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Independent Review tells Gatwick to 'quieten down'

An Independent Review has ordered that Gatwick Airport make dramatic steps to improve the lives of families living under the flightpath in Surrey, Sussex and Kent.

The review was commissioned by Gatwick Airport Chairman Sir Roy McNulty and follows a four month consultation to see if more could be done to lessen the impact of noise on local residents.

Gatwick Airport Credit: ITV Meridian

The review - focussing on airport arrivals - said:

  • Flight paths must be changed daily - so areas get 'noise breaks'
  • Planes MUST fly higher
  • The number of Flights circling in a holding pattern must be reduced
  • planes MUST be fitted with noise reducing technology
Gatwick Airport Credit: ITV Meridian

The review has proposed a time frame for the introduction of its recommendations and says many could be operational within 12 months.

It also suggests modifications for the Airbus A320 family to reduce the noise it produces during its approach phrase and there'll be a noise management board to oversee the issues of noise around the airport.

Gatwick Airport Chairman Sir Roy McNulty Credit: ITV Meridian

"As an airport we recognise our responsibility to do everything we can to reduce the noise impact on local people - in particular, those people who are most affected.

That is why we commissioned an independent review last summer looking at aircraft arrivals to see what more can be done. While the number of people significantly affected by noise at Gatwick is relatively low for an airport of its size, we want to improve further.

This report sets out 23 practical steps - from holding planes longer over the sea, to improved use of continuous descent approaches and increased dispersal of arrivals. There is no silver bullet that will ever eliminate the problem of aircraft noise but taken together I believe that these measures can make a real difference.

Airports have to demonstrate that impacts on their local communities have been fully taken into account, and we have been encouraged by and benefitted from the constructive engagement of local groups in this review."

– Gatwick Airport Chairman Sir Roy McNulty

Gatwick sets new record for passenger numbers

Credit: ITV news

Gatwick has set a new record for global passenger numbers. 2.7 million people travelled through the airport in December - up nearly 5 per cent. With more than 40-million passing through last year - it set a global record for a single runway airport. Bosses says the figure underlines the airport's case for expansion.

Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: "2015 was a record-breaking year for Gatwick as the airport continued to break new ground. We served 40.3 million passengers - the most from any single runway anywhere in the world. A Government decision this year backing Gatwick expansion will mean that Britain finally solves its long standing problem of airport capacity in the South East. Our plan is legal, affordable, cleaner and quieter and will deliver for Britain."

It's the airport's 34th consecutive month of traffic growth. Long-haul routes performed particularly strongly - up 7.6% with North Atlantic routes driving this growth - up 4.7% on December 2014. Destinations contributing to this North Atlantic growth include Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Toronto. Strong growth was also seen from winter sun destinations including Goa, Jamaica, Dubai and Barbados

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