Select Committee on Transport Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Leicestershire County Council


  1.  Leicestershire has within its boundaries East Midlands Airport. The airport is one of the primary freight airports in the country and operates 24 hours a day without agreed control terms of its impact on the amenities of residents of Leicestershire. In particular, the freight traffic activities which primary operate at night has the biggest impact not only in the immediate vicinity but wider afield.

  2.  Last year, the airport consulted on airspace changes that effectively doubled the area of controlled airspace over the county. The original consultation was poorly carried out and did not include a number of local authorities, including the County Council. Despite the CAA giving its approval to this change in July 2004, the airport decided, in response to the representations made, to undertake consultations again and asked the CAA not to proceed with the changes at that time.

  3.  EMA's Phase 2 consultation on changes to controlled airspace ran from 18 October 2004 to 10 January 2005. The County Council, amongst others, made representations on the potential impact on Leicestershire citizens of the proposed changes. The new flight paths were approved by the CAA on 28 February 2005 and came into effect on 12 May 2005.

  4.  The County Council, as a local authority within whose boundary the EMA is located and its experience with the CAA, leads it to make representations on the work of the CAA which may helpful to the Transport Committee.


  5.  The County Council welcomes the opportunity to comment on the work of the CAA.

  6.  Given the importance of local authorities within whose areas airports sit in terms of the responsibilities given to them under the Civil Aviation Act 1982 of engaging with the airport authorities; their general governance role; and the impacts airports have on their citizens, it would seem reasonable that the CAA and local authorities should have a close working relationship. On this basis the following suggestions are made:

    —  That elected local authorities that are affected by airports and their activities should be statutory consultees in relation to air space changes or other material controls related to airport development.

    —  That their remit should also include a stronger environmental impact remit, in particular concentrating on noise, air quality and climate change issues which should part of their decision making process when imposing controls on airport activity.

14 November 2005

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