easyJet changes Gatwick flights to take off more steeply above East Grinstead to cut noise
easyJet has agreed to changes so flights taking off from Gatwick in an easterly direction will climb at a sharper incline than before, and climb higher much faster. This is after East Grinstead town council intervention. The change will reduce noise levels on the ground in the north east of East Grinstead. Complaints there about aircraft noise had risen by 500%, with 2,000 households in the Imberhorne suffering from early morning and late evening noise disturbance. It appears that easyJet was flying at a lower altitude over East Grinstead than other airlines.
easyJet changes Gatwick flights above East Grinstead
By Lewis Dean
AIRCRAFT are soaring higher into the sky over East Grinstead to reduce noise levels on the ground after town council intervention.
Budget airline easyJet has agreed to changes that see flights taking off from Gatwick Airport in an easterly direction ascending at a sharper incline than before and climbing higher much faster.
OH SO MUCH MORE QUIET: All easyJet flights taking off in an easterly direction are now flying higher than before over East Grinstead
The move comes after a meeting with East Grinstead town councillors who lobbied for a change to take-offs that were causing disruption for residents in the north east of the town.
The Courier & Observer told in September how complaints about aircraft noise had risen by 500 per cent, with 2,000 households in the Imberhorne area believed to be suffering from early morning and late evening disturbance.
However, after a meeting with the airline, the town council’s public services committee chairwoman Heidi Brunsdon said residents should notice a reduction in noise levels.
“We had an open and frank discussion with easyJet’s operations manager at Gatwick about the increased noise levels over East Grinstead,” she said.
“We suggested that easyJet could put in place a vertical take-off which means planes take off at a steeper climb and would be at a higher altitude over East Grinstead.
“I looked at Radar 24, which tracks live flights online, and easyJet was flying at a lower altitude over East Grinstead than other airlines and my argument was that if flight take offs were altered there would be improvement in respite for residents.
“Altitude is a consideration when it comes to noise as the thrusters are still going and a more acute take-off would limit the noise.
“So easyJet agreed to go back to the simulator and have a play to try out the vertical take-off.
“My understanding is that they came back and said, ‘You’re right’. Since the decision to change the take-off, planes which have been taking off in an easterly direction have recently been as high as 3,000 feet over East Grinstead.”
Town councillors who represent the wards most affected by the noise held the meeting with easyJet in November.
The company came back to them in early December saying it would immediately implement steeper take-offs for the 30 per cent of its flights that use the easterly trajectory, adding that it would not simply shift the routes towards another community to solve the problem.
Cllr Brunsdon added: “This is a real success.
“This was a holistic solution for everyone and not a matter of shoving noise on to other residents or communities.”
The councillor, who lives under the flight path herself, added that it was now vital to monitor flights to ensure easyJet has kept to its commitment.