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Gatwick Proposes Windfall Noise Payment in Tussle With Heathrow

London’s Gatwick airport proposed paying 1,000 pounds ($1,666) a year in compensation to people affected by noise from a planned second runway as it seeks to get the go-ahead for expansion ahead of the city’s Heathrow hub.

Gatwick would pay the sum as a contribution toward council tax, a levy that funds local services, for about 4,100 homes, it said in a statement. About 1,600 households are affected by noise today, it added, citing Civil Aviation Authority figures.

“Environmental issues are at the center of the debate about runway capacity,” Gatwick Chief Executive Officer Stewart Wingate said. “Noise reduction, mitigation and compensation are therefore at the heart of our expansion plans.”

Gatwick and Heathrow were shortlisted as preferred options for growth in a preliminary report on U.K. runway capacity released in December. A second strip at Gatwick could cost as little as 5 billion pounds, versus 14 billion pounds at Europe’s busiest airport, which is more constrained by urban development.

Gatwick, owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, said last month that it would also pay to upgrade more than 1,000 homes with anti-noise measures, providing 3,000 pounds per house to fund work including double glazing and loft insulation.

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