RAF Northolt – a de­fence

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION - J.E. MASSEY Lyn­hurst Cres­cent Uxbridge VIC­TO­RIA KELL­AWAY NSPCC Head of Par­tic­i­pa­tion Events

I HAVE no­ticed some letters of com­plaint you have pub­lished re­cently re­gard­ing air­craft ac­tiv­ity at Northolt Air­field.

I have lived at my present ad­dress, which is close to the air­craft flight path, for over 50 years, so I feel I have the right to re­spond to those crit­ics by quot­ing a few facts.

The air­field was in ex­is­tence long be­fore these com­plainants would have moved into their homes.

The ex­is­tence of Northolt air­field pro­tects the air space in this area from be­ing sub­jected to over­fly­ing by the nois­ier and big­ger jets us­ing Heathrow. The use of Northolt by pri­vate air­craft pro­vides in­come to the Gov­ern­ment which can be ben­e­fi­cial in help­ing to keep down costs for the Tax­payer.

Air­craft land­ing and tak­ing off are re­quired to con­form to a des­ig­nated flight path and any unau­tho­rised de­vi­a­tion from the flight path could be the sub­ject of in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Even with cur­rent use by pri­vate air­craft, over­all the num­ber of air­craft move­ments per day is very small and at night and week­ends it is neg­li­gi­ble.

The loud roar of air­craft ‘tak­ing off ’ lasts for about 15 sec­onds at any one lo­ca­tion.

Many peo­ple, my­self in­cluded, en­joy the sight of air­craft fly­ing nearby but per­haps I am prej­u­diced hav­ing once held a pi­lot’s li­cence.

So let’s stop moan­ing and be proud to have Northolt Air­field and the RAF with us in Hilling­don.

Fol­low in the foot­steps of 38-year-old Ac­ton youth worker Stephen Hutchin­son by tak­ing on the NSPCC 60 minute chal­lenge. West Lon­don­ers are asked to join a stam­pede of run­ners and see how far you can run in an hour while rais­ing money for the chil­dren’s char­ity at Lee Val­ley Velopark, in the Queen El­iz­a­beth Olympic Park, on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 4.

A one-mile cir­cuit will be cre­ated spe­cially through the Olympic Park with the chal­lenge of com­plet­ing as many laps as pos­si­ble in 60 min­utes. There are two time slots avail­able; 10am for hard­core

run­ners aged 15 and over, and at 11.30am for a fam­ily friendly run.

The NSPCC is get­ting very ex­cited about this event which they stress is not about who is the best but about be­ing the best you can be. Par­tic­i­pants get a free run­ning vest, a train­ing plan, dis­tance chip tech­nol­ogy and a medal at the end.

All adults are asked to pledge to raise £150. En­ter­ing the event costs £20 for adults, £70 for four peo­ple and £5 for any­one un­der 18.

Register at www.nspcc.org.uk/60 email 60@nspcc.org.uk.

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