What is AD6?

In February 2022, the aircraft stacking routes for Stanstead and London Luton Airport (LLA) were separated, resulting in increased noise over many South Cambs towns and villages from planes flying into Luton. This change, sponsored jointly by NATS and LLA, is known as “air deployment 6” (AD6). It is now in the final stage of (see “Post implementation review” due to complete in September 2023. Without intervention, AD6 is likely to become accepted as a permanent change by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

What is RELAS?

Reject Luton Airport Stacking (RELAS) is a facebook group formed to oppose the port change. It is campaigning for AD6 to be abandoned or, at the very least, re-designed to reduce the effects of noise pollution. Actions include researching and monitoring the change, raising public awareness and encouraging local government representatives (councillors, MPs etc) to become involved.

How do I contact RELAS?

For normal enquiries please use the email address: [email protected]

The postal address is: RELAS, Noushin Rostami, Unit 3, Old Knebworth Lane, Knebworth, Herts, SG3 6PY. Tel: 07394 066335

How has AD6 affected local communities?

Large numbers of planes are causing substantial new noise pollution by overflying previously quiet villages and towns. Some of these flights are too low, while others use “air braking”, resulting in excessive noise. Flights can occur at all hours and with a frequency of up to every 1-2 minutes. The changes are made more severe because most affected villages had low levels of ambient noise prior to the change.

The effects of noise pollution on health are significant. According to the CAA’s own website these include irritation, stress, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbance and cardiovascular disease. Local MP Anthony Brown used a parliamentary debate on AD6 to highlight several cases of constituents whose health has been seriously affected.

How might the problem worsen in the future?

LLA are planning to extend operations to 21 hours per day and would like to almost double passenger numbers through the addition of a new terminal. AD6 is designed to facilitate these changes.

Why was the AD6 process flawed?

Many issues have been raised concerning the process by which the change was introduced. These include: LLA and the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) sponsored AD6, but these bodies are also running the post-implementation review which will be used by the CAA to decide whether the change is accepted. This is a conflict of interest. In fact, LLA is planning to significantly expand its operations by 50-60% and AD6 facilitates this.

The original consultation took place during the pandemic when air traffic levels were very low and attention was elsewhere. The consultation was virtual and most affected residents were unaware of it. As, traffic levels are still recovering, it is not yet possible to fully judge the effect of AD6. NATS has not provided the data required to fully assess the effects of the change and to confirm that flights are conforming to it.

I’m concerned about increased aircraft noise from AD6. What can I do about it?

See the complaints page.