By Stobart Aviation CEO Glyn Jones
On 21 July, London Southend Airport announced its new, independent community forum, the London Southend Airport Community Noise Forum (LSACNF). The LSACNF is being established to create and maintain an impartial pathway for local communities to engage with the airport, and to increase trust, transparency and clarity on noise issues associated with London Southend Airport.
The airport delivers clear social and economic benefits to its communities but is also very aware that its operation causes concern to some of its neighbours. It is keen to address this to the greatest extent possible. While aircraft will make noise, the hope is that the LSACNF can work with the airport to identify opportunities and solutions for addressing and managing noise. Including representatives from the local community, and an independent chair to lead the meetings, the LSANCF aims to identify active solutions and seeks to make genuine progress.
The LSACNF is designed to hear and engage with local concerns, seeking resolution. It is not limited to aircraft noise and will provide an open forum to discuss any noise-related issues. The independent chair will lead the meetings with a clear agenda to seek improvements, identify any positives and discuss any areas of concern. The chair position is currently being advertised and the airport encourages interested people to apply. More information can be found here on the LSACNF website.
In preparing its approach to the development of LSACNF, London Southend Airport took detailed advice from ICCAN, the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise, and drew on its best practice guidance for airports engaging with their communities. Southend Airport also sought advice from the experience of other airports who have set up and operated a Community Forum, to find out what has worked well and learn from their experiences.
Applications for membership have already been received from members of the community, enabling the core of the forum to be established in September 2021. The forum will meet on a quarterly basis for a duration of two hours, with the first meeting expected to be in the fourth quarter of 2021. It will address noise issues at a strategic and technical level.
The LSACNF will not itself make decisions; its power comes from its ability to make evidence-based recommendations to the relevant decision-makers. We very much look forward to engaging with its members, and hope that it can gain the support and trust of communities living around the airport.