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Airport consultation responses lost following computer glitch

TAG has been conducting a public consultation since February 3 but anyone who submitted a response during the affected days will now have to re-submit them

Farnborough Airport

Farnborough Airport owners TAG have extended a consultation on controversial airspace changes following a computer glitch which meant people’s responses were lost.

The airport said a "technical fault" meant comments left between 11.02am on April 11 and 10.08am on April 16 had not been recorded.

The consultations was due to end on Friday (May 2) but has now been extended to May 12.

TAG wants to submit an Aerospace Change Proposal to the UK Civil Aviation Authority, claiming its changes would mean planes would not disturb residents as frequently and passengers could travel more efficiently.

It has been conducting a public consultation on its proposals since February 3 but anyone who submitted a response during the affected days will now have to re-submit them.

TAG apologised for the inconvenience, adding the fault was fixed on April 16 and the consultation website is now functioning correctly.

The airport currently handles a maximum 28,000 air traffic movements each year but has permission to increase the number of flights coming in and out of the airport. By next year there could be 45,000 and this could rise to 50,000 by 2019.

The airport currently operates in an uncontrolled air space, which is shared with other airports, so aircraft often have longer routings and a less predictable descent or climb, causing more aircraft to fly low over houses. The new proposals have elements of controlled airspace so there is a more predictable flow of traffic, resulting in fewer flights at low altitude and aircraft flying fewer miles around the airport.

The proposals have come under fire from residents living nearby, councils and flying groups.

East Hampshire District Council said an increased airspace could force other air traffic to fly lower, while Lasham Gliding Club fears it would spell its ‘death knell’.

Surrey Heath Borough Council said while the changes could lead to fewer overpasses at low altitude, it still had concerns – particularly over areas of Chobham not currently affected.

Roger Walker of TAG Farnborough Airport said: “The environment is of prime importance and we are committed to reducing noise in and around the airport.

"The proposed airspace design would offer all airspace users predictability and consistency of operations, leading to further reductions in noise and CO2 emissions. It is also set to improve efficiency and enhance safety.”

 
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