An independent review panel, commissioned by Gatwick Airport Ltd in response to concerns raised by residents and local authorities, has made 23 recommendations to the aviation industry – 20 of which could be implemented within just 12 months.
They include modifications to aircraft, a steeper ascent and descent, variation of flight paths to give residents respite from aircraft noise and the establishment of an independently chaired noise management board.
“We are delighted to see included in the review panel’s report, recommendations addressing a significant number of issues that we have raised over the past two years,” said Cllr Rupert Simmons, lead member for economy at East Sussex County Council.
“We have received a large amount of correspondence, particularly from residents in the north of the county, about the disruption caused by aircraft landing at Gatwick.”
East Sussex County Council continues to back proposals for an expansion of Gatwick which it said offered ‘an unmissable opportunity’ for the area’s economy, but has always vowed to lobby for measures to reduce the impact of flights on its residents.
“We believe there are overwhelming benefits for East Sussex from an expansion of Gatwick Airport and will continue to push for a second runway,” Cllr Simmons said. “But aside from this, we believe there are a number of measures the aviation industry could and should take to address the issue of aircraft noise.
“We particularly welcome the recommendation to create a new board to hold the relevant partners to account in delivering the recommendations. The board will include representatives from the Department for Transport, the Civil Aviation Authority, National Air Traffic Services and Gatwick Airport Ltd.”
Gatwick Airport Ltd has until March 31, 2016 to respond to the report with an action plan on how it will take the recommendations forward. It is also required to publish a progress report by January 31, 2017.
The onus is not only on Gatwick Airport Ltd to fulfil recommendations, but is reliant on the Civil Aviation Authority, the Department for Transport, Air Traffic Control, airlines and local authorities working together.