Farnborough Airport’s plans to increase flight operations – including more than doubling weekend flights – have already ignited a storm of local opposition, with residents and community leaders expressing concerns about the potential environmental and quality of life impacts.
The proposed expansion comes in the wake of ongoing noise complaints and unresolved airspace change issues.
Surrey county councillor for Farnham North, Catherine Powell, raised questions about the timing of the airport’s expansion plans: “The Post Implementation Review (PIR) for the airspace change (ACP) implemented in February 2020 was due to be reviewed by the CAA in February 2022.
“The Covid pandemic meant it was delayed and the report due in August, but it is still with the CAA. We have only just expanded the airport so why are they proposing another?”
Waverley borough councillor David Munro, representing Western Commons, voiced concerns about the adverse environmental impacts of the airport’s operations, particularly regarding aircraft noise.
Cllr Munro said: “I’ve nothing against Farnborough Airport in principle, but there’s no doubt that it has adverse environmental impacts which will be much worse if these proposals are accepted.
“Aircraft noise is the big problem round here, with many residents saying their lives are already a misery, especially at weekends.
“I’ll be working with local people to fight them. It’s not acceptable that a peaceful, mainly rural part of the world should have to suffer like this, and we must resist them, not just for ourselves but for future generations.”
Farnham resident Peter Stephens added his frustration, calling for at least one day a week without aircraft noise filling the skies with civilian helicopters, clattering Chinooks, private jets, and single and twin-engine prop planes.
Mr Stephens’ plea, which he has relayed to MPs Jeremy Hunt and Mark Harper, reflects the growing sentiment of many in the community who feel overwhelmed by the continuous disruption.
Campaigners from the Farnborough Noise Group have also joined the chorus of opposition.
A spokesman for the campaign group said: “There is no restriction on the number of flights per hour – so flights could be every few minutes early in the morning or late in the evening rather than spread out during the day.”