Farnborough Airport Flight Re-routing

Farnborough Airport Flight Re-routing (History)

Note: These proposals were rejected after much consultation and argument, mainly because of the proposed changes to the south coast traffic control areas and noise levels in residential areas. 

TAG Farnborough Airport – Airspace Change Consultation Update- Feb 2015
Last year (2014) TAG Farnborough Airport consulted on proposed changes to the air traffic routes to and from the airport. The consultation also illustrated changes for Southampton and Bournemouth airport routes that use the same higher altitude routes as Farnborough.    
TAG consulted on these proposed changes with the support of NATS Terminal Control at Swanwick.    TAG Farnborough and NATS have now agreed that the South Coast Proposal would be best progressed under NATS’ London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP).  This is because these south coast elements of the design are critical to the efficiency of the wider airspace network, for which NATS has responsibility.    
NATS has therefore asked me [the email sender] to notify all consultees of the transfer, and has provided an internet link to their South Coast Feedback Report Part B, which describes how this region would be affected by this element of LAMP.  
You may recall that Part A of the TAG Farnborough Consultation Feedback Report (published in August 2014) summarised the responses to the consultation, raising a number of points which required further study.  I will notify you when the TAG Farnborough Feedback Report Part B is published later in 2015, which will outline the revised design and next steps.



This section contains information about the proposals and the local response to the TAG consultation. 


This section contains information on aircraft noise, including links to relevant research.


Very simply - everybody hated it!






TAG Farnborough Airport Master Plan – April 2009 - Economics and Forecasts 

TAG Farnborough Consultation

  1. Consultation Document & postcode check. [LINK]
  2. Part A Introduction & Overview. [LINK]
  3. Part B Proposed changes below 4,000ft in the vicinity of Farnborough Airport. [LINK]
  4. Flight Path Maps (MSWord DOC) [LINK] 
  5. 2015_Arrivals - Frequency & Noise levels (MSWord DOC) [LINK]
  6. TAG FAQs

Newspaper reports

  1. Farnborough Airport Herald Report [LINK]  (Enlarge your screen to read it or buy the Herald)

Local Authority Responses

  1.  Waverley BC 
  2. Elstead PC 
  3. Tilford PC
  4. Frensham PC Response

Notes & letters

  1. Alison & Giles Tucker report on the Tilford PC presentation Monday 28/4/14. [LINK]
  2. Giles Tucker's explanation of the issues. [LINK]
  3. Tilford residents letter & notes (MSWord DOC) [LINK]
  4. Waverley Councillor Bryn Morgan Report & Press Letter [LINK]




TAG Farnborough Airport Master Plan – April 2009 - Economics and Forecasts

5.0 Making Best Use of Infrastructure – Proposals to 2019

5.1 Making Best Use of Existing Infrastructure

5.1.1 The Airport is exclusively used for Business Aviation and the biennial Airshow. The Airport's infrastructure is world class and comparable to the best in Europe, the USA, Middle and Far East in terms of aviation facilities. It is a gateway to the UK for inward investment. Professionals and managers, including those from internationally important businesses, use the Airport as their business airport of preference in the South East.

5.1.2 Full use of the Airport is, however, constrained by the limitation on aircraft movements. The Inspector at the Weekend Movements Appeal found no suitable alternatives to the Airport for meeting Business Aviation demand in the South East of England. There is substantial spare existing runway, terminal and apron capability which could accommodate an increased level of ATM, subject to safety and environmental constraints. Measures to make best use of the infrastructure have therefore been considered and are addressed in the following sections.

5.2 Air Traffic Movements

5.2.1 The number of ATM is a factor of demand, as referred to in Section 4, but is ultimately limited by the infrastructure of the Airport and limitations imposed by safety and environmental constraints as well as the planning process which may impose restrictions.

5.2.2 The final number of ATM will be determined through the planning process, taking all of these matters into account. The purpose of the Master Plan is to identify the level at which the Airport considers it to be appropriate having regards to all of the relevant factors.

