Opponents to airport expansion have claimed noise from Gatwick Airport could adversely affect people’s health.
The Gatwick Airport Conservation Campaign (GACC) made the claims following the publication of research from Imperial College London and King’s College London which compared data on aircraft noise with hospital admissions and mortality rates around Heathrow.
The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, showed the risks were around 10 to 20 per cent higher in areas with highest levels of aircraft noise compared with the areas with least noise.
GACC claimed: “Although there are fewer people living under the flight-paths at Gatwick, the number of people at risk may be just as great because the lower background noise makes the noise impact worse.”
GACC joint vice-chairman, Peter Barclay, said: “Councils and MPs have a duty of care with respect to the health of the residents that they represent and that means no more noise.
“How would the local hospitals cope with more heart attacks and strokes in addition to all the other pressures from a new runway?
“The damage that poor sleep does to performance at work won’t help local businesses either.”
A spokesman for Gatwick insisted GACC’s claim the noise impact around Gatwick could be the same or worse as Heathrow was not correct.
She said the number of people affected by noise at Heathrow was in the hundreds of thousands compared to the low thousands at Gatwick and added: “Gatwick takes the issue of noise extremely seriously and continues to focus on reducing its impact on the local community.
“Should we move through to the next stage of consideration by the Airports Commission, Gatwick will undertake further assessments of how expansion could impact on health, quality of life and wellbeing as part of its detailed works.”
A shortlist of airports selected for possible expansion will be published in December.