Gatwick proposes a cap on aircraft noise

Gatwick Airport is proposing to set a cap, known as an ‘envelope’, on aircraft noise if its Northern Runway is brought into routine use.

According to Gatwick, the noise envelope would give residents a guarantee that as the project reaches full capacity (circa 2038), it would make less noise than in 2019 – the airport’s busiest year to date. 

The airport is able to propose the noise cap because new next-generation aircraft – which are quieter – will increasingly replace older, noisier planes in the coming years, outweighing any growth in noise generated by bringing the airport’s Northern Runway into routine use. 

If the Northern Runway is approved, Gatwick will report on performance of the noise envelope and will forecast performance in the years ahead, so as to avoid exceeding the agreed noise envelope. 

Noise insulation scheme 
The airport is also proposing a more generous Noise Insulation Scheme for residents living close to the airport – increasing the number of eligible households by up to 1,750 homes compared to the existing scheme – and by offering a tiered package depending on the noise experienced at specific locations. 

According to the proposals, a new Inner Zone will offer the highest level of noise insulation and will apply to between 250 and 450 households, which would qualify for replacement acoustic glazing or internal secondary glazing to all windows, acoustic ventilators and blinds to noise-sensitive rooms, replacement doors to these rooms where necessary, and acoustic upgrading of bedroom ceilings where necessary and possible.  

A new Outer Zone will apply to around 3,300 homes, outside the Inner Zone, and will offer acoustic ventilators for noise sensitive rooms, enabling windows to remain closed with ventilation.

Gatwick inner and outer zones
Gatwick has proposed two new zones as part of the noise insulation scheme
Gatwick Airport

Residents who have previously taken up grants under the airport’s existing Noise Insulation Scheme will have the opportunity to apply for the new scheme. 

The airport would also collaborate with schools to deliver a suitable noise insulation package if this was found to be necessary, it confirmed. 

Andrew Sinclair, head of noise and airspace, Gatwick Airport, said: “We fully recognise that we need to carefully balance any benefits that the routine use of the Northern Runway will deliver with the impact our plans may have on people living close to the airport.”