flights at Farnborough Airport has met strong local opposition.

Rushmoor Borough Council, the planning authority, has received 2,500 comments on plans to double the number of flights at Farnborough Airport. Over 1,000 comments were received in the last week. The vast majority of these comments were objections.

Last year TAG Aviation, the owners and operators of Farnborough Airport, were granted a doubling of their weekend and bank holiday flights. They are already back wanting more. They wish to see a doubling of weekend and bank holiday movements, a doubling of their overall number of flights.

The current upper limit on movement is 28,000, and this was a breach of the Local Plan which set a limit of 20,000. TAG wish to see this raised to 50,000 movement and have been forced to admit that when this limit is reached, they will be back for more.

To approve this application would be a clear breach of the Climate Change Act which makes it mandatory to cut greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050. It would also drive a coach and horses through the recent G8 agreement to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees.

Carbon offsetting does not work.

TAG make bogus claims of economic benefits to the local economy. This lie is easily demolished by a visit to the two nearest town centres of Aldershot and Farnborough. Both are ghost towns.

TAG lie again when they claim massive job creation. Few jobs exist at Farnborough Airport and these are at huge cost to the local environment. Airports such as Gatwick and Heathrow have baggage handling, check-in staff, shopping malls, customs and immigration and passport control. None of these jobs exist at Farnborough.

One of the most detailed studies of the economics of aviation was that carried out by New Economics Foundation and World Development Movement last year. The joint nef/WDM study shows the claimed economic benefits do not exist. The situation at Farnborough is far worse as this is an exclusive business airport, aircraft are flying almost empty with only a handful of passengers, often only a single passenger.

More people will be exposed to the risk of a crash. The Public Safety Zone (within which no habitable building should exist) already extends over residential Farnborough, and encompasses Farnborough College of Technology. With increased movements, the PSZ will grow in size an extend further. The 1 in 10,000 risk contour which should not extend beyond the airfield perimeter, will, with increased movements, extend beyond the airfield boundary.

Rushmoor is already mired in scandal over the way they are handling third party and societal risk. They have engaged a consultant who has previously acted for TAG at a public inquiry where on behalf of TAG he claimed the economic benefits to TAG outweighed the risks of third parties being killed!

The noise levels are unacceptable. At peak times in the evening aircraft are flying in every minute.

The council would do well to look very carefully at the recent Corby negligence case. If the council does as they have done in the past, rubber-stamp this application on behalf of TAG, then they are opening the floodgates to negligence claims in the future should local residents suffer ill-health or should there be a crash.

The council planning website is not working. Those who have used it to object will find their objections have not been received. There can be no excuse for this as it has been known for months that there is a problem with submitting planning objections through the website. Objections should therefore be resubmitted by e-mail or letter.

The application is not likely to be considered until October. If you have not yet objected, please get an objection in now. Objections to these plans should be submitted to Keith Holland, Head of Planning:

Keith Holland
Head of Planning
Farnborough Road


Keith Parkins, Farnborough Airport to double the number of flights?, Indymedia UK, 16 July 2009

Jack Sommers, Vast majority opposed, Surrey-Hants StarCourier, 30 July 2009


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  1. noise and air pollution — Keith