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£1 million investment by Gatwick allows residents to access aircraft noise data

Gatwick has invested nearly £1 million in new technology that dramatically improves the monitoring of aircraft flights and associated noise – with information updated every second – so that local residents can access data and generate reports on demand, the airport announced today.

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New noise monitor in front of aircraft landing on Gatwick’s main runway.

In a UK-airport first, the new system – provided by EMS Brüel & Kjær – also allows noise complaints to be submitted via an automated telephone line, a key request from the local community.

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.

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.”

Education

Two hundred local pupils attend Eco summit at Crawley school

The Gatwick sponsored ‘Eco, Young, and Engaged’ (EYE) conference saw eight local schools and 200 pupils from Crawley and Horsham attend Ifield Community College on Monday to get a practical understanding of the environment and the importance of sustainability.

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Aged between six and seventeen, pupils chose between 13 workshops where they could learn about making their own compost and the wildlife within it, and about the effect that different clothing materials have on the environment and therefore which ones are more sustainable to buy and wear.

Other workshops included practical team challenges on how to upcycle (reuse) everyday items – such as using old milk bottles as planters for herbs – and how to harness the power of both wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity.

The conference is part of the wider EYE campaign which seeks to bring schools in West Sussex together to focus on the importance of caring for our planet – to promote sustainability and encourage young people’s interest in environmental issues.

Gatwick’s Head of Sustainability, Rachel Thompson, gave an introductory talk on what sustainability is and its importance for protecting the environment.  She also discussed Gatwick’s ‘Decade of Change’ report, which tracks the airport’s progress on ten sustainability targets set over a ten year period (2010 to 2020), and explained how Gatwick’s buildings and fleet are carbon neutral.

The sponsorship of the conference is part of Gatwick’s wider community engagement programme which aims to make lasting and positive impacts to local communities and young people. Gatwick is also partnering with 15 local schools as part of the Primary Engineer programme to help schools teach STEM-based subjects in a more relatable and practical way to inspire more students to study the subjects.

Rachel Thompson, Head of Sustainability, Gatwick Airport said:

“It was great to see the enthusiasm of the students and hear their excellent questions and ideas. We hope today’s event will inspire more eco school projects and also encourage more students to consider studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and pursuing careers in sustainability.”

Irram Ali, Ifield Community College Eco Lead, said:

“It was an honour to have been able to host the first Eco-Summit in Crawley. At Ifield Community College we are focused on encouraging our students to proactively engage with environmental issues and this was an excellent opportunity for such engagement to take place. All students were passionate and enthused and will hopefully implement some of their new knowledge in our local schools and community.”

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