All major UK airports are obliged to produce Noise Action Plans (NAPs) every five years and to consult the public about their proposals for limiting the noise impacts of their operations. Earlier this year Stansted Airport produced a Noise Action Plan (“NAP”) for the period 2024-28 for consultation as highlighted in this news post.

The  overriding objective of an NAP is “to avoid, prevent or reduce the harmful effects of exposure to environmental noise” and the stated policy  of the UK Government policy is to limit and where possible reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise.

The new NAP is lengthy and contains a great deal of technical information. It is not an easy document to get to grips with but for those prepared to try, a link can be found via the news post above.

Aircraft noise is a matter of common concern in our Parish, particularly over the busy summer months, with the disruptive effects of night flights (Stansted has permission for over twice as many night flights as Heathrow) being a particular issue. These concerns have been heightened following the permission given to Stansted Airport in 2021 to expand its annual passenger number capacity from 35 million to 43 million.

The Parish Council reviewed the NAP and concluded that it falls well short of its statutory objectives and is unlikely to result in any material reduction in the impact of aircraft noise in our Parish. Accordingly it  has, as part of the consultative process which follows the publication of a NAP, submitted a formal response setting out its conclusions and recommending the taking of specific measures to reduce Stansted’s noise footprint. The response can be accessed HERE.

The deadline for all submissions to be received is 7th November 2023, after which a final NAP will be prepared by the Airport for consideration by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (“Defra”), which will either accept it or require further changes. The process  and outcome will continue to be monitored by the Parish Council which will report further as and when the process unfolds.