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ENVIRONMENT Last modified on April 24, 2014

Environment news - Being a good neighbour

London Gatwick has announced that it is significantly expanding its noise insulation scheme, which it says will make it the “most innovative airport in Europe”.

The new scheme will cover over 1,000 more homes across Surrey, Sussex and Kent, meaning more than 40% more homes will be protected from noise than are covered with the old scheme.

And, householders will be able to apply for up to €3,600 towards double-glazing for their windows, and doors as well as loft insulation.

As part of the new scheme, the noise boundary has been increased by using a lower level of noise from 66 Leq to 60 Leq as a baseline, with the boundary line drawn flexibly to ensure entire roads and communities are included.

Secondly, the noise contour boundary has been drawn along the flight paths, by 15km to both the east and west of the airport, and, Gatwick says, it is not aware of any other airport in the world “offering a scheme of this magnitude”.

The scheme is also said to take into account both the increased sensitivity people have towards noise levels, as well as the frequency of how many times they might be overflown.

If the new scheme is taken up by all eligible households in the Gatwick area, it would cover around 2,000 homes.

Gatwick says the impact of both the level and frequency of aircraft noise on local communities needs to be a critical issue for the Airports Commission, who will recommend next year, whether Heathrow or Gatwick should have an additional runway built.

CEO, Stewart Wingate says: “The leadership position we have taken on aircraft noise shows the importance we attach to our local community as we continue to compete and grow from a single runway, but also as we plan to build a second.

“We understand the public’s tolerance to noise is much lower than it was, which is why we are now extending our noise insulation scheme to cover the 30km flight path east and west of the airport.

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