Gatwick puts forward noise cap commitment as part of second runway bid

Gatwick has committed to no more aircraft noise than in 2019 by the time its planned second runway reaches full capacity.

The airport also proposes to increase the number of eligible households for noise insulation by up to 1,750 homes, compared to an existing noise insulation scheme, plus offering enhanced measures for those most affected.

A cap on aircraft noise is being proposed if the norther runway, currently under public consultation, is brought into routine use.

The aim is to an incentivise airlines to increase the number of quieter aircraft they use at the airport as the project reaches full capacity by 2038.

Gatwick claimed it would make less noise compared to levels in pre-pandemic 2019 – the airport’s busiest year.

The airport is able to propose the noise cap because new and quieter next generation aircraft will increasingly replace older, noisier models in the coming years, outweighing any increase in noise generated by bringing the northern runway into routine use.

Gatwick pledged to report on the performance of the ‘noise envelope’ cap and will forecast performance in the years ahead to avoid the agreed levels being exceeded.

A new inner zone will offer the highest level of noise insulation and will apply to between 250 and 450 households.

These would qualify for replacement acoustic glazing or internal secondary glazing to all windows, acoustic ventilators and blinds to noise-sensitive rooms, replacement doors to these rooms where necessary and acoustic upgrading of bedroom ceilings where necessary and possible.

A new outer zone will apply to around 3,300 homes and will offer acoustic ventilators for noise sensitive rooms, allowing windows to remain closed with ventilation.

Residents who have previously taken up grants under the airport’s existing noise insulation scheme will have the opportunity to apply for the new scheme.

The airport would also work with schools to deliver a suitable noise insulation package if found to be required.

Gatwick head of noise and airspace 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.”

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