New campaign group – CAGNE – formed to protest against Gatwick Airport noise
A new campaign group has formed in the Gatwick area, protesting against aircraft noise. Gatwick airport has been attempting to get good PR by claiming to do more than other airports to manage its aircraft noise. However, infuriated residents living under a newly created departures flight path have formed the new group, called Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE). It already has more than 300 frustrated members across Sussex, who are particularly angry at new flightpaths, of which the airport deliberately gave no prior notice. People at the villages of Rusper and Warnham, west of Crawley – which used to be quiet – have been horrified to find themselves subjected to relentless aircraft noise. Sally Pavey, a CAGNE member, said: “This is bringing misery to thousands of people and destroying the tranquility of parts of Sussex. It is wrong that all we can do is telephone the answer phone at Gatwick Airport to complain. ….we do not know if each complaint will be logged separately or if our address is only logged once.” CAGNE has launched an online petition calling on the DfT to stop the new flightpaths. The usual blandishment from the airport was that they “continue to take a responsible approach to noise reduction and mitigation.”
PROTEST GROUP: Some of the members of Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions
In the same month that Gatwick has been praised as an “industry leader” in alleviating noise, a new campaign group has formed protesting that aircraft are too loud.An independent investigation into the airport’s noise management schemes to limit public impact has found it is a “force to be reckoned with”, compared to others in the South East and Europe.However, this is not a universally-held view – with a new pressure group being launched to fight noise and emission levels.The Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE) was created earlier this month and already has more than 300 frustrated members across Sussex, who are particularly angry at new flightpaths.
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On February 17, a six-month trial started, with planes being sent over different areas, including Rusper and Warnham to the west of Crawley.
The purpose is to allow planes to climb more quickly after take off, with the aim of reducing the number of people affected by aircraft noise.
But this also means some residents never before affected by aircraft noise now are.
Sally Pavey, a CAGNE member, said: “This is bringing misery to thousands of people and destroying the tranquility of parts of Sussex.
“It is wrong that all we can do is telephone the answer phone at Gatwick Airport to complain.
“We are assured our calls will be logged but it’s like asking a child to mark their own homework, we do not know if each complaint will be logged separately or if our address is only logged once.
“God knows what it is going to be like for the residents of Ifield and Langley Green if Gatwick gets its wish of placing a second runway in their back gardens.”
As the new flightpaths are running on a trial basis, no public consultation needed to take place.
The Civil Aviation Authority has also given the trial its backing.
Undeterred, CAGNE launched an online petition last week, calling on the Department for Transport to stop the new flightpaths.
While the affected residents have their fingers in their ears, Gatwick’s efforts to reduce noise impact have been praised in a report published last Wednesday.
Compiled by Noise Communications Solutions (NCS), it was commissioned to provide an independent assessment comparing Gatwick’s standards to Heathrow, Stansted and European airports Frankfurt and Schipol, in Amsterdam.
Gatwick was praised for offering residents money to insulate their homesfrom noise and for providing a tracking system where residents can see which flightpaths are being used at particular times.
The report states: “There is evident investment in both short and longer-term linked initiatives to improve the noise performance at Gatwick Airport. We often see laudable efforts in one or the other, but to see co-ordinated initiatives in both is rare. The impact of all these initiatives will ensure that Gatwick Airport remains a force to be reckoned with in the management of noise.
“We have found Gatwick Airport’s noise management function to be robust and resilient and it has invested a significant amount of time and effort in its noise management.”
NCS found there had been just four noise infringements, an incident where an airport can be fined if an aircraft is too loud, at Gatwick Airport between 2010 and 2013.
In comparison, there had been 272 at Heathrow over the same period.
Vicki Hughes, NCS managing director, said: “It is clear that through the implementation of several innovative measures, the impact will ensure Gatwick maintains its position as an industry leader in the management of airport noise.”
NCS did advise the airport to consult more with the community.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick Airport CEO, said: “We take noise management very seriously.
“However, even as we try to remove hundreds of thousands of people out of the flightpaths, in line with Government policy, we recognise that there will always be some communities affected by aircraft noise.
“We will therefore continue to take a responsible approach to noise reduction and mitigation.”
Earlier news about the flight path trial:
38 Degrees petition against new flight paths trial
Campaigners at the village of Warnham near Gatwick have started a petition on 38 Degrees, to ask the DfT to put a stop to the new flight path trials sponsored by Gatwick Airport and NATS that are bringing misery to thousands of people – who are now being overflown, many times per hour, by take-offs. The area was quiet in the past, and the flight path trial was not announced before it started.
