A REPORT released today shows aircraft noise could be five times higher than previously thought around Gatwick.

Campaigners are calling for the Government to improve the way it monitors aircraft noise as new research shows current maps seriously under-estimate the issue.

The research, commissioned by countryside charity CPRE was carried out by Aviation Consultants, To70.

The study maps data which measures the impact of noise pollution at lower levels than those currently mapped in the UK. These low levels, which are already used for monitoring noise pollution in other European countries, are believed to be a better indicator of the true impact of noise pollution

The report uses Gatwick as an example and finds that applying appropriate standards increases the area affected by aircraft noise fivefold.

Campaigners say measuring noise at a lower level than currently mapped is a more accurate representation of the extent and severity of the noise pollution:

CPRE Sussex director Kia Trainor said: “We are becoming more sensitive to low level aircraft noise.For many people it is not just a minor annoyance. Noise has been linked to serious health issues such as cardiovascular disease, depression and anxiety and disturbed sleep.

“There are also other less quantifiable impacts such as fear, for example about climate change or safety, and the stress caused by the discovery that a formerly quiet location where you live is increasingly blighted by noise pollution.”

The report recommends the UK should monitor and report at lower noise threshold levels as this better reflects people’s experience of aircraft noise. It suggests the Government should commission independent research into the impact of aviation noise on health and calls for the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise to be given statutory powers so communities’ distrust of the aviation industry is reduced.

Campaigners also say the Government should include aviation CO2 emissions within the net zero greenhouse gas emissions target and further aviation expansion should be ruled out on climate grounds.