Noise footprint level at Gatwick airport are reduced by seven per cent
5th June 2019 – Crawley Observer
By Staff Reporter
Improved operational procedures – including smoother descents that reduce drag and use less power – and the phasing out of the noisiest aircraft helped reduce the noise levels at Gatwick Airport.
The annual noise exposure analysis carried out by the Civil Aviation Authority found a seven percent reduction on the noise footprint of 2018.
Using the nationally recognised standard measurement (54dBA Leq), Gatwick’s noise footprint shrank from 82.7 Km2 to 77.1 Km2 in 2018 – compared to 2017 – with the number of people living within this noise contour also falling to 10,200 from 10,950.
The survey shows that cumulatively, over the last two years, 900 people have been taken out of this noise footprint as it shrank 11 per cent – reducing in area from 86.5 Km2 in 2016 to 77.1 Km2 in 2018.
It showed Gatwick’s noise footprint has reduced by 48 per cent over the last 20 years and by 14.5 per cent over the last decade.
In terms of future noise reductions, the next generation of aircraft – including the Airbus A320neo, A321neo and A350; and Boeing’s 787 (Dreamliner) – are up to 50 per cent quieter than their predecessors.
In the future the airline fleets that operate from Gatwick will be dominated by these quieter aircraft, with forecasts showing that this type of next generation aircraft will make up 86 per cent of Gatwick’s aircraft fleet by 2032/33, up from three per cent in 2017/18.
The independent Noise Management Board at Gatwick was formed in 2016 and brings the local community and the aviation industry together within a formalised structure and is considered to be an industry leading approach to managing noise issues at a local level.
Andy Sinclair, Gatwick’s head of airspace, said: “We are making good progress against our objective of reducing the impact that aircraft noise has on our local communities, but we recognise that more must be done.
“We are delighted with the work of the Noise Management Board and we hope that it continues its strong influence in decision making at the airport. We will continue to challenge ourselves and our industry
partners and will be introducing a range of new initiatives to reduce noise further in coming years.
Over time, aircraft noise has dramatically reduced at Gatwick and in the next few years I expect to see further improvements as more next generation aircraft are delivered.