It feels like a great milestone that the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) has reached today, with the publication of our first Corporate Strategy.
This document confirms our priorities and sets out our ambitious plans for the next two years. It also represents the culmination of many months’ hard work by ICCAN’s new and still forming team, as well as quite a lot of worn shoe leather.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve personally travelled thousands of miles across the UK getting up to speed with all issues relating to aviation noise, chalking up well over a hundred meetings in the process. The ICCAN team has grown from one to 14, and in recent weeks we have drafted, sought feedback on, and now published a Corporate Strategy. I’m very proud of this document and what it represents.
Since being appointed as ICCAN’s head Commissioner, I’ve spoken to, and more importantly listened to, hundreds of stakeholders. These include community groups representing residents, but also individual residents, airports, regulators, specialists, politicians and local authorities. These conversations have offered me many useful insights.
I’ve learnt about the growing lack of trust between the aviation industry, regulators and communities; about the key issues that need to be addressed such as improving consistency and clarity around noise for the public as well as the need to examine the links between noise and health; and I’ve learnt about the need for change.
As an independent arm’s-length body, we can be that catalyst for change. As a new organisation, without the history of aviation on our shoulders, we can look with a fresh pair of eyes at what is and isn’t working.
We are not just another part of the governance or regulatory establishment but an independent body free to challenge everyone in a quest for better aviation noise outcomes.
This document sets out exactly how we intend to do that, and how we intend to effect change for the better. We have set ourselves some ambitious targets over the next two years, but if we want to make a difference we must strive for big, bold achievements so that we can help to improve the management of aviation noise for the benefit of all.