Ruffley questions proposed aircraft holding areas and launches online survey

Monday, 28 April, 2008

David Ruffley MP has today expressed his concern over the National Air Traffic Control Services' (NATS) proposed changes to the approach routes to Stansted and Luton Airports.

The proposed Stansted Eastern Hold will see increased air traffic over parts of David's constituency, in particular over Stowmarket, Needham Market and the villages to the south and west of these towns.

The proposed changes are open to public consultation until 22 May 2008. The consultation document can be viewed online at and comments can be submitted via the website.

David has launched a survey on the NATS proposals online at

David said:

'NATS are trying to justify these new holding areas by saying fewer people across the region will be affected by aircraft noise. This may be true but the major issue of concern, for both me and my constituents, is that these new holds are over predominantly rural areas.

'Of course the new holds will affect fewer people- they are over far less densely populated areas. This does not mean the impact will be any less. In fact, I would argue that as the level of ambient noise in these villages, which are some of the most tranquil in my constituency, is that much lower the aircraft noise overhead will be all the more noticeable.

'I will be making my views known to NATS before the end of the consultation period. I have launched an online survey at to help shape my response and I would urge local people to visit my website and let me know their views.'