Noise action plan
Under the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006, Gatwick Airport Ltd is required to produce a Noise Action Plan which provides a comprehensive and effective driver for aircraft noise management and mitigation around Gatwick Airport.
Gatwick Airport’s first Environmental Noise Directive (END) Noise Action Plan was published in June 2010 and covered the period 2010 - 2015. This was subsequently updated to cover the period 2013 - 2018. This Noise Action Plan is the third revision to the action plan, building on the foundations set by the previous version. It has been revised in line with the latest guidance provided to airport operators by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
In revising the END Noise Action Plan, we consulted the Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM), Crawley Borough Council and West Sussex County Council; the local authorities being the ‘Lead Authorities’ for the purposes of the Section 106 Memorandum of Understanding with the other Local Authorities whose areas are significantly affected by the activities of the airport.
A three-phased approach to consultation was adopted involving circulation of draft lists of actions initially, and subsequent circulation of versions of the full draft NAP with responses to feedback at each stage. We believe that our consultative approach, as detailed further in the annex document to the Noise Action Plan goes significantly beyond what was required by Defra. The Noise Management Board was also kept updated of progress with the revision of the action plan. Details of all feedback received is included in the annex.
This revised END Noise Action Plan, covering the period 2019-2024 builds significantly on the actions in the previous version - containing 32 new, 18 amended, and eight retained actions. In particular:
- There are a number of significant actions covering topics such as the expansion of our community noise monitoring programme which will give the airport and local government officers a greater insight into the noise climate in communities local to the airport.
- We have set out how we will look to reduce the noise limits for departing aircraft while also increasing the amounts aircraft operators are fined for noise infringements. These measures will further incentivise the operation of quieter aircraft at the airport.
- There are actions that could result in supplementary payments by operators of aircraft found to have any acoustical faults similar to the recent Airbus A320 family FOPP issue.
- We have committed to working on the feasibility of a charging regime for persistent failure by aircraft operators to adhere to our departure Noise Preferential Routes.
The END Noise Action Plan 2019-2024 was formally adopted by the Parliamentary under Secretary of State for the Environment on 11 February 2019 and Gatwick Airport has already started to implement a number of the action plan actions contained within it; these action plan actions contained within the END Noise Action Plan continue to align with the S106 Legal Agreement with West Sussex County Council and Crawley Borough Council, the work plan of the Noise Management Board and our Decade of Change Sustainability Strategy.
We will continue to monitor progress against the Noise Action Plan, by publishing quarterly and annual reports to GATCOM and NATMAG as well as publishing the annual report online. You can also find out more about the issues discussed in this report in our FPT reports and minutes of the Noise and Track Monitoring Advisory Group (NaTMAG) on this page.