Gatwick signals a move to reduce aircraft noise over Tunbridge Wells


    Campaigners for quieter skies over Tunbridge Wells and surrounding villages are giving a cautious welcome to the publication this week of Gatwick’s Final Action Plan.

    Community groups have been calling for changes to the way aircraft approach the Sussex airport for two years.

    Experimentation with flight paths led to a concentration of incoming planes over a narrow strip through the Kent countryside.

    Gatwick now states that it ‘has accepted all of the recommendations of the Independent Arrivals Review’ concluded in January.

    The latest report has identified the modification of A320 aircraft to reduce their high-pitched whine as a priority. This involves fitting older aircraft with vortex generators.

    Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark has secured an assurance from easyJet that two thirds of their aircraft will have been refitted by the end of this month.

    Another of the campaigners’ demands has been met by broadening the approach paths, which should create a fairer dispersal of planes.

    The report also guarantees an increase in the initial altitude of aircraft as they begin their approach to 7,000ft, which means they will fl y higher for longer.