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Last Updated: Monday, 19 November 2007, 13:58 GMT
MP argues against new air routes
Air traffic control tower
NATS says there is more peak traffic than existing air routes can handle
An MP is going to parliament later to argue a case to prevent new air routes over the New Forest.

The National Air Traffic Service (NATS) has asked the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for a new air corridor.

All councils in Hampshire have objected to NATS' proposal, which said it needs to expand routes in the south west.

"I shall be asking the minister to listen to the arguments... then tell the CAA that NATS cannot go ahead," Sir George Young for North West Hants said.

Despite these objections NATS has submitted its proposals unaltered
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

"At peak periods the number of aircraft that can safely be permitted to fly through this airspace is less than the number that wish to do so," NATS said.

The current route - which includes flights to and from Heathrow and Gatwick airports - goes east/west across Hampshire.

New corridor

NATS has proposed to remove traffic to and from regional airports in Southampton, Hampshire, and Bournemouth, Dorset, from this route and put them on a new north/south corridor.

The proposed air corridor covers five miles of airspace above the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the North Wessex Downs AONB, and the New Forest National Park, NATS said.

"[The proposal] has been opposed by Hampshire County Council and district councils as well as the New Forest National Park Authority, the CPRE, and numerous parish councils some of whom have raised funds especially to obtain specialist advice to assess the likely impact," said a statement from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

"Despite these objections NATS has submitted its proposals unaltered," it added.

NATS said it held 14 weeks of consultations with stakeholders from May to August 2007 in which 56% of them objected, 9% had no objection, 23% had questions but no objection, and 12% had no response.

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