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Date posted: 27-11-2014
Over 15,000 people respond to consultation
Unprecedented 80% in favour, verified by independent poll
Significant backing for changing the opening hours
Highest proportion of responses were from those living in wards directly affected
Residents were asked whether they supported a plan that:
Reduces noise by 50%, by keeping planes higher for longer, banning light aircraft from flying over residential areas and improved noise monitoring
Creates 2,300 jobs by 2030 and trains the next generation of aircraft technicians and ground staff in a new aviation college
Keeps overall flight numbers at no more than they were in 2010, with no new runways and no expansion beyond the existing boundaries.
Protects the Annual Festival of Flight – next show 13th June 2015
Changes the airport opening hours to be more flexible, allowing Biggin Hill to remain as a small airport for Business and General aviation as it is today.
The results show:
13,710 (91%) would like to see an aviation college at Biggin Hill Airport. Only 1,303 (9%) would not.
13,769 (91%) support the airport’s plans to bring 2,300 new jobs to Biggin Hill. Only 1,229 (9%) do not.
14,420 (96%) support the airport’s plans to reduce the noise footprint at the airport by 50%. Only 580 (4%) do not.
12,473 (83%) support the airport’s proposed new opening hours. Only 2,525 (17%) do not.
To ensure the accuracy and integrity of the consultation, the airport commissioned one of the UK’s leading polling companies, Populus, to undertake an independent telephone poll of 1,000 Bromley residents. Populus’ results closely mirrored the airport’s, and in some cases showed more support for the airport’s plans.
The Populus poll also found that 79% of respondents supported the overall plans.
The response rate was significantly higher in the Council wards immediately around the Airport and from those most affected by the Airport’s operations. The full report of the airport’s consultation – which is available on the consultation website, www.bigginhillfuture.co.uk – contains a ward by ward breakdown. In Biggin Hill ward, over 17% of the adult population of the ward responded to consultation, compared with just 1% in Crystal Palace in the north of Bromley. Over 75% of Biggin Hill residents expressed support for the Airport’s plans. The results also show support from neighbouring areas including Croydon, Lewisham, Sevenoaks and Tandridge.
Will Curtis, Managing Director of Biggin Hill Airport, said:
“We would like to thank everyone who responded to our consultation. We are delighted that so many people took the time to complete a feedback form and pass on their views.
“This consultation sends a strong message that local residents want to see a successful Airport, one that provides jobs for local people, brings economic benefits to the local economy and invests in the next generation. Local residents clearly want us to remain in the business and general aviation sector and to avoid scheduled and holiday charter flights. Our plans secure the future of the airport so that it will remain a small, flexible and quiet airport whilst providing a much needed boost to the local economy.
“It also demonstrates that the Airport needs to continue to take steps to reduce its noise footprint and be as good a neighbour as possible. We have put together a comprehensive Noise Action Plan which will reduce the airport’s noise footprint to 50% of the currently agreed maximum, but this will require significant investment that can only be generated from a successful business model.
“We look forward to working with the Council in developing our plans and securing the future of Biggin Hill Airport as a small business and general aviation airport; training, employing and supporting local people.”
Every household in Bromley was given a chance to have their say – through 180,000 newsletters to householders, 30,000 e-bulletins, freepost and online response forms and door to door canvassing amongst other activity – on proposals to secure the airports future as a small airport for business and general aviation.