Gatwick Noise Management Board 7
6th September, 2017
The key points from last week’s Gatwick Noise Management Board meeting were as follows:
Gatwick Volume Expansion v’s Noise Reduction
In the lead up to the NMB, there was considerable discussion re the ever-increasing volume of air traffic movements and the resultant noise impact for our communities. In line with all the community groups, our view is that Gatwick must adhere to the Government’s 2013 Airspace Policy Framework, by balancing any volume increases with proportionate community benefits i.e. a reduction in noise.
It was agreed that although the NMB might facilitate discussions to agree appropriate noise metrics, future discussions re a Growth/Noise balance should be progressed directly between community groups and Gatwick. Disappointingly, without further analysis, Gatwick felt unable, at this stage, to agree the principle of establishing the volume/noise relationship we are looking for. However, Gatwick did agree to look at potential noise metrics together with most recent noise policy statements with a view to reporting back by the time of the next NMB.
Fair and Equitable Dispersal (FED)
As members will be aware NATS and Gatwick have implemented the Arrival Review objective (Imm 10) to re-widen the ILS joining point (8-14nm) for landing aircraft. However, the view from all communities is that this has failed to reverse the routing concentration and increased noise of planes as they approach the ILS join. FED therefore remains a key issue for PAGNE and all of the community noise groups.
More encouragingly, with the support of an independently appointed performance modelling team, we now have access to actual flight dispersal data. It was therefore particularly pleasing that, at NMB 7, community groups to the west of the airport, including PAGNE and with NATS support, agreed to use the 2011 distribution pattern as an initial benchmark to monitor future arrival dispersal patterns. It was also agreed that this benchmark would remain in place for an initial 12-month period during which we will, for the first time, be able to effectively capture dispersal data, allowing us to measure the effectiveness of FED.
Continuous Descent Approach (CDA)
This key objective is to keep aircraft as high as possible for as long as possible before descending using a low power/low drag approach to minimise noise impacts on the ground. This “Low Noise Approach” is now part of a national improvement programme being led by the CAA who will ensure effective airline engagement and the establishment of best practice principles to optimise pilot performance.