Airport groups write to Aviation Minister, voicing concerns about ICCAN…

airport-groups-write-to-aviation-minister,-voicing-concerns-about-iccan…

Airport groups write to Aviation Minister, voicing concerns about ICCAN…

Airport groups write to Aviation Minister, voicing concerns about ICCAN being wound up
2021-09-14 15:43:00
The DfT has decided to close down the ICCAN (the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise) at the end of September. Now a large number of community groups at airports, for people negatively affected by aircraft noise, have written to the Aviation Minister, Robert Courts. They say they “were surprised and disappointed by your announcement that ICCAN will be wound up later this month and its functions transferred to the CAA next year. We were particularly surprised you saw no need to discuss this significant change with communities impacted by aircraft noise.” ICCAN was supposed to “give communities a greater stake in processes which propose to make noise changes, and ensure such processes better and more transparently balance the needs of all parties” and “be instrumental in ensuring that the needs of local communities are properly taken into account when considering the noise impacts of any airport expansion.” There are therefore serious concerns of overflown communities, in the absence of ICCAN. The letter suggests 4 key actions and changes that will need to accompany any transfer of roles to the CAA if it is to command the confidence of adversely impacted communities. .Tweet     Letter to Robert Courts MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Department for Transport Great Minster House 33 Horseferry Road London SW1P 4DR   10 September 2021 Dear Minister We were surprised and disappointed by your announcement that ICCAN will be wound up later this month and its functions transferred to the CAA next year. We were particularly surprised you saw no need to discuss this significant change with communities impacted by aircraft noise. In its final report the Airports Commission recommended that an independent aviation noise authority should be established. It said, amongst other things: • that the noise authority should be given statutory consultee status and a formal role in monitoring and quality assuring all processes and functions which have an impact on aircraft noise, and in advising central and local Government and the CAA on such issues; • that it should be given powers which allow it to access and monitor the relevant operations of the CAA, airports and others in the aviation industry, report to the public on whether they have been carried out in a fair and transparent manner, and intervene where it finds organisations have breached due process; • that it must be a truly independent, trusted, presence, accountable to the public through Parliament; and • that its creation was appropriate irrespective of any Government decision on new runway capacity When ICCAN was finally set up it was a pale shadow of the body the Airport’s Commission had recommended. It had no powers, no formal roles, no statutory backing and no ability to enforce its recommendations. Nonetheless government and DfT statements at the time committed that ICCAN would: • give communities a greater stake in processes which propose to make noise changes, and ensure such processes better and more transparently balance the needs of all parties; • provide greater public confidence in noise data published by industry and the impartiality of the airspace change process; • require the industry to enhance its approach to assessing and mitigating noise impacts and engaging communities; and • be instrumental in ensuring that the needs of local communities are properly taken into account when considering the noise impacts of any airport expansion. On the basis of those promises, community and environmental groups generally welcomed the additional, independent focus ICCAN offered on aircraft noise issues. Many of us have engaged intensively with it. Unless there are significant additional chan

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