Zac Goldsmith has challenged Heathrow to match Gatwick’s pledge to reduce the impact of aircraft noise for people living under the flight path.

In a recent expansion of its noise insulation scheme, to be rolled out from April, homes around Gatwick can apply for up to £3,000 towards double glazing, while loft insulation has increased by up to 40 per cent.

If Heathrow was to adopt a similar scheme up to 70,000 homes would be eligible to apply for funds - nearly double the current number.

The Conservative MP for Richmond Park said Gatwick’s move was a bold and responsible one by an airport willing to adapt to aircraft noise in line with the latest scientific evidence.

He said: “Heathrow continually downplays the effects of aircraft on the community in its bid to expand its airport, and is using wildly outdated formula for its own insulation scheme.

“Even without expansion, the airport already impacts more people than all other major European airports combined, and it’s time for the management to tackle the issue responsibly and seriously.”

There are currently about 40,000 homes around Heathrow eligible for noise insulation and the airport publishes a quarterly league table to benchmark how quiet individual airline fleets are and how quietly they are flown.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “Our proposal for a third runway would see fewer people affected by noise than today due to quieter aircraft and new flight paths.

“We have said that if government supports a third runway at Heathrow then any areas which do experience new noise or a significant increase in noise should be eligible for free noise insulation.”