October 2017: Progress On RNAV Airtraffic Noise Relief

CAA Performance Impact Review
We have sent the HarpendenSky submission on the failings of RNAV to the CAA CEO Andrew Haines as part of the Performance Impact Review [PIR] which will be complemented by similar reports from Bim Afolami MP and the St Albans Quieter Skies [STAQS] campaign. We expect the PIR to start in October 2017 and will request updates.

St Albans District Council Luton Airport Working Group [SADCLAWG]
We have had the first meeting of the new SADCLAWG which has agreed aims, structure and initial issues to resolve including the first priority CAA PIR submission which is underway now. The group will meet four times per annum to provide a consolidation point for the main local campaign groups and input to the LLACC NTSC meetings. It is expected the group will connect with other town councils in Hertfordshire.

March 2017: Important Guidance On CAA Assessment

During the period Feb to September 2017 Luton Airport [LA] will be monitoring noise complaints ahead of a formal CAA review of the LA RNAV routing implementation for westerly departures, which will decide if it has been a success or not. According to the original LA RNAV Briefing "The overall intention is to agree a track which has the least noise impact for local communities, improve the tightness of track-keeping by the aircraft, and then consider deploying the new technology on other routes from the Airport". In the opinion of HarpendenSky it has been completely unsuccessful but this must be demonstrated to the CAA. These are the CAA outcome criteria from the review which is called a Post Implementation Review that will commence in October 2017. See CAA PIA Schedule: https://www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-industry/Airspace/Airspace-change/Reviews/Luton-runway-26-PIR/

[Option 1] The proposal is accepted as having met the original aim of the airspace change & the process ends.
[Option 2] The proposal has not met the original aim with remedial work being undertaken to rectify the situation.
[Option 3] The proposal has not met the original aim to the extent that the airspace reverts [where possible] to its original state.

It is important to realise that noise complaint data prior to Feb 2017 will not be used by the CAA PIA. So the message is that your noise complaints should now be formalised whenever you consider it justified to noise@ltn.aero stating the approx time, date of the flight. Please encourage your neighbours to do the same.

January 2017: Luton Airtraffic Noise Campaign Update

This is the latest position based upon remediation actions to reduce the impact on Harpenden of Luton Airtraffic noise arising from westerly departures. It is the summary of meetings involving HarpendenSky.com during Oct/Nov with Luton Flight Operations who have agreed the content of this message. We will keep you updated.

[1] 10k Feet For All Flights Starting From Redbourn Turn
A new working party is being formed now with NATS to build an action plan by Jan 2017 that will work on the flightpath from the Redbourn turn that allows all aircraft to continue gaining height upto 10k feet. This will include phraseology agreed between ATC & pilots that ensures a consistent reaction to clearance upto 10k rather than the sporadic or more cautious approach as currently.

[2] RNAV Fix
To enable all Luton departing aircraft to follow the RNAV routing around the Redbourn turn which should be implemented Feb 2017. This will then trigger data collection for the CAA Post Implementation Review [PIR] which will then start around Sept 2017. The CAA aim is to establish if RNAV met the original Luton Airport Operations objective.

[3] RNP Implementation
RNP is a more precise navigation system. The potential RNP centreline would be between 200M & 800M south of the current RNAV centreline at various points along the flightpath. The existing centreline is just over 1kM south of Harpenden so this would put the new centreline between 1.2kM and 1.8kM south of Harpenden [these designs are still in draft & nothing has been confirmed at present]. As RNP is more accurate than RNAV, then this would ensure a better adherence to the centreline, meaning that weather effects should not push aircraft north and closer to Harpenden.

[4] LAMP [London Airspace Modification Program] Next Phase
Luton Airport Operations are discussing with NATS & other airports the possibility of moving arrival stacks away from this region & at an increased height earlier than currently planned.

[5] Traffic Volume
There has been no noticeable downturn in Luton Airport passenger/flight volume post-Brexit.

For Luton Airport easterly departures there is a plan to introduce an RNAV/RNP style model which will go to consultation but no precise timetable as yet.

October 2016: Luton Westerly Departure Changes Planned

On 6Oct there was a stakeholder meeting hosted by Luton Airport [LA] to confirm changes to be implemented that are planned to reduce the impact of airtraffic noise resulting from the recent introduction of the RNAV routing. This is a summary of the main points all of which relate primarily to increasing the height of Luton airtraffic on the westerly departures route which has generated the most complaints.

[1] Increased Height: In the short term LA are assessing the viability with NATS of implementing a procedural change that will remove a conflict with Heathrow airtraffic enabling Luton westerly departures to move from 4000 to 5000 feet.

[2] Increased Height: As part of [1] LA are looking to increase aircraft "rate of climb" so that when airspace is available they should be at a much higher altitude in the Harpenden, Sandridge, St Albans area.

[3] Reduced Overflights: LA are also looking to introduce the latest navigation technology that will enable the flightpath width to be reduced to 50M compared to 500M currently which will further assist in reducing community overflights.

We really need your support in continuing to complain to noise@ltn.aero when flights cause disturbance [flight approx time & date] & to engage your local councillors & MP to accelerate these LA initiatives.

June 2016: Rerouting Unsatisfactory For Harpenden Residents

The new RNAV routing for Luton Airport westerly departures has not been successful with a 45% increase in noise complaints for the first quarter following the implementation [Source: Luton Airport Quarterly Monitoring Report]. HarpendenSky has been in contact with Luton Airport flight operations, the National Air Transport Service [NATS] and the Department of Transport to progress the issue.

August 2015: RNAV Routing Implemented

We have received this Luton Airport confirmation of the route change.

"We've finally got some good news on our RNAV airspace application. The CAA have given it informal approval which means we can now make the relevant submissions to introduce the change in procedure, which should commence from 20th August 2015".

February 2015: Latest News On Route Change Progress

The Operations Director of Luton Airport provided an update on the RNAV1 trial outcome to HarpendenSky.com & the next steps to achieve a permanent change to westerly departures flying across west, central and south Harpenden - these were the main points:

- Westerly Luton Airport departure route [Brookmans Park] applies to 70% of airtraffic leaving the airport

- The new routing that would apply once CAA approval is granted will use a GPS rather than beacon system

- The RNAV1 trial in 2014 was successful & there were 1,400 participants in the questionnaire of which 90% were in favour

- An additional RNAV1 benefit of lower fuel burn is a significant bonus to environmental & fuel cost considerations

- The CAA is due to report on the application for the route change to a far more concentrated flightpath which avoids Harpenden by end March

- If the outcome is positive, then the changes can be implemented within 2 months

- Once this change is completed, Luton has confirmed that further routes will be tackled using the same principles.
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