Fly High


The High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group is campaigning to get aircraft to fly as high as possible  to minimise the noise on the ground.  Just because we live in an area where aircraft can fly below 4000 feet does not mean they have to or they should. NATS currently is responsible for controlling the aircraft into Gatwick. We think the aircraft should be as high as possible at all times within safe limits.  There is no excuse for a 747 at 2500 feet over the High Weald.  At 20 miles from the airport the aircraft can be at over 6000 feet at 10 miles at over 3000. NATS need to “make it so”

The theoretical “ideal” CDA profile is a descent at 3 degrees from 6000ft, by being as high as possible the air traffic controllers the  Airlines and the Airport can do their bit to help preserve the tranquillity of the High Weald for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike. The quietest form of descent is a continuous shallow descent so the aircraft does not have to use power to turn or maintain height.  The steepest angle of descent at landing is 3% and the aircraft must be at that angle from 6000 feet or 19 nautical miles away from the airport. In reality that is 6000 feet over Hildenborough, 4400 feet over Leigh and Penshurst, 4100 feet over Chiddingstone and 3600 feet over Hever.

6 thoughts on “Fly High

  1. You are quite right that aircraft ought to use the 3 degree Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) from 6000 ft but there is no reason why they should not use it or a steeper angle from further out. At present many aircraft start their CDA after a period of level flight at 6000 ft or even lower. This level flight requires more engine power which at 6000 ft creates considerable noise on the ground. The aim should be CDA from as great a height as possible and certainly from at least 6000 ft. The angle of decent can be steep at first settling to 3 degrees at a maximum height of 6000 ft.

  2. I live in newchapel and have noticed an increase I aircraft noise. It is now 2220 8th December 2014 and this increase has been going on for a few hours. It was the same last night.
    The planes appear to be travelling lower and the noise from them has therefore increased.
    This increase in noise is disturbing me.
    Helen mears

  3. Excellent article and reply.

    FYI: If you want to find out how high aircraft are see,0.06/9
    The also have a phone app.

  4. Has anyone stopped to think that a 2nd runway might well actually improve the situation? This does not automatically mean a doubling of traffic as some ‘scaremongering’ is trying to claim. Gatwick is and has been for a long time, the busiest single runway airport in the world. The main restriction of only a having single runway is that during busy times, planes have to circle overhead for longer waiting for a landing slot. Having two runways would mean that one runway would be dedicated to landings and the other take-off’s as per Heathrow. This would increase greatly the chances of ‘straight in’ approaches and indeed the opportunity for planes to not descend so early due to the current safety restrictions attached to the single runway.

    • Dear Tim – If Gatwick is successful in its proposal for a second runway, they will not operate one runway for arrivals and one for departures as Heathrow does. Both runways will be used for both arrivals and departures. Therefore, there will be no let-up for residents east of the airport as they will continue to suffer from aircraft arriving at Gatwick. If there are two runways, there will be double the present capacity and, therefore, double the number of aircraft. Admin.

  5. surely one of the key aims if not THE key aim should be to fly dispersed ? It is PBN navigation which is driving the very narrow corridors which is sending planes repeatedly over the same people. Of course planes should be flight high and clean and quietly – but above all we should all be in it together – this is patently not the case and that the biggest iniquity of recent changes is not one of your key aims is concerning

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