Airport has ways to limit noise impact of second runway for 11,800 people

Gatwick Airport, aerial view of new passenger bridge at Pier 6 and North Terminal Apron including runways, June 2005, Image ref CGA00963, A.C
Gatwick Airport, aerial view of new passenger bridge at Pier 6 and North Terminal Apron including runways, June 2005, Image ref CGA00963, A.C

Expansion at Gatwick Airport would mean the number of people impacted by noise could increased from 3,300 to 11,800 .

However, in a response to the Airports Commission comments on noise, Gatwick Airport says it has a number on methods it is using to make this number lower.

Stewart Wingate, chief executive 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 five per cent of the people impacted by Heathrow today.”

The airport has been chosen as a pilot for a number of ways to help limit the number of people affected by noise. They will also use existing methods to help residents.

Kyran Hanks, strategy and regulation director at the airport said: “What happens at Heathrow is some residents get respite for part of the day.

“The new runway would be used for landings and the other for take off and then at Heathrow they swap it around. It means if people have bought a house near the airport they will get half a day of respite.”

From November, Gatwick will be the only UK airport to trial a type of sat nav for aircraft called P-RNAV, which will help them take routes away from residential areas.

Mr Hanks said: “It’s much more accurate in where it flies. You can see what’s the least noisy area to fly in. Also keeping the aircraft higher for longer. It could possibly make a big difference coming into land.”

At the end of the year, the Airports Commission will release its shortlist of preferred options for airport expansion. If Gatwick is one of those, the airport will publish a detailed proposal for public consultation in April 2014.

It will include what infrastructure and number of houses will be needed, where the River Mole and A23 would need to go, and the proposed layout of the airport.