5.2.3 TAG has considered technical advice from its professional advisors and the responses to the Preliminary Consultation and Master Plan (Draft for Consultation). TAG has concluded that, whilst the physical capacity of the Airport could accommodate up to approximately 100,000 ATM, approximately 50,000 ATM is being considered.

5.3 Runway, Taxiways and Aprons

5.3.1 The current runway and taxiways can accommodate this level of growth.

5.3.2 The Airport will seek to make best use of existing infrastructure by improved utilisation of current built and permitted apron space.

5.4 Passenger Terminal

5.4.1 The existing passenger terminal has sufficient capacity to cater for this level of growth. 

TAG Farnborough Airport Master Plan – April 2009 - Economics and Forecasts - full document [LINK]




TAG Farnborough, the organisation that runs Farnborough Airport, has held a consultation into proposals to introduce low level controlled air corridors for incoming and outgoing flights. This will concentrate existing flights that previously were more diffused over the area round the airport and flying at higher levels, generally over 4,500ft. The local areas underneath the proposed corridors will experience more frequent flights, at much lower altitudes than at present, with a noticeable increase in noise for those directly underneath. 

The maps show the proposed new flight paths.  Elstead is directly under the incoming route from the South for the main runway 24 at Farnborough and on the edge of the incoming route for runway 06 (used in easterly winds). It is also within the incoming flight corridor for flights from the North West. We could be close to the junction of two tightly controlled flight paths and this would mean that all planes would fly more or less directly over the same spot each time. The exact positions of the flight paths and the point at which they will merge has not yet been decided. Tilford is on the edge of two arrival paths and the departure path to the south. Seale, Puttenham and Shackleford will also suffer, especially as the flights will be descending towards 2,000 ft over the Hogs Back.

TAG predicts that total flight arrivals in 2015 will be between 10,800 and 18,000, an average of 30 to 50 per day. Numbers at peak times could be considerably higher. By 2019 this could be as high as 42-65 flights average per day. About 45% of those flights would be coming down from the direction of Haslemere across Hankley and Thursley Commons. This would mean between 2 to 3 flights per hour over Elstead, with the possibility of twice that if flights from the north west are routed near Elstead. Puttenham and Shackleford will get flights from both directions. TAG Farnborough have planning permission to double the number of flights in and out of the airport, but cannot do this without the proposed changes.

Arrivals from the south will fly north west over Elstead at about 3,000 ft, descending. The sound level estimated by TAG Farnborough for a plane directly overhead is 60-70 dbA, depending on the height. This is described as annoyingly loud, speech likely to be interrupted, very noticeable above ambient noise climate away from main roads. In Elstead the ambient level is about 35-45 dbA, depending on the amount of bird song, currently the loudest source. Present flights over Elstead at the higher level of 4,500 ft reach about When considering noise measurements the perceived noise level doubles with every 10dbA, so 70dbA is twice as noisy as 60dbA. In Ewshott the level is likely to reach 93dbA, according to the consultation document.

The proposed scheme has purportedly been designed to minimise the effects of increased air traffic on areas of relatively high population. However people from high population density areas already have to put up with relatively high levels of noise and actually come to the country parts of Waverley for peace and quiet. Flights at low levels over the Hankley, Thursley, Puttenham and Elstead Commons will be a serious disturbance of recreational activities for both local people and visitors. They will also have an adverse effect on businesses in the area, including the film industry that uses the Commons for the production of major films, such as "Skyfall", "The Man from Uncle" and "Macbeth".

The technical reasons offered for the proposed changes appear to be weak and do not warrant this disruption to the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that will result. There is also considerable doubt as to whether organisations that should have been consulted have in fact had sufficient warning and opportunities for proper discussion. Local Councils are partcularly concerned about this. 

It is too late to use the consultation response questionnaire but you can still write to Jeremy Hunt MP: 2 Royal Parade, Tilford Road, Hindhead, Surrey, GU26 6TD, to express any concerns.

A major concern is that this consultation has been going on since February and we did not hear about it until after the original deadline!



Alison & Giles Tucker report on the Tilford PC presentation Monday 28/4/14.

Alison and I attended a consultation meeting last night to discuss proposals being put forward by TAG, the company that owns Farnborough airport, to amend their flight paths and to 'concentrate' them into a much narrower corridor (termed 'controlled airspace') from what is currently uncontrolled and open airspace.

