MP urges Gatwick to reduce noise
25th July 2018 – Crawley Observer
By Staff Reporter
An MP urged Gatwick Airport to take more account of complaints about aircraft noise, at a meeting in Parliament.
Nick Herbert, MP for Arundel and the South Downs met the Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg and Gatwick’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, along with representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority, the National Air Traffic Service, and a group of MPs whose constituents are affected by noise from Gatwick air traffic.
The MP raised concerns on behalf of local communities who had complained about aircraft noise. He called for ‘more engagement and serious attempts at noise mitigation’.
Earlier this month community noise groups wrote to Gatwick Airport’s deputy chairman and chief executive to say that they had ‘lost confidence in the ability of the Noise Management Board, as currently constituted and led, to deliver positive and timely change in the noise environment around Gatwick’.
A statement from Nick Herbert’s office said: ‘At the meeting in Parliament, MPs echoed this view, arguing that the current system of leaving Gatwick Airport to monitor noise issues was failing communities. The Minister agreed that more needed to be done to lessen the impact on local communities, and she pmmised a follow-up letter to MPs to outline the new actions being taken by the Government.
“She said that community groups should engage with the Government’s policy on airspace modernisation and its new Aviation Strategy, which is currently under development.
“The Government is committed to ensure sufficient airport capacity to meet future demand, but believes that’advances in technology, for example reducing the need for stacking, can reduce the amount of noise on the ground. The Government has also said that people who live near airports should have a greater say in the changes which affect them.”
Andy Sinclair, head of Airspace Strategy and Engagement, Gatwick Airport, said “We recognise that noise from aircraft has an impact on local communities and we will continue to do everything we can and listen to feedback to help improve the lives of people affected by noise.
“The CAA recently confirmed that Gatwick’s noise footprint has shrunk largely thanks to an Noise Management Board initiative to modify the A320 family of aircraft so they make less noise.
Another NMB initiative also recently changed where some aircraft start their final approach to the runway, which reduced the previous concentration of noise and dispersed them in a more fair and equitable way.
“A range of other NMB initiatives with the potential to reduce noise even further are also in progress and we look forward to discussing how these can be progressed, including with locally elected representatives and community groups, in the near future.”