Noise and Airspace
Biggin Hill Airport is committed to being an asset to the local community but it is inevitable that if you live near to an airport that you will certainly hear and see aircraft. But those aircraft are required to adhere to procedures and air traffic instructions whilst operating in and out of Biggin Hill Airport.
Our online flight tracker, Webtrak, uses the radar service from National Air Traffic Services (NATS) at Heathrow Airport that allows the system to automatically files a report should aircraft depart from the agreed flightpaths when arriving or departing the airport. But you can also report an aircraft that you think is flying outside of the agreed areas, to help with this we have put together some guidance on how to use Webtrak and how aircraft operate at Biggin Hill.
CLICK HERE to go to Webtrak
INTRODUCTION TO WEBTRAK
The airport’s Noise & Track keeping system was installed at the time that the airport operating hours was extended in accordance with the Noise Action Plan. Webtrak produced by Bruel & Kjaer is recognised as an industry leader in this field with the system in use with airports around the world including Heathrow, Gatwick, Barcelona and Washington.
The purpose of WebTrak is to allow members of the local community to see aircraft operating in and out of Biggin Hill along with those aircraft that are over flying the local area. Should it be thought that an aircraft has flown outside of the agreed areas, the system can used to generate a complaint to the airport that will trigger an investigation.
FINDING YOUR LOCATION
Making a complaint
The easiest way for a complaint to be made is by using the Webtrak system, this has a simple form that is designed to ensure we have all of the required information to process your complaint including data gather by Webtrak to help us investigate the cause of your complaint.
Any other complaint may be made using our online complaints form which can be found here: Make a Complaint
A telephone message line, 01959 578580, can also be used to register a complaint that does not relate to a specific aircraft movement, please include details on how we can contact you with a response. We aim to respond to all complaints within 10 working days.
Radical changes were made in 2015 to the way in which aircraft operate to and from the airport following the increase in operating hours, these include Noise Sensitive Areas (NSA) covering local towns and villages and a reduction and restrictions to circuit flights, see what is a circuit. But we must accept that we will still receive complaints from local residents that need to be investigated and action taken if there has been a breech of local flying protocols.
All complaints received are investigated using air traffic data and Webtrak before being reviewed by the airports CEO who will respond to the complainant in writing informing of the actions taken which may be:
Aircraft followed standard procedures no further action to be taken
Passed to the Safety and Noise abatement review board, SANARB for review and application of sanctions. All personal information relating to the complainant is redacted before it is passed to SANARB and the Noise Sub Committee.
A record is kept of all complaints for a period of five years and is included in the noise and safety sub committee report to the quarterly Airport Consultative Committee.
SANARB meet monthly and is made up of an independent chair, BHAL CEO, pilots qualified in a variety of aircraft types and the London Borough of Bromley airport monitoring officer. The board may request that the pilot submit a report or appear before the board, award a written warning, fine or a ban from operating at Biggin Hill.
All airports are required by the Department for Transport to communicate openly and effectively with their local communities and users of the airport about the impact of the airports operations. This is the role of the Airports Consultative Committee, government guidelines have been created to assist with establishing and running an airports ACC. Minutes of all ACC meetings held at Biggin Hill are contained HERE.
The ACC has a Noise and Safety sub committee that will review all complaints that have been been before SANARB. The chair of the sub committee will report the committees findings to the ACC at the quarterly meetings.
Noise Sensative Areas (NSA)
NSA’s are areas identified within the local area that should be avoided unless:
- The pilot is instructed to enter the NSA by air traffic control (ATC) for reasons of safety
- The pilot enters the NSA to maintain the safety of their aircraft.
Are NSA’s no fly zones?
- No, they are areas that should be avoided unless it is unsafe not to do so
- Reference to “No fly zones” in the NAP 2015 was inserted in inverted commas as a simplification of the explanation of a noise sensitive area and not a literal description.
Click HERE to see a map of the NSA’s
CAA regulations dictate that aircraft are permitted to overfly NSA’s at an altitude greater than 2,000 feet above sea level.
- Petts Wood is 272′ above sea level = aircraft at 2,000′ is 1,728′ above the ground
- Farnborough is 361′ above sea level = aircraft at 2,000′ is 1,639′ above the ground
- Tatsfield is 722′ above sea level = aircraft is 2,000′ is 1,278′ above the ground
- Keston is 427′ above sea level = aircraft at 2,000′ is 1,573′ above the ground
- Downe is 591′ above sea level = aircraft at 2,000′ is 1,409 above the ground
- the airport is 558′ above sea level = aircraft at 2,000′ is 1,442′ above the ground
To extend the downwind leg of a circuit to avoid an aircraft taking off or landing, or to deconflict aircraft to maintain a safe distance.
The airspace around Biggin Hill Airport
The Air Traffic Zone (ATZ) is a 2.5 nautical mile circle centred on the runway. This circle of airspace rises from ground level up to 2,000 feet. The ATZ is designed to give protection to aircraft during the critical stages of flight when departing, arriving or flying in the vicinity of an aerodrome. Click HERE for more information