Anthony has taken his campaign on behalf of residents affected by the dramatic increase in plane travel over villages in South Cambridgeshire directly to the Minister of Aviation.
Alongside Richard Fuller, MP for North East Bedfordshire, Anthony met with the Minister for Aviation, Baroness Vere of Norbiton, to discuss to changes to flight paths into Luton Airport that have left residents with changes to the quality of life, resulting in sleepless nights and even relapses into PTSD.
A constructive meeting with the Minister and officials has led to a commitment to reviewing the CAP1616 process, which governs changing airspace for this and future consultations, to ensure there is a more independent review once the new flight path is implemented. Anthony has sought reassurance that a “post implementation review” would be independently led, ensuring NATS and Luton Airport were not ‘marking their own homework’ in light of his criticism. He also pushed the Government to consider having different rules for noise levels in rural and urban areas.
In line with Anthony's demands, the Civil Aviation Authority have now agreed to extend the post implementation review. This process, allowing residents to give feedback having lived for a period under the changes, will now close three months later than planned in September 2023, so the effects can be seen over the busy summer holiday period.
The ministerial meeting follows Anthony's lengthy campaign on behalf of residents impacted by the changes. This has included holding a debate in Parliament, provoking a direct response from ministers, and bringing representatives from the National Air Traffic Service, the Civil Aviation Authority, and Luton Airport to South Cambridgeshire to meet with fellow local MPs, residents’ groups, and local campaigners.
Anthony is also seeking to ensure that National Air Traffic Services hold to their word and share their ADS-B and radar data, as they agreed to do in his local meeting, and to revise guidance to reflect the differing ambient noise levels of urban and rural areas.
Anthony commented: “It is important that Luton Airport, NATS, and the CAA do not overlook the concerns of residents, nor neglect the human impact of their projects. At the heart of this campaign are residents who are suffering, some of whom moved into our area to avoid exactly this kind of disruption. I will continue to fight for them.
“I’m glad we have been able to make so much progress in holding them to account and giving residents more time and power to impact the decision-making process. Now, we must ensure local people are always provided with the opportunity to express their views on proposed changes, and transform the process for flightpath implementation. I would like to thank the minister for her constructive and supportive engagement.”