Gatwick warns of more noise from airport when South Terminal reopens this month

PA Archive/PA Images
The South Terminal will reopen on Sunday, March 27 after closing almost two years ago. Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Gatwick is warning of more noise from the airport when its South Terminal reopens later this month.

It says aircraft noise "may become more noticeable" but will not be as loud as pre-pandemic levels.

The terminal will reopen on Sunday, March 27 after closing almost two years ago when Covid-19 took hold of the country. 

Gatwick says its noise footprint has been reduced by the introduction of quieter aircraft, despite more flights.

  • Gatwick's Head of Airspace Strategy and Engagement, Andy Sinclair, says the airport won't reach its 2019 traffic levels until 2024 or 2025.

It predicts their quieter aircraft will form over half of its fleet over coming years.

Airlines easyJet, Wizz Air, British Airways, Ryanair, JetBlue and Air Transat are all introducing more of these quieter aircraft in the years to come.

The airport adds that its flight numbers are "likely to remain below 2019 levels for several years."

Andy Sinclair, Head of Noise and Airspace Strategy, Gatwick Airport said: "We're very conscious that, as flight numbers return towards more normal levels, the associated noise may - for some people - be more noticeable than usual, particularly after the last two, comparatively quiet years"

"Obviously we can never eliminate noise completely.  However, we do as much as we can to strike a balance between reducing or mitigating aircraft noise, and facilitating the economic benefits that Gatwick delivers, including jobs for local people and benefits for businesses.

The terminal has been deserted since the last passenger checked in on June 14 2020. Credit: ITV News Meridian

"In addition to quieter aircraft, we've put a number of other measures in place to limit, and where possible reduce aircraft noise including new noise monitoring technology, a well-regarded noise insulation scheme and a new Airline Noise Performance Table to encourage improved noise performance."

"Of course, there's always more we can do and we will constantly strive to bring forward new initiatives through our Noise Management Board, an independent body, which brings together community representatives and industry to reduce and better manage aircraft noise around Gatwick."

Gatwick is anticipating a "strong recovery" when the South Terminal reopens, offering around 5000 jobs across the airport.

The airport says its revival "could generate £8.4 billion added value to the economy by 2028."