I am encouraged that Gatwick has accepted all 23 of the recommendations to reduce noise for nearby residents proposed by an Independent Review of Arrivals in January.
The proposals include steps to mitigate the ‘whine’ of Airbus 320 aircraft, start the descent of aircraft further out, and establish an independent noise management board to bring together all stakeholders – including airlines, the Civil Aviation Authority, as well as national and international air traffic control – to oversee joint strategies to mitigate aircraft noise.
Crucially, the plan also involves widening the approach of aircraft to reduce the concentration of flights, something I have long been calling for, so progress in this direction is extremely welcome. However, Gatwick has yet to set out the detail of how this will work, and it remains subject to agreement by NATS and the CAA.
Clearly there is still a long road ahead if Gatwick is to be recognised as a considerate neighbour to communities near the airport; I would urge Gatwick to ensure that these announcements are followed by meaningful change as rapidly as possible.
Gatwick is seeking community feedback on the action plan – details of how to respond are available in the action plan document at: