Gatwick will get a Brüel & Kjær system to provide better flight and noise info for local people
Up to twenty three new noise monitoring terminals will be introduced in surrounding areas to collect noise levels, which can then be presented in real time alongside flight information from the airport radar and other airport systems.
New noise monitor in front of aircraft landing on Gatwick’s main runway
The new technology helps to improve accessibility to noise information and the airport hopes it will also help to improve understanding among local communities by providing one of the most accurate and up to date noise and flight data systems.
Airlines can also use the data to analyse how they might improve the performance of their flights in terms of track keeping and noise.
The new system also makes aircraft noise information easier to access and understand through a new website – expected to be available in the next few months – that can be customised to show information on flights and noise relevant to a resident’s local area.
Tim Norwood, Director of Corporate Affairs, Planning and sustainability, Gatwick Airport, said:
“While many thousands of local people benefit from Gatwick’s jobs, connections and wealth creation, we know that some residents are concerned by the impacts of aircraft noise. The new noise and flight track keeping system means that residents can more easily and conveniently access information, and generate reports, on aircraft noise in real time.
“The system is comprehensive, easy to use, and based on the latest technology and we very much hope that it also helps us to improve our engagement with communities that are negatively impacted by aircraft noise.”
Gatwick now only allows noise complaints by online form (or paper post) – no longer by phone or email
After changing flight paths in 2014, Gatwick made other changes to flight paths that have affected a lot of people. Many who only had the occasional plane over them now find themselves subjected to one every 5 minutes or less, for hours on end, day after day. Gatwick has also slightly increased its numbers of flights. So people complained. The airport found itself inundated with complaints (which it rather charmingly calls “enquiries”). The number rose 6-fold in a year. Gatwick then changed the system so there could only be one noise complaint per household per day. Gatwick has now found a way to cut the complaints. While in the past people could email or phone their complaint, – now the only means of complaint is filling in a relatively long internet form. Or sending in a complaint by paper post, which has now been made Freepost. This new system means anyone not able to access the internet is effectively prevented from complaining, unless they want to rack up bills. Under the new system there is no limit on the number of complaints per day but each time the ten lines of required information for the form must be filled in. Why is Gatwick so unhelpful? At least the complaint system at Heathrow allows someone to email, or phone and speak to a person. Gatwick’s treatment of its neighbours seems to have taken a further, downward, turn. Not being selected for a new runway, it has given up on any sort of charm offensive with the local residents.
And much earlier – what a wonderful woman !
NOT GUILTY of annoying the airport by complaining for 4 years about Gatwick aircraft noise
An elderly lady, Ann Jones, was recently arrested, at the instigation of Gatwick Airport, for lodging too many complaints with the airport noise complaints line. She was charged with the criminal offence of using a telephone to cause annoyance or anxiety – although she only spoke to an airport answerphone set up to receive noise complaints. She was taken to court but found not guilty. GACC said it was a disgrace the case had ever been brought, wasting public money. Ann Jones had adopted the tactic of ringing the airport answerphone each time she heard a plane. Although unusual, the court decided that this was not illegal. As Ann said: “What is the point of having a complaints service if one can’t use it to complain?”