MP backs local campaign group on aircraft noise
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has given his backing to a new parish councils group campaigning against aircraft noise in the South Downs area.
The MP met with Peter Drummond, Chairman, and Ian Hare, Vice-Chairman, of the newly formed Association of Parish Councils Aviation Group (APCAG) on Friday (22 April). The group represents residents living in the parishes of Pulborough, Wisborough Green, Kirdford, Loxwood, Plaistow and Ifold who are affected by aircraft noise.
The new group, officially launched last Friday, will act as a unified voice for the communities, comprised of democratically elected parish councils. They seek to participate in discussions with Gatwick Airport, and the related organisations, to tackle concerns over flight noise.
Mr Herbert is due to meet the Chairman of Gatwick Airport, Sir Roy McNulty, this week to discuss the issue of aircraft noise and the independent Arrivals Review which was commissioned by the airport.
Last week the MP called for the recommendations of the Review, including a fair dispersal of flights arriving into Gatwick, to be implemented.
In a House of Commons debate on Wednesday Mr Herbert also called for the level of existing background noise to taken into account when aircraft noise limits are calculated, so that the impact of flights over tranquil rural areas would be properly taken into account.
While the Government's policy is to concentrate aircraft over as few routes as possible in order to minimise the number of people affected, the Aviation Minister said that there may nevertheless be instances in which multiple routes, such as those that can offer respite for communities, can be better.
Nick Herbert said: “I will continue to support local communities who are affected by excessive aircraft noise. I welcome the formation of the Association of Parish Councils Aviation Group and look forward to working with them.
"A second runway at Gatwick would more than double the number of flights and makes this problem worse, with more flights than at Heathrow today."
1. Photograph – Left to right – Peter Drummond, Ian Hare, Nick Herbert.