Aircraft noise ‘will be capped’ if Gatwick expansion goes ahead

Officials at Gatwick are proposing to set a cap on aircraft noise if airport expansion plans go ahead.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 12:13 pm

A public consultation on proposals to bring Gatwick’s northern runway into routine use - alongside its main runway - is currently underway.

Officials say that, if the proposals are approved, airport noise limits would be tightened further as flight numbers grow to act as an incentive for airlines to increase the number of quieter aircraft they use.

And, they say, they are also proposing a ‘more generous’ noise insulation scheme for people living close to the airport.

Gatwick's northern and main runways

Gatwick Airport Ltd also says it will bring in measures to avoid the agreed noise cap - known as an ‘envelope’ - being exceeded in years to come.

It maintains that it would give residents a guarantee that as the runway reaches full capacity in around 2038, ‘it would make less noise compared to noise levels in 2019 – the airport’s busiest year to date.’

It says ‘next generation’ aircraft are quieter and will increasingly replace older, noisier planes in the coming years, ‘outweighing any increase in noise generated by bringing the airport’s northern runway into routine use.’

Meanwhile, residents who have previously taken up grants under the airport’s existing noise insulation scheme will be among those who can apply for the new scheme.

The airport says it would also work with schools to provide a suitable noise insulation package if needed.

Gatwick head of noise and airpspace Andrew Sinclair said: “We fully recognise that we need to carefully balance any benefits that the routine use of the northern runway will deliver, including over 18,000 new jobs, with the impact our plans may have on people living close to the airport.

“That is why, as part of our northern runway consultation we’re proposing to put a binding cap on noise generated at the airport and we would build on this by rolling out a significantly improved noise insulation package for residents living close to the airport.”

More information on the airport consultation is available at www.gatwickairport.com along with a virtual exhibition and an option to book a 20 minute telephone surgery with project experts – including noise experts - or to request a virtual briefing for local stakeholder groups.

Telephone surgeries on noise are currently available on 8, 16 and 23 October, and also on 6 and 11 November and can be booked directly via www.gatwickairport.com/futureplans