NMB 26 September 2018

Gatwick Noise Management Board 12

26th September, 2018

The key points from the recent Gatwick Noise Management Board meeting were as follows:

  1. Reduced Night Noise Trial

Yet again, the proposed Reduced Night Noise Trial was a major topic for discussion. Despite the ad hoc meeting and additional feedback provided by Gatwick, the requirements (see below) which would allow us to support such a trial have not been satisfactorily addressed. In addition, due to the on-going trial discussions and heavy workloads at both NATS and the CAA, the 1st January 2019 commencement date has now been missed. At NMB 12 we also learned that, due to significant runway maintenance taking place in the latter part of next year, the only window now available for the trial is March – Sept. Clearly this is at the busiest time of the year for the airport, which will make the increased night time traffic concentration even more impactful.

PAGNE Requirements

  • equitable allocation of arrival traffic across the proposed 4 P-RNAV routes
  • tightening of the success criteria to include an appropriate noise metric
  • compensation to be payable should the trial routes be used on a permanent basis
  • support for inclusion of an initiative within the NMB’s 2019 work plan to determine the benefits/dis-benefits of reducing the night time ILS join from 10 to 8nm.

Given the above, PAGNE confirmed it would not support the RNN trial as currently set out.

  1. Noise Management Board Review

As part of my last update, you will recall that community noise groups sent a letter to Stewart Wingate and Sir Roy McNulty detailing our loss of confidence in the Noise Management Board as currently constituted and led. It’s fair to say that this has ruffled feathers and, following a meeting with the Gatwick executive, it was agreed that a review of the NMB’s structure, membership, leadership and overall constitution was required. It was also agreed that the review should be completed as expeditiously as possible, ideally in time to announce a reconstituted NMB in early December. To our great surprise and without any reference to the community noise groups, NMB Chairman, Bo Redeborne, initiated the NMB review by creating a review subcommittee, but in so doing deliberately excluded any community noise group representation. Not surprisingly, we very robustly opposed such an approach and at NMB 12 the subcommittee approach was put to a vote. It failed to receive the necessary member support.  In an effort to address this impasse, community noise groups suggested that they would be supportive of the subcommittee review approach if a CNG representative were added to the subcommittee. Despite the NMB 12 vote, the Chairman instructed the subcommittee to continue their review work. However, I am now pleased to say that, after much discussion, common sense has prevailed, and we now have community representation on the subcommittee which has circulated a questionnaire to all NMB members inviting feedback across a number of areas. The subcommittee will review feedback in the coming weeks with recommendations to be presented to the NMB on 28th November.  

  1. 2019/20 Work Plan 

The draft 2019/20 Work Plan was presented for discussion. The plan reflected discussions held at both NMB/11 and at the NMB workshop held on 22nd August which considered potential Work Plan topics suggested by previous community feedback. The draft plan currently includes:

  • Establishment of a Growth v Noise mechanism to ensure that any airport capacity increase is balanced by equivalent noise reduction
  • Arrivals Activities
  • Departures Activities

Due to time constraints final agreement on the Work Plan could not be completed so NMB members were asked to provide any further comments on the plan which is due to commence 1st April 2019.

As in previous years the Noise Management Board will host a public meeting, this year taking place on 5th December.

The next meeting of the Noise Management Board (NMB 13) takes place on 9th January, 2019.

Atholl Forbes

Chairman PAGNE