Gatwick publishes revised Noise Action Plan
30 September 2014
Following recent consultations with the local community, Gatwick Airport has today published a revised Noise Action Plan.
The plan says the airport will:
- Explore whether ‘rotating respite’ can be provided to communities most affected by noise from aircraft – potentially benefiting more than 11,000 residents
- Explore other innovative methods to minimise noise - such as the airport’s continuous descent approach, where aircraft use less thrust by gliding and descending at a continuous rate. This approach keeps the aircraft higher for longer and generates significantly less noise.
- Consult with local residents on the measures above.
- Request that the Department of Transport (DfT) explores ways to describe and measure aircraft noise more clearly to help people understand noise impacts.
- Ask the DfT to undertake research on effects of aircraft noise on human health.
- Commission public studies on noise impacts on particular areas.
Independent experts say Gatwick is among the leading airports worldwide with regards to noise mitigation and compensation measures. However Gatwick recognises that much has still to be done to realise the airport’s long term objective of gaining the trust of our stakeholders.
The plan outlines Gatwick’s continued commitment to minimise the impacts of aircraft noise. To achieve this, Gatwick will continue to:
- Use the quietest aircraft fleets possible. To this end, 99% of the aircraft currently using Gatwick are of the quietest type possible. One way Gatwick achieves this is by incentivising airlines by charging them less to use quieter aircraft.
- Employ effective and credible noise mitigation schemes. This includes Gatwick’s industry leading noise insulation scheme which provides homes with up to £3,000 towards double glazing and loft insulation. The scheme has recently been expanded by 15km each end of the runway so that 40% more homes are protected from noise than before.
- Engage with the local community to better understand their concerns and priorities so that the airport’s noise strategies and plans are well informed. Gatwick has introduced an annual noise seminar and is committed to reporting annually on the airport’s performance against its action plan and its effectiveness in addressing community concerns.
Noise generated by the airport has been steadily reduced in the last 15 years. This is demonstrated by the land area (noise contour) covered by the loudest noise levels reducing from 90km² to 41km² during this time.
Tom Denton, Head of Corporate Responsibility at London Gatwick, said:
“We have reduced noise generated by the airport in recent years, but we are not complacent. We understand that noise has an impact on our local communities and we strive to do everything possible to mitigate its effects.
“Our revised Noise Action Plan demonstrates how Gatwick will employ some of the world’s most innovative methods to reduce aircraft noise. Our plans will also evolve and we will adopt the latest advances in technology and leading practices as soon as is practicably possible.”