Here is a query sent to the Department of Health today via their NHS website http://www.info.doh.gov.uk/contactus.nsf/memo?openform:
‘Aviation companies are currently imposing environmental changes on hundreds of thousands of UK residents amounting to forms of torture with noise from planes see eg http://bit.ly/1gcY02Q What is your view on the ethics of this situation? May I particularly draw your attention to the fact that the town of Tunbridge Wells is subjected to thousands of night flights per year under the current flight quota regime for Gatwick Airport. Is this, in your view, a public health issue?’
What Gatwick are doing with the current route trials would be illegal in the context of scientific research. There are fairly stringent regulations in Britain about subjecting people to various environmental changes, and such research cannot go ahead without review by medical professionals see http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Clinical-trials/Pages/Ethicscommittees.aspx
On the NHS Choices website it is stated that:
‘Every clinical trial is covered by regulations that protect the health, safety and dignity of the people taking part.’
It is interesting to note that in it’s review of the scientific literature on night flights last year, the Department of Transport acknowledges the fact that direct research i.e. subjecting human beings to aircraft noise experimentation, would be deemed both illegal and unethical in the UK. This is one of the reasons why, it is suggested, there is little by way of causal relationships established specifically between aircraft noise and ill health. Despite the plethora of evidence suggesting aircraft noise has adverse effects on humans, the Government currently uses this apparent ‘controversy’ as a reason to justify its current under-policing of the aviation industry.
Perhaps the Department of Health should immediately take steps to make the most of the current research opportunity opened up to them and investigate the direct effects of aircraft noise on the people being subjected to it in otherwise quiet places like Warnham right now under the corporate dictate of aviation companies.