Airport growth cannot come ‘at any cost’ - that’s the warning being spelled out to bosses at Gatwick Airport.
The message has come from the newly-formed Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise.
It says that Gatwick - and other airports across the UK - need to provide clear information and guidance around noise and how they engage and consult with local communities.
The warning comes just days after Gatwick Airport revealed its final masterplan for development over the next 15 years.
Rob Light, head of the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise, said: “Noise can be an emotive issue and as such people can feel very strongly about aviation.
“This is something that I have seen first-hand meeting with local residents, as well as people from the aviation industry, in and around Gatwick Airport.
“To see the sort of growth in air travel being planned for the UK, intended to benefit the economy, I believe aviation must be sustainable. That means aviation noise should be considered a priority alongside air quality and carbon reduction.
“Aviation growth cannot come at any cost. The Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise will be looking to ensure that aviation noise is better managed, measured and mitigated in the UK.”
The commission says its aims over the next two years include examining links between aviation noise and health and improving the provision of clear data around aviation noise for the public, as well as reviewing how airports consult with local communities.
Rob Light added: “We are aware that some communities have been left frustrated by previous experiences engaging with their local airports, and we want to help restore trust where it has broken down.
“We will do our best to ensure that communities have access to clear, simple and consistent information, that airports engage more widely with local residents and that noise is recognised as a health issue.”