Gatwick reports a 7% reduction in its noise footprint last year and a 48% drop over the last 20 years.

Gatwick Airport reports that it reduced its noise footprint by 7% in 2018.

It says the drop is due to improved operational procedures – including smoother descents that reduce drag and use less power, the phasing out of the noisiest aircraft and the introduction of new, quieter aircraft.

The annual noise exposure contour analysis was carried out by the Civil Aviation Authority using the nationally recognised standard measurement, 54dBA Leq.

Quieter aircraft

Gatwick’s noise footprint shrank from 82.7 Km2 in 2017 to 77.1 Km2 in 2018. Gatwick says its noise footprint has reduced by 48% over the last 20 years and by 14.5% over the last decade.

Gatwick said new-generation, quieter aircraft such as Airbus A320neo, A321neo and A350 and Boeing’s 787 (Dreamliner) are instrumental in reducing noise, and that future airline fleets that operate from Gatwick will be dominated by these quieter aircraft

Forecasts showing that this type of next-generation aircraft will make up 86% of Gatwick’s aircraft fleet by 2032/33, up from 3% in 2017/18.

Andy Sinclair, Gatwick’s Head of Airspace, said: “We are making good progress against our objective of reducing the impact that aircraft noise has on our local communities, but we recognise that more must be done. We are delighted with the work of the Noise Management Board and we hope that it continues its strong influence in decision making at the airport. We will continue to challenge ourselves and our industry partners and will be introducing a range of new initiatives to reduce noise further in coming years.”

“Over time, aircraft noise has dramatically reduced at Gatwick and in the next few years, I expect to see further improvements as more next-generation aircraft are introduced in significant numbers. The large-scale redesign of airspace across South East England is also underway and has the potential to significantly reduce noise impacts around the airport.”

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