Noise Concerns over New South-East Runway
Posted on: 05/02/2015

As discussions continue regarding the location of the additional South East runway, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has enforced a focus upon noise mitigation and compensation measures.

The final consultation, run last week by the Sir Howard Davies-led Commission, encouraged the CAA to further voice their concerns. The commission now have until the summer or chose between a third runway at Heathrow, a second runway at Gatwick; or an extended runway- doubling the existing northern runway- at Heathrow.

Whilst the numerous benefits of this new runway have been continuously advocated- hundreds of jobs, ease of international transport, and a boost to the local and national economy- the CAA remind us of the compromises being made.

CAA Chief executive Andrew Haines commented; “It cannot be right that we expect to be able to build more runway capacity without the industry making big improvements to how it minimises its impact on its neighbours.

“The solution is partly operational- such as using the quietest aircraft available in the most efficient way- but industry improving the way it works with local communities is also crucial.

“Communities cannot be expected to put up with airport expansion without much better engagement and compensation and more of a say in a development that will have a major impact on their local area,” he said.

The boards behind each proposal have shown strong support for the CAA’s demands, understanding that ignoring the needs of the local community could be detrimental to the success of their project. Each of the projects have determined responses to the issues raised by the CAA, hoping that what they offer the local residents will be able to ensure their support.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow director of sustainability, said: “Heathrow agrees that local residents should be properly compensated when impacted by airport expansion. That’s why this week we announced a £450M increase to our noise insulation offer so that 160,000 local homes will be eligible for insulation.”

A spokesperson for Gatwick said “We agree that residents must be properly compensated, which is why Gatwick has already committed to pay the Council Tax of people most affected by noise if a new runway is built.”

Whilst Jock Lowe, behind the Heathrow extension, offered to “tackle the issue of noise head on by drawing on measures employed internationally and by proposing an end to night quota flights arriving before 6am”.

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