Flight path shake-up for region

Thousands of people will be affected by the biggest shake-up of flight paths over the South East for a generation. It could lead to planes taking off from airports like Gatwick every minute or less.

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  1. Mike Pearse, Transport Correspondent

Flight path plans take-off into controversy

BA jumbo jet takes off over Terminal 5 at Heathrow Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

While many could see fewer planes flying over them others could see more and that will prove highly controversial.

The move will lead to the current flight path map being ripped up and redrawn and should also see delays cut, less fuel burnt and emissions reduced.

A passenger plane comes in to land at Heathrow Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

It is part of a new directive from Europe to simplify and make airspace more efficient and cope with increasing demand. It is not connected with the current review of runways by Sir Howard Davies.

But the move could allow for half a million more planes over the south east a year in a thirty year period. That is the Government forecast to allow for passenger growth.

Some flight paths could be altered or moved altogether. At the moment flight paths are over a wide area.

Using new technology there could be more accurate routes with increased numbers of flights concentrated on them. That means fewer planes flying over a wider area and more on the new routes.

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