First aircraft noise summit held

Airport bosses are joining residents' groups today for the first aircraft noise summit.

Residents groups and airport chiefs are meeting for the first time to discuss aircraft noise
Residents groups and airport chiefs are meeting for the first time to discuss aircraft noise

Those due to speak include Gatwick Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate, Heathrow's sustainability director Matt Gorman and veteran Heathrow anti-noise campaigner John Stewart, who chairs the residents' group Hacan.

Also due to speak at the summit in London are London mayor Boris Johnson's aviation adviser Daniel Moylan and Philip Graham, the head of secretariat at the Airports Commission, which is due to make final recommendations on a new runway for southern England in summer 2015.

The summit is being held to discuss practical solutions to the issue of aircraft noise and is being staged by business group London First, by the Let Britain Fly campaign group and by Hacan.

Let Britain Fly director Gavin Hayes said: "It's vitally important to do everything possible to enhance the quality of life of all of those who live around Britain's airports.

"I therefore warmly welcome the commitment of all participants to work together for the wider good. The summit is perfectly timed. There is a golden opportunity to ensure that aircraft noise is managed more effectively, progressively reducing it and the number of people it affects.

"We believe that the Government must seize this opportunity. We therefore call on them to create the role of the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman, and for the other main political parties to support that process."

Mr Stewart said: "I'm delighted that the entire aviation community is coming together for the summit. This initiative is long overdue, and therefore one which I welcome hugely.

This is the first time that organisations from all points of the spectrum in the debate on aircraft noise have co-operated in this way to find solutions. That debate has for many years been challenging, complex and, regrettably, fraught. We believe that the time has come for a fresh start to efforts to break the deadlock."