Tonbridge MP leads debate on Gatwick flight paths

MP and Council call to scrap airport plans

Measures to radically decrease the impact of aircraft noise are due for a Westminster Hall debate today (Wednesday), led by Tonbridge & Malling MP Tom Tugendhat.

Speaking to the Times, he explained there were four key areas he is putting put to Transport Minister Robert Goodwill to improve the issue, which has plagued thousands of residents and businesses under Gatwick flight paths.

Mr Tugendhat said: “It’s a huge issue, and I want to help people who live under the Gatwick flight path in looking at the ways in which the burden of air traffic is best shared among us.

“One of the things I will be calling for is that the Environmental Protection Act 1990 should include aircraft noise, which is not the case at the moment as it was specifically excluded. I don’t think that should be the case.”

Among the other key issues he will be calling for action on is the Civil Aviation Authority to extend its boundaries from 10 to 18 nautical miles from an airport as the official distance from which noise disturbance is monitored.

Mr Tugendhat said he would also be looking for aviation authorities to agree an alteration in the angle of approach from aircraft to minimise air noise, as well as seeking a clearer definition from government on criteria for significant impact on communities from aircraft noise.

The debate follows confirmation by Gatwick Airport that it had accepted recommendations from an independent review on measures to address air traffic noise.

Earlier this month, Mr Tugendhat put forward an open letter to Martin Rolfe, CEO of the National Air Traffic Services, backed by several other West Kent MPs including Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, Nus Ghani and Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

It stated that communities in West Kent and Sussex had ‘suffered for too long’ with present airspace arrangements that needed urgently addressing.

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