MP raises aircraft noise with Gatwick chiefs

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert urged Gatwick Airport to be more responsive to community concerns about aircraft noise when he met aviation chiefs and the Transport Minister in Parliament last week (Wednesday 11 July). 

Mr Herbert met the Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg and Gatwick’s Chief Executive, Stewart Wingate, along with representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority, the National Air Traffic Service and a number of MPs whose constituents are affected by noise from Gatwick air traffic. 

The MP raised concerns on behalf of local communities who had complained about aircraft noise.  He said: “What we need from Gatwick is more engagement and serious attempts at noise mitigation.  A number of my constituents, particularly in Petworth, have been very frustrated by Gatwick failing to acknowledge that their air traffic has been the cause of the disturbance.  At one point, Gatwick and Heathrow were just blaming each other.” 

Earlier this month community noise groups wrote to Gatwick Airport’s Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive to say that they had “lost confidence in the ability of the Noise Management Board, as currently constituted and led, to deliver positive and timely change in the noise environment around Gatwick”. 

At the meeting in Parliament MPs echoed this view, arguing that the current system of leaving Gatwick Airport to monitor noise issues was failing communities.   

The Minister agreed that more needed to be done to lessen the impact on local communities, and she promised a follow-up letter to MPs to outline the new actions being taken by the Government.  She said that community groups should engage with the Government’s policy on airspace modernisation and its new Aviation Strategy, which is currently under development. 

The Government is committed to ensure sufficient airport capacity to meet future demand, but believes that advances in technology, for example reducing the need for stacking, can reduce the amount of noise on the ground.  The Government has also said that people who live near airports should have a greater say in the changes which affect them. 

In January Mr Herbert took part in a Commons debate on Gatwick noise and urged ministers to speed up their Aviation Strategy, a draft of which should be published for consultation before the end of the year. 

***UPDATE*** 20 July:  Nick has now received the Aviation Minister's written response to the meeting, which is available to read here.



  1. To read a copy of the letter which Nick co-signed to the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, see here.

  2. To read Nick’s speech in the January debate on Gatwick noise see

  3. To read the letter from community groups, including Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE), People Against Noise and Emissions (PAGNE), and the Association of Parish Councils Aviation Group (APCAG), see here

  4. To read the Government’s policy paper on UK airspace policy see  

  5. Photograph – Left to right – Nick Herbert with members of the Association of Parish Councils Aviation Group (APCAG)).