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Route 4 Update - Horley Overflights

At the NATMAG meeting held on the 29th September, NATS managers reported on their work in relation to resolving the issue of the flights overflying Horley. They agreed that there had been a significant increase since the introduction of the redesigned Route 4 and acknowledged that this was in breach of the Horley overflight rule.

This was the result of vectoring by controllers to allow aircraft to climb quicker whilst at the same providing separation for Heathrow’s Dover departures and Heathrow arrivals through the Biggin stack.

Whilst vectoring has always been used with the original PRNAV design being to the northern edge or outside of the swathe vectored aircraft avoided overflying the town, however, once the route was brought into the centreline of the swathe, and closer to Horley, and using the same headings for vectoring meant that aircraft would overfly Horley.

We have suggested that aircraft should not be vectored until overhead the M23 thereby avoiding Horley but still allowing for vectoring to take place albeit using different headings. NATS have undertaken to have a look at this.

To resolve the issue of overflying Horley has required some additional training of controllers which we understand has started and is ongoing.

The statistics below show the total number of flights that used Route 4 and those which flew through the ‘Horley Gate’ and the percentage.

Month

Departures on 26LAM

Horley gate

% through Horley gate

Month

Departures on 26LAM

Horley gate

% through Horley gate

Month

Departures on 26LAM

Horley gate

% through Horley gate

Month

Departures on 26LAM

Horley gate

% through Horley gate

Jan-14

3048

50

1.64%

Jan-15

3237

102

3.15%

Jan-16

3031

70

2.31%

Jan-17

2004

19

0.95%

Feb-14

3089

60

1.94%

Feb-15

2251

66

2.93%

Feb-16

2449

58

2.37%

Feb-17

2391

22

0.92%

Mar-14

2447

60

2.45%

Mar-15

2455

40

1.63%

Mar-16

2282

67

2.94%

Mar-17

 

 

 

Apr-14

2043

40

1.96%

Apr-15

2200

42

1.91%

Apr-16

3018

91

3.02%

Apr-17

 

 

 

May-14

2805

46

1.64%

May-15

4051

67

1.65%

May-16

2114

51

2.41%

May-17

 

 

 

Jun-14

2606

38

1.46%

Jun-15

3688

57

1.55%

Jun-16

2922

173

5.92%

Jun-17

 

 

 

Jul-14

3466

52

1.50%

Jul-15

4365

42

0.96%

Jul-16

4968

420

8.45%

Jul-17

 

 

 

Aug-14

4512

35

0.78%

Aug-15

3559

38

1.07%

Aug-16

4099

355

8.66%

Aug-17

 

 

 

Sep-14

1686

24

1.42%

Sep-15

2838

61

2.15%

Sep-16

4409

210

4.76%

Sep-17

 

 

 

Oct-14

3826

31

0.81%

Oct-15

2039

36

1.77%

Oct-16

1719

 61

3.55%

Oct-17

 

 

 

Nov-14

1881

19

1.01%

Nov-15

3302

78

2.36%

Nov-16

2072

79

3.81%

Nov-17

 

 

 

Dec-14

3079

79

2.57%

Dec-15

3707

13

0.35%

Dec-16

2463

14

0.57%

Dec-17

 

 

 

 

 

The number of flights using Route 4 is affected by runway direction in use during each period hence the wide variance.


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