Minimising Our Impact on our Neighbours
Blackbushe Airport is committed to reducing the impact of noise from aircraft operating through our airport on our neighbours.
Blackbushe Air Traffic Zone (ATZ)
The Blackbushe Air Traffic Zone (ATZ) is a 2.5 mile radius around the centre of the aerodrome. Where it would overlap with Farnborough’s ATZ, the boundary is drawn along the M3 as a clear visual reference.
Within the Blackbushe ATZ, aircraft must conform with aerodrome procedures. Our Flight Information Service Officers are not Air Traffic Controllers, and cannot issue instructions to aircraft. However, they will pass information, and advise aircraft if they may be in a position to cause a noise nuisance.
Noise Abatement Areas
Blackbushe Airport has a long-term Section 52 Agreement regarding noise abatement dating back as far as 1980. The most recent agreement was updated in 1985 and prevails today. The map below shows the noise abatement areas where direct overflight is prohibited for all aircraft departing or landing at Blackbushe except in an emergency.
It must be noted however that aircraft flying close to these areas may cause noise to those within them, without directly overflying them. This is the case for the Tudor Drive area which is directly adjacent to the approach and climbout to the east of the airport.
Sometimes it may be necessary for aircraft to overfly these areas in situations such as:
If the aircraft declares an emergency or other problem
If taking avoiding action, or any other manoeuvre in the interests of safety
When conducting an air display and in accordance with CAA rules, and event planning restrictions
The noise abatement map was prepared in the 1980s and so many newer areas of housing are not included within it. Generally our pilots will try to avoid overflying built up areas, but if not included in the agreed noise abatement areas, they are under no obligation to do so.
Please review the information on this page before submitting a noise complaint, as your question may have been answered. If you are unsure, or believe the aircraft may have come from Blackbushe, please log this using our form below, and we will attempt to identify the aircraft and reply with information. Every Noise Complaint will get a response from our team.
Outside the Blackbushe ATZ
Blackbushe is currently surrounded by various complex areas of airspace. To our East, is the London Control Zone, which surrounds Heathrow. To our South is the Farnborough ATZ, and to our west, the RAF Odiham Military Air Traffic Zone (MATZ).
Most of our general aviation traffic, especially from light aircraft, will depart and arrive from the North-West. This is an area of “Class G” airspace. This is a designation of airspace that is open to all aircraft, of all types. Aircraft do not need to be in communication via radio, and are entitled to fly wherever they like, as long as they observe safety rules contained in the Air Navigation Order (ANO). The ANO requires aircraft to be at least 500ft from any building, structure or person. An aircraft can descend lower than 500ft over open fields for example. Generally, it is unusual for an aircraft to be operating below 1,000ft.
If an aircraft can be identified as originating from Blackbushe, we can remind pilots to avoid noise sensitive areas, however there is no action either Blackbushe or the Civil Aviation Authority can take against pilots unless they can be proven to contravene the Air Navigation Order.
Our executive traffic, light jets or turbo-prop aircraft will usually be flying at higher altitudes in controlled airspace, and then may be routed in and out from two main directions:
From the North via a reporting point at Compton (Near Newbury), they will then usually enter the Blackbushe ATZ from the North West to fly a circuit approach (if using Runway 25), or from the West for a straight-in approach (if using Runway 07).
From the South via a reporting point at Goodwood, they will usually remain to the East of Farnborough before turning into a final approach (if using Runway 25) or to the West of Odiham before turning into a straight-in approach (if using Runway 07).
These aircraft will usually be under the control of NATS air traffic controllers based at Farnborough, and Blackbushe has no influence on where the aircraft are routed.
Blackbushe is also surrounded by other aerodromes which generate noise. For example, jet traffic travelling low over Hartley Wintney in a North-South direction, will usually be Farnborough traffic trying to avoid Fleet and Blackbushe ATZ.
In areas to the north west, from Reading, down to Mattingley, we regularly find complaints may originate from aerobatic aircraft based at White Waltham, who use the area due to it’s good visual reference points.
To the east, there is a natural corridor created between Blackbushe and the London Terminal Area, which light aircraft travelling between the north and the south coast will use.
Complaining to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
Aircraft noise is not currently a statutory nuisance in the UK. It is not covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or the Noise Act 1996. This means that local authorities do not have the legal power to take action on matters of aircraft noise, and nor does the CAA have the legal power to prevent aircraft flying over a particular location or at a particular time for environmental reasons. Read more on the CAA Website.
Complaints about Low flying
In general, unless they are landing or taking off, an aircraft should be 1,000 ft over a built up area or otherwise 500ft from people, buildings etc. It’s extremely difficult to judge aircraft height above the ground and distance from objects but if you have evidence of the height/distance, such as photographs, the CAA can investigate (see note). To enable the CAA to trace the aircraft concerned you would ideally have its registration. For UK aircraft this is normally G- followed by four letters and is on the side and wing of the aircraft.
Note: When using FlightRadar24 as a position source, it should be noted that, as the FlightRadar24 website explains, the altitude displayed is not necessarily indicative of an aircraft's height above ground. FlightRadar24 is therefore not considered to be a reliable source of evidence of an aircraft's position.
Read more on the CAA Website.