Low flying planes may go to ombudsman

ATTEMPTS to stop low flying planes from soaring over Somerset villages have come to a standstill. Cheddar Parish Council and Axbridge Town Council joined forces to write to Bristol International Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to stop plane

ATTEMPTS to stop low flying planes from soaring over Somerset villages have come to a standstill.Cheddar Parish Council and Axbridge Town Council joined forces to write to Bristol International Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to stop planes from using Cheddar Reservoir as a navigation point.But the aviation authority and the airport have both written back blaming the other party.Axbridge Town councillor, Barry Hamblin, who has been liaising with both parties, said: "Pilots use the reservoir as a visual reference point, which brings them over Cheddar and Axbridge."Cheddar Parish Council has had a number of complaints from residents about low flying aircraft, particularly helicopters, because it's very noisy. Compton Bishop has an extra problem because it is on the edge of a military low flying route so a lot of planes fly over it."When they changed the airspace about three years ago, we pointed out there was an opportunity to move the visual reference point. We were told then by the CAA that it was selected by Bristol airport and we should contact them. After correspondence with the airport, it has said it is the job of the CAA to set visual reference points and that it is out of the airport's controlled air space. It's very frustrating."Cllr Hamblin is determined to take the matter further and is planning to contact Compton Bishop Parish Council and Cheddar Parish Council to get their support.He said: "I would like to discuss other possible reference points with the airport and aviation authority. In the CAA's own rules it says that visual reference points should not be in, or close to, any town or settlement because of the noise and because settlements change shape, so they become harder to identify."He also claims planes should not be flying as low as they do so close to the Mendip Hills.Cllr Hamblin is planning to get other agencies and parish councils on board to take the matter to the organisations' ombudsman.


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