The silver lining!
Think about the ‘segregated mode’ part above. According to wind direction one runway will take landings and the other will take take-offs. The prevailing wind direction means the one furthest from us will take the landings from the north-east which is the quietest condition for us. In fact from my position near the middle of the village virtually nothing can be heard now as we can just see the plane’s tail-fins over the rooftops. Take-offs will then go south west. from the old runway which again we are barely aware of.
At present take-offs north-east is the noisiest condition for Elsenham but only ever constitutes a nuisance when the planes are off course. I don’t expect to hear anything from take-offs in the normal direction from the new runway. Downgrading to segregated made is I think a concession to actual flight numbers being well down on White Paper predictions, so we got that right. Not down enough however to be able to make do without the new runway altogether. If in the future however the business of air travel does pick up then I am sure the runway spacing is enough to permit upgrading to full usage for for both.
Segregated mode with two runways is the simplest and safest of all set-ups. On the ground its simple queues and on the runways there is no need to interrupt the flow of landings to slot in take-offs or vice-versa.
With the extra runway I am predicting that on average aircraft noise over the main settlement area of the village will reduce!
The terminology of the BAA statement is poor however, with the wind in the prevailing direction all is clear but when its not, which runway gets used for what is not clear. If the statement means all comings or goings from the old runway are south-west and all comings and goings with the new are north-east, then we in Elsenham have the best possible outcome. In support of this the noise contours on the Home Owners Protection scheme makes sense as it shows the noise predominantly north-east. The only planes to buck these trends will therefore be occasional aborted landings or emergencies where the new runway becomes blocked.
All this seems to favour Elsenham greatly but this makes me think on in terms of possible new housing developments especially large new settlements and this may well be giving us a clue as to where the new housing is going.
When we formulate our objections to the proposals we should always bear in mind that at present BAA do not have the back-up runway they asked for many years ago. Those plans and the money that would have paid for it was all set aside when a second full blown runway became likely. In today’s terrorist oriented planning, the blocking of a single runway is a real issue as so many more aircraft will be backed up in the queue to land.
Do not forget that Government policy has made Stansted the Airport of choice to divert terrorist etc compromised aircraft to!