GATWICK AIRPORT GROWTH v NOISE REDUCTION
As we’re all aware Gatwick is never slow to boast about its rate of growth, both in terms of passengers numbers and plane movements. What Gatwick are less keen to highlight is the resultant increase in noise being faced by communities like ours. Together with the other NMB Community groups, PAGNE feels this situation runs contrary to the Government’s 2013 Aviation Policy Framework which states “future growth in aviation should ensure that benefits are shared between the aviation industry and local communities……This means that the industry should reduce and mitigate noise as airport capacity grows”. As a result all 8 NMB Community Noise Group’s signed a letter to Chris Grayling demanding that Gatwick be held to account to ensure that Government policy is fully adhered to and airport growth is balanced by effective noise reduction.
Separately local MP’s also sent a letter to Chris Grayling outlining their concerns re Gatwick’s failure to adhere to the Government’s Aviation Policy Framework. The letter was co-signed by 7 local MP’s, including Nick Herbert and Gillian Keegan. Disappointingly, rather than grasping the nettle on this issue, Government response was to refer to a forthcoming process to develop a new Aviation Policy which will have as one of its key objectives; the support for airport growth while managing the environmental impacts.
We have continued to press this critical issue and I attended a Parliamentary debate on “Gatwick Growth and Noise Mitigation” on 10th January. The debate, initiated by Tom Tugenhadt MP for Tonbridge and Malling, once again called for Gatwick’s expansion to be balanced by noise reduction. Our MP’s, Nick Herbert and Gillian Keegan spoke passionately on behalf of their constituents. No immediate change to the Government’s position, but our efforts ensure this key issue continues to have both local and national profile. A transcript of the debate is attached below.