Protest group focuses on Gatwick flight paths

Ian Hare addresses the meeting
Ian Hare addresses the meeting

A protest group told Amberley Society that it has had some success in its campaign against Gatwick aircraft noise.

Pulborough Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (PAGNE) chairman Ian Hare said his main topic for the meeting was the growing number of flight arrivals.

Ian Hare (right) with Amberley Society chairman Grahame Joseph and Maggie Roberts

Ian Hare (right) with Amberley Society chairman Grahame Joseph and Maggie Roberts

He said that when there is an easterly wind - about 35 per cent of the time - planes approaching Gatwick fly low over Pulborough and Amberley, causing ‘pronounced air traffic noise’.

Ian said PAGNE and other action groups around both Gatwick and Heathrow. want to see flight paths dispersed without any concentration over rural areas. PAGNE also wants aircraft to descend from a much higher altitude, with noise as the primary consideration up to 7,000ft.

“A ban on night flights would also be nice,” he said, “but realistically, that might be harder to achieve than some of our other objectives.”

He went on to explain that the action groups had achieved some notable progress.

Easyjet is now retro-fitting a device to the Airbus A320 to significantly reduce whine from the aircraft; and Gatwick Airport has arranged a series of meetings this autumn with NATS, the air traffic control organisation, to consult over better use of airspace.

Grahame Joseph, Chairman of the Amberley Society said: “We arranged the meeting in response to public demand in order to better understand the problems and gauge the weight of opinion and level of interest on the subject of aircraft noise.

“It was a good evening of debate and has raised public awareness in the village.”

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