Details are included in a consultation document that can be found on the web link attached - the relevant document is Part B. We would encourage you to read it.

The consequences of what is being proposed are significant and potentially devastating for those who live in villages such as Tilford, Elstead, Shackleford and some of the neighbouring villages as we will be under the direct flight path. 

To put this into some sort of context this area currently experiences on average somewhere between 4-12 movements per day - this will increase to an average of nearer 50 per day (of course this will be much higher during the Summer when we're enjoying the outside and disproportionately much lower during the Winter). In particular we will affected by arriving aircraft (as many as 80% will be routed over us). This is based on around 23,000 movements per year currently and don't forget they have permission to increase this to 50,000 per year (you can also assume it's a given that over time they will get permission to increase the number of movements to more than 50,000 particularly if they are successful with this proposal).

They say that the reasons they are proposing these amendments is for environmental considerations, fuel efficiency, effect on less people and air traffic control safety, though they are at pains to say is not unsafe now but rather more hard work for their air traffic controllers. 

It appears however, when you scratch the surface and look at the wider picture, it is obvious that this is a purely commercially driven proposal.

An airport's value increases immeasurably if it has its own 'controlled airspace' allowing it to become more efficient (thereby saving costs). Also there is the real possibility that it could then be able to attract commercial airlines. It creates a lot of shareholder value and makes it a much more attractive ongoing concern. Equally, it would help maximise its value if the owner decides to sell. 

It is really important that people respond to this consultation document - deadline is 12th May. To date it has escaped most people's attention (simply because they were unaware of it). We only became aware of it by chance last week-end. 

Please find the time to respond and encourage anyone you know who will be affected to respond as well. This could have a devastating effect on the area which we all value so much for its beauty and tranquillity. Lance Trevellyan, Chairman of Tilford PCC and who was present last night, said on Radio Surrey this morning words to the effect that what is the point in fighting so hard to maintain and enjoy our protected areas of AONB, SSSI's, etc if we end up with a motorway of air traffic above us.

It is of course up to you as how you respond but stressing the negative impact that increased air and noise pollution will have both on the landscape and wildlife is one line of attack. Stressing that the area lies within an ANOB, Area of Great Landscape Value and Site of Special Scientific Interest are all key. Also that there is no justifiable need to change the existing arrangements as it appears to be for pure financial gain etc.

It was mentioned at yesterday's meeting that when permission was granted on appeal in 2011 for the increase in the number of flights to 50,000, TAG (the airport operator) said that there would be no need for any controlled airspace to accommodate the rise.  As we are still at 23,000 flights (which by their own estimates they think will only grow by 2-3% each year for at least the next 5 years)and not at the full 50,000 flights, there is just simply no justification for it now.

There are a multitude of reasons but the key is to respond. It is also important you copy in any response you submit to Jeremy Hunt, our MP.

Here is the link - Part B is the really relevant bit  


Don't say that you haven't been warned!!

Kind regards

Giles and Alison



Giles' explanation of the issues.

Beware of looking just at current movements which show between 1-3 movements for both runways (both arrivals and departures) i.e. in total between 4-12 movements on average per day. If you look at Figure B11 you will note that all proposed arrivals (both from the North and the South) on runway 24 (which represent 80% of all arrivals) will now be routed over our area (including Elstead) at an approximate height of 3,000 ft. Elstead will also be on the edge of the flight path for all arrivals on runway 06 (20% of total arrivals) though probably at a slighter higher height of approximately 4,000 ft - see figure B10. As for departures Elstead is just outside the 'controlled airspace' though Tilford is within it albeit for only 20% of all departures - refer Figure B9.

You might also want to look at Figure B13 in respect of proposed departure routes from Odiham which shows them coming nearer to us (albeit this is supposed to be used only occasionally)

You may also want to reference the front page of this week's Farnham Herald which highlights the PCC's fears for those residents living in both Elstead and Tilford - I have attached a copy of the article.

Please do not under estimate the seriousness of what is being proposed. We need to muster all the support we can.