Warnham continues to suffer amid speculation about why the trial flight path was inflicted on them
March 12, 2014
The upset continues over the trial flight path from Gatwick, for take-offs, over the village of Warnham. The issue had been very badly handled by the airport, in its unsuccessful attempts to reduce the amount of complaint. Residents of Warnham feel they are just seen as “collateral damage” for the airport’s ambitions of increased profit. There is the suggestion from people in the area that the reason for the trial is that Gatwick has quietly committed to the airlines an increased number of flights over the next year. They have oversold capacity at peak travel times/dates and they cannot operationally cope if they take off using the three legally permitted take-off routes. This would mean take off delays at peak-times, which would be financially damaging to the airlines and the airport. They therefore instituted this “trial’ route to increase take-off capacity, especially at peak times, by one-third. The aim is to make this permanent. Gatwick airport is eager to show the Airports Commission that it has rising numbers of passengers and flights, to get its runway. So it has to get as much growth as it can this year. In reality, the number of flights in 2013 was lower in 2013 than in 2006, 2007, 2008 or 2009. Click here to view full story…
Villages up in arms as new Gatwick flight path shatters their peace and quiet
March 9, 2014
The Sunday Times has featured the story of the misery and upset being caused over villages in Sussex by a new trial flight path from Gatwick. The village of Warnham is particularly affected. It is a quiet village, but now has planes taking off from Gatwick thundering overhead. Some of the affected residents are the mother-in-law of Boris Johnson, who said who say the noise is so loud that it sets off baby monitors and drowns out the sound of local church bells. Also Caroline Lucas, whose family owns the 215-acre Warnham Park, with a large herd of red deer, said: “How long will future generations stay here? That’s the question you have to ask.” The 6 month trial, of which there was no notice given to local residents, is of a new departure route for planes mainly bound for southern Europe, which are now turning south earlier than they normally do. The airport says the trial is to find out if a new aircraft navigation system will allow air traffic controllers to reduce the interval between flights taking off from two minutes to one, potentially allowing more flights to take off at peak times. ie. make Gatwick even busier than now. Click here to view full story…
A recent meeting of the Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM) said, discussing whether residents should be warned of the trial in advance. GATCOM minutes of 30th January 2014:
“It was felt that parish councils in particular should be advised of trial to enable them to respond to their constituents if problems arose. Mr. Denton would consider this but emphasised the need to obtain genuine feedback from those affected. If people were aware of the trial it was possible that they would be more alert to changes and feel obliged to comment.” ie. don’t warn them, because they might complain.
Francis Maude: Noise misery foreshadows Gatwick second runway
March 8, 2014
Francis Maude, MP for Horsham, has received a great number of letters and emails from distressed residents in Warnham and Rusper, in recent weeks, about the new flight path trial over them. They are saying they are being plagued by a constant stream of noisy aircraft taking off from Gatwick towards the west starting at 6am. Many people have complained directly to Gatwick Airport, the CAA and NATS – but have yet to be satisfied on a number of points. Most residents were not aware of any minimal consultation about the changes before they started. Francis Maude is asking for much more detail about the trials. These include on what criteria will the trial be assessed? Why does it need to continue for six months? and How is it being monitored? He says the misery currently being experienced by local residents foreshadows what would be a permanent feature of life in the area if a 2nd Gatwick runway were to be built. The amount of opposition to this trial suggests it is not being successful. Francis Maude says: “I have made my opposition to a second Gatwick runway many times in public and private, and am happy to reiterate this now.” Click here to view full story…
GACC calls for flight path trial to stop due to anger and outrage in the village of Warnham
March 5, 2014
A new flight path for take-offs from Gatwick airport has caused outrage in the parish of Warnham, near Horsham. Designed as a 6-month trial to enable more aircraft to take-off from the Gatwick runway it has already caused a wave of protest. A member of the GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign), Sally Pavey, who lives in Warnham, says: ‘The tranquillity of our 14th century, conservation village has been lost and we seem powerless to do anything about it. Everyone is up in arms as we are woken at 6.00 am with an aircraft overhead every few minutes. Living in Warnham has turned into a nightmare!’ GACC has called for the trial to be stopped. The new route is causing an unacceptable degree of upset and maximum anger. It is just a small foretaste of what is to come if a new runway were to be built. “With a new runway the new flight paths would bring anger and misery to perhaps 30 or more towns and villages. And that would be permanent, not just for 6 months. Warnham is a wake-up call for why we should all oppose a new runway.’ Click here to view full story…