Local residents living near Bristol Airport are set to receive £1.8m (US$2.2m) as part of an enhanced noise insulation scheme that accompanies development plans currently being considered by North Somerset Council.
As part of proposals to increase capacity from 10 million to 12 million passengers a year by the mid-2020s, the amount available to households will increase by 50% up to a maximum of £7,500 (US$9,600) per property.
The current scheme, which remains open, has granted in excess of £200,000 (US$256,000) to 70 local properties, but requires residents in the ‘outer’ qualifying noise contour to contribute 50% of the costs of installation.
Under the new proposals, grants will cover 100% of costs up to £7,500 (in the 63dB LAeq 16 hour contour) and £3,750 (in the 60dB and 57db contours). This is intended to encourage take up to ensure as many eligible properties as possible benefit from noise insulation.
James Shearman, head of sustainability at Bristol Airport, said, “These proposals represent Bristol Airport’s most comprehensive noise insulation grant scheme to date and will see us supporting local residents with increased funding for a wider range of noise insulation improvements.
“This scheme goes beyond government policy recommendations and will be among the most comprehensive and wide-ranging offered by a UK airport, demonstrating our commitment to reducing and mitigating the impacts of development on our neighbors.”
North Somerset Council is currently consulting on Bristol Airport’s planning application to increase capacity to 12 million passengers a year. This includes several other proposals relating to noise, retaining many of the current limits on night flying, for which the annual limit of 4,000 movements would be retained – although flexibility on the way this is allocated between summer and winter seasons is being sought.
The overall Quota Count system, based on noise ratings for different aircraft types, will remain in place in order to incentivize the use of quieter, modern aircraft.