We have just been informed that an airspace change trial will be held between 30 April-30 September 2015 on the operation of the Ockham stack.
The Ockham stack is one of four areas where aircraft are held at busy times awaiting landing space at Heathrow Airport. Aircraft held in the stack fly an elongated circular pattern extending as far south as Dorking and as far east and west as Ashtead and Little Bookham respectively. The area can contain up to nine aircraft ‘stacked’ vertically at 1000ft intervals from a base of 7,000ft. Further details are given in the attached fact sheet and flight maps.
The trial will test the use of performance based navigation techniques (PBN, sometimes called PRNAV) for operating the stack as a replacement for the ground-based beacon at Ockham that currently guides aircraft into the holding pattern.
National Air Traffic Services (NATS) who are conducting the trial say it is not expecting any perceptible change on the ground because the position and height of the stack is not changing, and a similar trial at another stack at Biggin Hill has not resulted in flightpath concentration.
However, if any residents are disturbed by aircraft noise as a result of the trial, please let me know and/or advise them to register a complaint to Heathrow Airport by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or using the complaint form on the Heathrow Airport website at: http://www.heathrowairport.com/noise/what-you-can-do/make-a-complaint-about-noise .
Principal Planning Policy Officer
Mole Valley District Council