“Independent Arrivals Review” for Gatwick airport, published by Bo Redeborn and Graham Lake
The Gatwick Airport Arrivals Review, led by Bo Redeborn and Graham Lake, carried out for the airport, has been published. The purpose of the review was: “To make sure everything that can reasonably be done to alleviate issues raised by the local community is being done.” and “To understand if the way Gatwick communicates with and provides information to the local community, including the handling of complaints, is fully adequate.” The review set out some practical steps to slightly reduce the noise problems being experienced, including increasing CDA, reducing “stacking”, setting up an independently chaired noise management board, and improving the noise complaints system – among other things. However, Gatwick’s welcome for the review is carefully worded; the normal weasel words are in there. Such as: “Gatwick Airport has welcomed the report and its recommendations and will examine the report’s conclusions with a view to proceeding with as many of them as possible in the shortest practicable time.” And “There is no silver bullet that will ever eliminate the problem of aircraft noise but taken together I believe that these measures can make a real difference.” And “We want to act as soon as possible on these recommendations so people can start to feel the difference but we cannot do so alone.”
28.1.2016 (Gatwick Airport press release)
In response to feedback from some of our local residents and resident groups, we commissioned an independent review of air traffic around Gatwick, focusing in particular on westerly arrivals.
The Arrivals Review was led by industry experts Bo Redeborn and Graham Lake who were asked to provide a fully independent and professional analysis and report. As part of the review, Bo, Graham and their small team, engaged with an extensive range of organisations, individuals, Parish, Town and District County Councils and MPs. They also held three interactive public meetings with local MPs which were attended by several hundred people. In addition, they received feedback and comments by email.
Key focus of the review
The review took over four months to complete and was published on 28 January 2016. Its main aim was:
- To make sure everything that can reasonably be done to alleviate issues raised by the local community is being done. This includes by Gatwick Airport as well as other agencies closely involved in the industry ie. NATS, CAA, airlines and the DfT
- To understand if the way Gatwick communicates with and provides information to the local community, including the handling of complaints, is fully adequate.
Main findings of the review
You can read the full Independent Review of Arrivals here.
The reports sets out 23 practical steps that can be taken to improve noise and the key recommendations and findings from the review are as follows:
- To reduce the number of aircraft holding over land
- To improve use of continuous descent arrivals (CDA) which would generate significantly less noise, and increase the sequencing and spacing of arrivals
- To accelerate the modification of the Airbus A320 family of aircraft to reduce the whining noise they make during the approach phase of flight
- To establish an independently chaired noise management board to oversee joint strategies to deal with noise around the airport
- To develop a comprehensive online complaint management system
The review has proposed a timeframe for the introduction of its recommendations, many of which could be operational within 12 months.
What happens next?
We welcome the report and will look at all of its recommendations with the aim of acting as quickly as possible, so that local communities begin to notice a difference. Obviously, we need to do this in partnership with the CAA and NATS and will start talks with them as soon as we can.
In the meantime, we will set up a noise management board – as recommended in the review – as the first step in the process. The board will include representatives from Gatwick Airport, the CAA, NATS, elected council members and residents’ representatives, and will have an independent chair.
Read the full Independent Arrivals Review is at
Bo Redeborn bio
Amongst other current activities, Bo is currently an independent member of Gatwick’s Environment, Health and Safety and Operational Resilience Committee. From 2011-2014 he was Principal Director Air Traffic Management in EUROCONTROL and, before joining EUROCONTROL in 2009, he was Manager Air Traffic Management and later Manager Air Traffic Management Support and Development in the Swedish CAA (LVF).
Gatwick’s press release said:
Independent Review of Arrivals: Gatwick welcomes recommendations to help address issue of aircraft noise for local people
- Gatwick Airport welcomes Independent Review of Arrivals published today
- Recommendations designed to improve noise impacts on local residents
- Input received from MPs, community stakeholders, CAA, DfT, NATS, airlines and Gatwick
The Independent Review of Arrivals – commissioned by Gatwick Airport Chairman Sir Roy McNulty – has been published today and identifies measures aimed at reducing the noise impacts of arrivals traffic on local residents around Gatwick.
