I responded to the Gatwick Consultation on Aircraft Noise. This is the first stage of the process and covers the principles involved. However notwithstanding this, given how important aircraft noise is for many constituents, I think it is unfortunate that the consultation is only being held over a three week period. A copy of my response is below.
4th April, 2019
Dear Sir or Madam,
RE: Gatwick Airport Design Principle Development Consultation Response
This letter is my response to the Gatwick Airport Consultation on Airspace Modernisation as set out in your Design Principle Development Consultation Paper dated 18th March 2019.
While I understand this is the first stage in a long process, the issue of aircraft noise is, for my constituents, many of whom are impacted, of huge importance and I am disappointed that you have only provided three weeks for this consultation. There are many stakeholders who will have legitimate reasons as to why such a tight deadline has prevented them responding or responding in full.
First, design principals should reduce aircraft noise for all communities and any new routes should not fly over currently unaffected areas at low levels. Whilst I support safe and reliable routings, flying over currently unaffected areas at low levels would expose an increased number of residents to aircraft noise.
This could severely impact the quiet enjoyment of my constituents’ homes and would be highly detrimental.
If previously unaffected areas are to be flown over then the design process should look at the cost of compensation for insulation and property value reduction for these residents. To reduce noise for all communities, design principles should look at all airspace factors such as the ambient noise, the totality of noise impact and type of flight mode.
Another key design principle should be to enhance navigational capabilities (RNAV) to allow for a more accurate delivery of new airspace routings and reduce ground noise.
Multiple departure routes should be considered as a means to help to disburse aircraft noise and provide respite to affected communities and should therefore be included in the design principles. However, where possible, multiple departure routes should take place after 7,000ft as multiple low-level departure routes could impact on previously unaffected areas.
Alongside this, deconflicting arrival and departure routes is another important design principle which would improve Gatwick routings by allowing faster climb and descent.
Arrivals should be kept as high and as long as possible before descending into Gatwick using Continuous Decent Operations (CDO/A). If possible, the existing arrival swathe should be used other wise to avoid impacting new areas with concentrated flight paths.
Departures should seek to climb as quickly as possible (Continuous Climb) but should not disperse, turn or form into multiple routings until above 7,000ft.
Naturally I welcome the use of new technology to reduce noise and CO2 emissions.
Finally the particular concerns regarding night time noise should be recognised and consideration be given to curtailing night operations.
MP for Horsham