Dispute over flight paths is heading for the Appeal Court after new ruling

Lest We Forget

The ongoing battle over flight paths across the High Weald looks set to intensify after campaigners won the right to fight ‘intolerable’ aircraft noise in the Appeal Court.

Spearheaded by Gatwick Obviously Not, a group which encompasses many of the villages to the west of Tunbridge Wells, the campaign has raised over £140,000 to take on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Lord Justice Burnett, sitting in the Appeal Court last month, overturned a previous High Court decision rejecting a judicial review into flight paths.

He found that while the previous rejection of a review into the flight paths meant there would be a ‘significant hurdle’ to its success, there was ‘reasonable argument’ for the claim to go ahead.

Importantly, the review could end up setting a precedent by which similar cases will be judged, after Lord Justice Burnett stated the claim must remain in the Appeal Court because it was ‘desirable’ to: “obtain an authoritative ruling on the meaning of relevant provisions, which govern similar arrangements at airports other than Gatwick.”

The bid for a review has been orchestrated by Martin Barraud, chair of action group Gatwick Obviously Not.

CAA said: “We note the decision by the Court of Appeal to permit a judicial review to clarify the CAA’s role regarding changes to aircraft approach procedures at Gatwick implemented by NATS.

“The CAA remains committed to working with industry to ensure more is done to address the issue of aviation noise and to better support the communities affected by it.

“We know that aircraft noise can be a significant disturbance for many people and have consistently challenged the aviation industry to be more ambitious in tackling its environmental impacts.”

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