The review summarises the conclusions of a four month consultation and technical exercise undertaken by Bo Redeborn and Graham Lake to determine whether more could be done to lessen the impact of noise on local residents and improve engagement between Gatwick and the community.
The review has proposed a timeframe for the introduction of its recommendations, many of which could be operational within a twelve month period, and include:
- reduced aircraft holding over land
- improved use of continuous descent arrivals generating significantly less noise and increased flexibility for sequencing and spacing of arrivals
- accelerated aerodynamic modification for the Airbus A320 family of aircraft to reduce the noise they produce during the approach phase of flight
- the establishment of a noise management board to oversee joint strategies to deal with noise around the airport; and;
- development of a comprehensive online complaint management system
Gatwick Airport has welcomed the report and its recommendations and will examine the report’s conclusions with a view to proceeding with as many of them as possible in the shortest practicable time.
In particular, Gatwick has welcomed the proposal for the establishment of a noise management board as the first step in this process. The board is intended to include representatives from Gatwick Airport, the CAA, NATS, elected council members and residents’ representatives, and would operate under an independent chair.
Bo Redeborn said:
“The review team has been struck by the positive and constructive inputs to the study by all those involved, and it is our strong hope and belief that this report will provide a basis on which all concerned can move forward in that spirit to deliver a significantly better situation for the residents living close to the airport’s flight paths.
“We wish to record our sincere thanks to the many individuals and organisations that have contributed their views to permit the development of these findings and recommendations.”
Gatwick Airport Chairman Sir Roy McNulty said:
“I am grateful to Bo and Graham for their Report and the way they have approached the task. As an airport we recognise our responsibility to do everything we can to reduce the noise impact on local people – in particular, those people who are most affected. That is why we commissioned an independent review last summer looking at aircraft arrivals to see what more can be done. While the number of people significantly affected by noise at Gatwick is relatively low for an airport of its size, we want to improve further.
“This report sets out 23 practical steps – from holding planes longer over the sea, to improved use of continuous descent approaches and increased dispersal of arrivals. There is no silver bullet that will ever eliminate the problem of aircraft noise but taken together I believe that these measures can make a real difference. Airports have to demonstrate that impacts on their local communities have been fully taken into account, and we have been encouraged by and benefitted from the constructive engagement of local groups in this review.
“We want to act as soon as possible on these recommendations so people can start to feel the difference but we cannot do so alone. We will be taking forward urgent discussions with the CAA and NATS on a timetable for change. In the meantime it is our intention to move ahead with establishing a Noise Board with an Independent Chair.”
Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate, said:
“We welcome the conclusions of this review and the recommendations that have been put forward. In aggregate, I am sure that they will allow for reduction in the noise impacts of our arrivals traffic, which I am sure will be welcomed by our local community.
“Over the next few weeks we’ll be analysing the conclusions of the Review together with our aviation partners so as to arrive at an action plan that will, I hope, allow for the implementation of as many of the recommendations as possible in as short a time as can be practically managed.”
Arrivals Review for Gatwick suggests a range of measures to slightly reduce the noise problem
The Arrivals Review, by Bo Redeborn and Graham Lake, has now been published. It has made a series of recommendations for ways in which the aircraft noise problem might be slightly reduced – without limiting the capacity of the airport at all. These recommendations are copied below. The report is wide-ranging, with a lot of issues covered. Below just what is says on four topics (chosen arbitrarily by AirportWatch, to give a taster of the report) is included. These are 1). The decision to move the joining point onto the ILS to be a minimum of 8nm from touchdown, rather than the 10nm used at present. 2). Changing the way Gatwick uses its runway in nil or low wind. 3). Deterring flights being delayed to take-offs occur during the night period, as a Key Performance Indicator. 4). The noise complaints policy needs to be improved. (The review comments: “the current limit of one noise complaint per day per household is considered wholly unacceptable by those residents addressing this issue with the review. It is easy to understand their point of view.”) They propose: “that Gatwick should establish an enhanced complaints policy with no daily limit and a fully transparent procedure, as soon as possible, using an on-line form as the sole electronic complaint registration medium.” The Review also recommends the establishment of a Noise Management Board (NMB) by summer 2016.