The Airport is updating its Noise Action plan. We think it continues to be unfit for purpose. Here’s what we think of it so far:
The few taking the hit for the many: The Plan's effectiveness rests entirely on flights being concentrated down narrow flight paths. Noise levels are no longer shared and are massively increased for people living under or close to flightpaths. The Noise Action Plan fails to acknowledge this reality which means it can't begin to resolve the worsening noise problem.
Right now, the Airport is hiding behind the rules and regulations that they claim don’t allow change. We don’t agree. This is a key issue that the Airport has never fully acknowledged.
No targets or deadlines: The absence of noise level targets and deadlines for achieving them means that the effectiveness of the NAP can’t be tested to see if it is making a difference.
Noise monitoring inadequate: The placing and number of noise monitors remains unsatisfactory. They need to be under flight path centre lines to measure the noise experienced by people living at or near flight paths.
Mental and physical health: Aircraft noise is a physical and mental health issue that the Noise Action Plan entirely fails to address.Our noise complaint monitoring data (keeping sending them in here!) indicates that around 50% of the noise complaints channelled through our website cite a combination of "anger" and "anxiety" together as effects of aircraft noise. It’s fortunate for the Airport (and other UK airports) that aircraft noise is exempt from legal challenge.
Our comments in detail: We submitted a detailed critique of the previous NAP. Nothing has changed, all the comments still apply to the current plan. See them here.
The draft of the new Noise Action Plan - based on the 2019 version - includes our comments. BUT, they won't appear in the final version to be published by the Airport. Which is why we keep them on our website for anybody to read.