Campaigners against changes to flightpaths have claimed a small victory this week after the airport announced it was delaying its plans.
Over the summer Gatwick Airport carried out a six month trial of the ‘ADNID’ flightpath across areas including Rusper and Warnham.
It was part of a UK-wide air traffic review looking into the use of ‘noise preferential routes’ designed to affect as few residents as possible.
The trial meant communities currently not on flightpaths, were exposed to loud, unwelcome aircraft noise on a daily basis.
This week, a report revealing the airport had decided to delay making permanent changes to flightpaths, was leaked to the County Times.
It is due to go to the Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM) meeting in private today (Thursday).
Tom Denton, Gatwick’s head of corporate responsibility said: “We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals.
“It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.”
The airport said it would now study in detail final route options and look into the possibility of giving more respite to those most affected by noise, including between altitudes of 4,000 and 7,000 feet.
In addition the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) has agreed to delay implementing any changes to airspace above 4,000 feet.
The airport will also consider ways to engage better with the public, including through its work with GATCOM.
Campaigners have seen the delay as a breakthrough.
For the full story and to read the campaigners’ reactions buy a copy of this week’s County Times.