Gatwick Welcomes Airport Commission’s Noise Emphasis

CGA00963London’s Gatwick Airport has welcomed the UK Airports Commission’s focus on noise as a central consideration in any decision which may be made about future airport capacity.
The airport says impact of noise on local communities is an: “important and controversial issue” for the Commission’s assessment of options for increasing airport capacity, acknowledging that noise can significantly affect the quality of life for communities living close to airports.  The noise from Gatwick’s arrivals and departures affect less local residents than those at Heathrow, so it is no surprise that Gatwick has welcomed the Airports Commission’s stance.
A Gatwick press statement said: [noise] “will be a major factor in determining whether or not there will be community and political support for particular airport developments. It is, and will remain, a controversial issue, because of the impact on communities and because, despite long debate, there is not firm consensus on how to approach issues around aircraft noise or even on how to best measure noise.”
Gatwick says its development plans would impact: “significantly fewer residents living under its flight path than other options being tabled.”  The airport says its studies show that with a second runway, the number of people impacted by noise at Gatwick would range from 3,300 – comparable to today with a single runway – up to 11,800. It adds that the overall number of people who could be affected by noise from a second runway at Gatwick would be equivalent to less than 5% of the people Heathrow impacts today – mainly because aircraft would not fly over highly populated areas of London and points out: “this fundamental fact will not change in the future.”
Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, said: “Noise issues for local communities are taken very seriously at Gatwick, which is why we are a leading airport in the crucial area of noise management.  We also continue to work closely with local people to understand and address their concerns. Technological developments both in aircraft and airspace design will allow airports like Gatwick to grow whilst mitigating our noise impacts. With our position to the south of London, we have a huge advantage over other runway options directly to the west and east of London. Even with a second runway, Gatwick would impact less than 5% of the people impacted by Heathrow today.
“The Government has made clear that its primary policy objective in this area is to limit and where possible reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise.  Against that policy background, it seems clear that a second runway at Gatwick would be much preferable to a third runway at Heathrow; when more people are already significantly affected by noise than at all the other major EU hub airports put together.”