East Midlands Airport committed to sustainable growth


East Midlands Airport’s Noise Action Plan (NAP) outlines its commitment to minimising the impact of noise from flights. Every five years a refreshed draft is published for public comment. This year over 250 responses were received during the consultation period.

Taking on board the comments and feedback received, a re-draft of the NAP is currently being worked on and the amended plan will be published later this year following a meeting with the airport’s Independent Consultative Committee.

The airport’s focus on reducing or limiting noise has been key to achieving the year-on-year growth of its cargo operation, largely driven by the demand for next-day deliveries and e-commerce. EMA is the UK’s busiest airport for dedicated freight aircraft and this has been made possible, in part, because of the airport’s 24-hour operation which is critical for logistics companies to hit their delivery commitments.

Over the last 10 years, the volume of cargo passing through the airport has increased and passenger numbers have grown back to pre-financial crash levels. However, noise levels remain stable and are the same as they were 10 years ago. This is due to the introduction of more modern and quieter aircraft, encouraged by the airport's charges and fines imposed on operators if aircraft exceed noise restrictions.

The NAP clearly states that the nosiest aircraft cannot be scheduled to fly at night. This is a long-standing commitment. EMA proposes to make the noise penalty scheme even more stringent, and to review charges so that they encourage daytime rather than night-time flights.

Steps are also being considered to identify smarter ways of flying that keep aircraft higher for longer thus reducing the level of noise on local communities as they land or take off.

Chris Hayton, EMA’s Head of External Affairs, says:

“We thank all people who submitted responses during the Noise Action Plan consultation. We pride ourselves in being a good neighbour and we work closely with local communities to mitigate any negative impact our operations have on people’s lives.

"As we plan for the future, we will prioritise actions that continue to create the right incentives for airlines to switch to quieter aircraft.

"While we are ambitious for the future of East Midlands Airport and its role in creating thousands of jobs for local people, this must not come at any cost and we remain committed to sustainable growth.”