Gatwick Airport has announced that the households most affected by noise from its second runway would receive an annual compensation equivalent to band a council tax, which currently stands at Â£1000, once the proposed runway becomes operational.
The airport is planning to build a second runway at the south of the existing airport, and has outlined a three-point approach of noise reduction, mitigation and compensation to support its expansion plans.
An estimated 4,100 households are expected to qualify for the scheme, which is a part of the airport’s planned package of measures for local residents.
Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: “Expansion at Gatwick would, without doubt, deliver many upsides for our local community in terms of jobs and investment.
“But we must also recognise the negative noise impacts on local people from more flights. Gatwick’s location obviously means that comparatively fewer people would be affected by a new runway. However, I believe we must do more to help those that would be affected.
“How we best compensate communities affected by major infrastructure projects is an issue facing a growing number of sectors, from aviation to energy. Our proposal would see the people most affected by expansion at Gatwick receiving monetary compensation.”
Gatwick Airport has taken up several initiatives to protect communities from noise pollution. In 2012 it received approval to implement precision navigation, which allowed aircraft to fly on narrower flight paths, enabling the aircraft to fly over less densely populated areas.
The airport recently became the first in the UK to fully consult on modernising its airspace, which it believes could potentially reduce noise annoyance for over 65% of households currently affected.
Earlier this year, the airport offered hundreds more local homes up to Â£3,000 towards double glazing and loft insulation.