Your questions answered about the noise insulation scheme

What is the aim of the noise insulation scheme?

To help reduce the impact of airport noise on households most affected by aircraft noise from Gatwick Airport as the number of passengers grows to 45 million per year (from just over 34 million passengers a year in 2012/13.

How long will the scheme run for and what are the critical dates for application?

Applications for noise insulation assistance will be accepted from the official launch of the scheme (planned for April 2014) until the end of March 2018.

If my house is eligible, which windows and doors can I get changed through the scheme?

We propose that for those residents who fall within the scheme boundary any window or exterior door will qualify.  In addition acoustic loft insulation is also available.

What parts of the house are not included in the scheme?

Interior doors and windows are not included in the scheme, along with conservatories as these are not classed as living space. Secondary-glazing of doors is not generally seen as effective in reducing noise and so will not be offered.  All rooms that serve a commercial purpose in a building are not eligible under this scheme. This includes offices, retail outlets and workshops.

How much can I get towards the cost, and are there options that will be free?

All replacement double glazing works at eligible properties can receive a maximum contribution of £3,000.00 from Gatwick Airport towards installation costs.

Can I have a mixture of replacement windows and secondary glazing?

Yes. If you apply, you may decide to have high-specification, replacement double-glazed windows fitted in rooms where they require a high-level of noise insulation, and standard, replacement double-glazed windows or secondary glazing in other rooms.

What other forms of noise insulation does the scheme cover apart from double-glazing?

The scheme also offers ventilation, secondary glazing and loft insulation, in cases where the initial survey identifies these as viable options.

Do properties that benefited from previous noise insulation schemes also qualify for this one?

Yes, if it can further reduce noise levels in the property.  Any work carried out under previous schemes will not have any bearing on the eligibility for this new scheme, other than reducing the potential for further improvement measures.

My immediate neighbours qualify for noise insulation assistance but I don’t. Why is this?

Households eligible for noise insulation assistance will have to lie within a specific boundary of noise exposure. The precise location of each household is defined by its unique address point, as defined by the Royal Mail and Ordnance Survey.  Great effort has gone into ensuring as much as possible that the scheme boundary line does not intersect individual houses and streets.

What is the noise exposure boundary? How do you determine what it looks like?

The core scheme boundary is based on a Civil Aviation calculated 60dBA noise contour based on airport operation at maximum capacity handling 45 million passengers per annum. We have then amended this contour boundary to reflect local geographic layout resulting in an uneven boundary line.  In addition to this and in response to feedback we have extended this line 15km, both east and west outside the furthest contour to reflect aircraft noise impacts from all arriving aircraft established on the centre line.

Am I limited to a certain supplier or suppliers of double-glazing as a condition of the scheme?

Gatwick Airport has specified a single, specific, primary contractor for all insulation works.  The contractor is Anglian Windows.

My house is a heritage listed building; how do you propose to handle the noise insulation works in my case?

It is important in such cases that the Planning Department of the local authority concerned is fully informed. Planning consents, as required, should be obtained before any noise insulation measures are installed. It may be possible to fit suitable noise insulation to listed buildings that are not offered as standard by the insulation provider, while preserving features. However any additional costs associated with the provision of non-standard features for example Georgian bars, leaded glasswork and frosted glass will be wholly met by the applicant.  Gatwick Airport will only contribute towards the elements of the works that fall within the standard range offered by the insulation provider. 

I have already installed double glazing in my property, before finding out about this scheme, because of the noise of the airport. Am I eligible for a reimbursement of the costs involved?

No. Gatwick Airport will only make a contribution to double glazing that has been agreed as necessary, by the appointed noise insulation surveyor in the initial survey, to increase noise protection still further.

How come the noise contours show that I am outside the eligible area? I am still troubled by the noise of the airport and feel that I should be eligible for assistance under this scheme.

Unfortunately boundaries have to be drawn for any scheme. We recognise that some people may be disappointed. This scheme is only one of the ways in which we seek to minimise the impact of aircraft noise. The noise contours have taken into account all the forms of noise, from different flights and associated airport activity, which may have an impact. This scheme is a considerable improvement on the previous BAA scheme.

The size of the qualifying boundary has increased to from 26Km2 to over 40Km2 and the number of eligible houses increased by just fewer than 1,000.  We believe this scheme is not only the most innovative in Europe but also one of the most generous.