Gatwick Airport has invested nearly £1 million in new technology that dramatically improves the monitoring of aircraft flights and associated noise – with information updated every second – so that local residents can access data and generate reports on demand.
In a UK-airport first, the new system – provided by EMS Brüel & Kjær – also allows noise complaints to be submitted via an automated telephone line, a key request from the local community.
Up to 23 new noise monitoring terminals will be introduced in surrounding areas to collect noise levels, which can then be presented in real time alongside flight information from the airport radar and other airport systems.
Gatwick says the new technology helps to improve accessibility to noise information and it hopes it will also help to improve understanding among local communities by providing one of the most accurate and up to date noise and flight data systems.
Airlines can also use the data to analyse how they might improve the performance of their flights in terms of track keeping and noise.
The new system also makes aircraft noise information easier to access and understand through a new website – expected to be available in the next few months – that can be customised to show information on flights and noise relevant to a resident’s local area.
Tim Norwood, Gatwick’s director of corporate affairs, planning and sustainability, commented: “While many thousands of local people benefit from Gatwick’s jobs, connections and wealth creation, we know that some residents are concerned by the impacts of aircraft noise. The new noise and flight track keeping system means that residents can more easily and conveniently access information, and generate reports, on aircraft noise in real time.
“The system is comprehensive, easy to use, and based on the latest technology and we very much hope that it also helps us to improve our engagement with communities that are negatively impacted by aircraft noise.”