Objections against circuits over residential areas

Many of you have noted the large Bombardier Global 7500 that circled 6 times, at speed and low level over residential areas, between 9.10 and 9.40 on 8th June 2022.

We thought we should inform you of the situation.

Training circuits are allowed at Biggin Hill Airport, however the new range of large aircraft (particularly since Bombardier set its European operations at Biggin Hill) are no longer respecting the agreed route in place when the lease was signed.

In particular, the noise-abatement route for Visual Circuits, recorded with the CAA, is illustrated in Plan B of the attached map, which was posted on BHAL’s website until April 2020, when it was suddenly and arbitrarily removed.

The purpose of this noise-abatement route was, undoubtedly, to limit circuits to open countryside and protect residential areas, particularly the ones closest to the route, that were most at risk of being overflown and are specifically mentioned.

It is important to note the sentence in the text above stating that “Aircraft unable to comply with these requirements should not plan to make use of London Biggin Hill Airport”.

Now that BHAL’s clients operate much larger aircraft, attracted here by the Council granting longer operating hours, BHAL have suggested to the Council that, providing they respect the three areas specifically mentioned, aircraft can overfly other residential and noise-sensitive areas, including the hospital. This is nonsensical. It would bring noisy, disruptive and dangerous aircraft (particularly as we now have Bombardier testing their large aeroplanes over our heads) over densely populated areas, the ones that the noise-abatement route is devised to protect.

The exact wording, contained in a CAA report provided to the Council for the Executive meeting of 12th January 2022, states, at point i): “All circuits at London Biggin Hill Airport are conducted to the West of the aerodrome (Right Hand – Runway 21, Left Hand – Runway 03. Overflight of the following Noise Sensitive Areas should be avoided, unless necessary to fulfil an ATC instruction such as to extend downwind for spacing, Keston Village The Leavesdon Estate and Leaves Green. Aircraft unable to comply with these requirements should not plan to make use of London Biggin Hill airport.”

In the five-yearly NAP Review prepared for the Executive meeting of 12th January 2022 (Section 2.9, 8b) BHAL suggest that training circuits be only restricted by hours of operation (not a flying route) and authorised by the Airport CEO (Mr Winstanley) or the Senior Air Traffic Control Officer.
A new version of the five-yearly NAP Review is due by the end of June 2022 because the first version was considered inadequate by the Council Executive on 12th January 2022. Flightpath Watch are already making representations to the Council that this suggestion should be rejected and residential areas should remain protected from circuits by large aircraft, which are dangerous, noisy, overbearing and can be frightening.

As many of you have experienced the recent circuits by a Bombardier Global 7500, and as the revised NAP Review is due by the end of this month, this is the time please to send your objections against circuits over residential areas to the Council’s Airport Monitoring Officer matthew.amer@bromley.gov.uk, with copies to your local councillors.

Thank you.

Flightpath Watch Ltd