Gatwick News – Crawley Observer

Concerns over standby runway
3rd July 2019 – Crawley Observer


By Staff Reporter
phone 01403 751200

‘Serious concerns’ about proposals to bring Gatwick Airport’s standby runway into full-time use have been raised by West Sussex council leaders.

Use of the standby runway was one of three options listed in Gatwicks expansion masterplan, alongside more intense use of the existing main runway and safeguarding land south of the airport for a possible new runway in the future. Nine council leaders covering authorities in West Sussex and Surrey have written to Gatwick expressing Serious concerns about the approach and timescales being proposed’ for the airport’s plans to bring the standby runway into use. Peter Lamb, leader of the borough council, and West Sussex County Council’s Louise Goldsmith were signatories.

The letter added: “There appears to be very little recognition by ‘your team of the critical role local authorities perform as representatives of the local community and minimal regard for the importance
of effective and meaningful dialogue between GAL [Gatwick Airport Limited] and our authorities.

‘As you deliberate about whether to progress expansion plans, we urge GAL to genuinely engage with us to increase trust and understanding so we can ensure any proposals benefit our communities.”

In response Stewart Wingate, chief executive officer of Gatwick, said: ‘We believe that this project represents a very significant and strategically important opportunity for the south-east region and is vital for its ability to compete economically. We therefore think that this project should be delivered expediently.

“I should stress at the outset that we completely agree with your statement that there is much to be gained by working constructively together and that we are equally keen to do so.

“I would like to reassure you that all our activities to date have been designed with this in mind, and with the intention of fostering effective communication between us on all matters to do with growth at the airport.”

To make any changes, Gatwick will have to submit a planning application to the planning inspectorate. A spokesman for Gatwick said: “Gatwick consulted on its 2018 draft masterplan late last year, which set out potential scenarios for the airports ongoing development and sustainable growth.

“We are currently analysing the responSes to the 12-week public consultation and extensive engagement with local authorities and communities.

“We plan to publish a report on the consultation and the final masterplan in the near future. “If we were to take forward the proposals to bring the standby runway into routine use, we would follow a statutory planning process including a formal public consultation.

“Gatwick regularly engages with our local councils and communities through many channels and would continue to do so constructively as part of any future developments.”

For all the latest developments visit: website

Gatwick News – Crawley Observer

Gatwick Noise Management
12th June 2019 – Crawley Observer

Letter Page – Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions
phone 01293 845058

With reference to the news release in the Observer of June 5

We can expect the noise complaints to escalate further this summer and those that are not impacted by aircraft noise now need to wake up to Gatwick’s plans.

For the past three years the Gatwick Noise Management Board (NMB) has focused on arriving aircraft noise at 14nm+ from the airport.

The NMB has failed in its attempts to reduce,mitigate and manage noise according to the complaints CAGNE receives daily echoed by the Gatwick flight performance reports that show increases in complaints outside of Gatwick and the Civil Aviation Authorities figures.

The NMB has not dealt with the noise of those significantly affected by the new motorways of departures (PRNAV) introduced by Gatwick in 2014, apart from one Surrey route that faced a legal challenge from a resident.

The NMB has instigated the targeting of those that have little respite from arriving, and departing, traffic at 8-10nm resulting in arriving traffic dropping wheels and flaps of the aircraft to reduce speed so increasing the noise of the aircraft over those closest to the runway.

And communities now have Gatwick via the modernisation of airspace, Future Airspace Strategy Implementation South (FASIS), stage 2 removing Noise Preferential Routes (NPR) that have safeguarded homes outside of departing flight paths for over 60 years.

Communities can also expect Gatwick to return this summer with their master plan to use the emergency runway as a second runway by stealth and safeguard land for a third runway.

Planes may have become quieter but it is the frequency by which they are flown, the targeting of communities with concentrated flight paths, and the impact they are having on residents house values, wellbeing and climate change’ said CAGNE.

Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions

Contact details:


Gatwick News – Crawley Observer

Noise footprint level at Gatwick airport are reduced by seven per cent
5th June 2019 – Crawley Observer


By Staff Reporter
phone 01403 751200

Improved operational procedures – including smoother descents that reduce drag and use less power – and the phasing out of the noisiest aircraft helped reduce the noise levels at Gatwick Airport.

The annual noise exposure analysis carried out by the Civil Aviation Authority found a seven percent reduction on the noise footprint of 2018.

Gatwick Airport

Using the nationally recognised standard measurement (54dBA Leq), Gatwick’s noise footprint shrank from 82.7 Km2 to 77.1 Km2 in 2018 – compared to 2017 – with the number of people living within this noise contour also falling to 10,200 from 10,950.

The survey shows that cumulatively, over the last two years, 900 people have been taken out of this noise footprint as it shrank 11 per cent – reducing in area from 86.5 Km2 in 2016 to 77.1 Km2 in 2018.

It showed Gatwick’s noise footprint has reduced by 48 per cent over the last 20 years and by 14.5 per cent over the last decade.

In terms of future noise reductions, the next generation of aircraft – including the Airbus A320neo, A321neo and A350; and Boeing’s 787 (Dreamliner) – are up to 50 per cent quieter than their predecessors.

In the future the airline fleets that operate from Gatwick will be dominated by these quieter aircraft, with forecasts showing that this type of next generation aircraft will make up 86 per cent of Gatwick’s aircraft fleet by 2032/33, up from three per cent in 2017/18.

The independent Noise Management Board at Gatwick was formed in 2016 and brings the local community and the aviation industry together within a formalised structure and is considered to be an industry leading approach to managing noise issues at a local level.

Andy Sinclair, Gatwick’s head of airspace, said: “We are making good progress against our objective of reducing the impact that aircraft noise has on our local communities, but we recognise that more must be done.

“We are delighted with the work of the Noise Management Board and we hope that it continues its strong influence in decision making at the airport. We will continue to challenge ourselves and our industry
partners and will be introducing a range of new initiatives to reduce noise further in coming years.

Over time, aircraft noise has dramatically reduced at Gatwick and in the next few years I expect to see further improvements as more next generation aircraft are delivered.

Gatwick News – Crawley Observer

Gatwick says sale is a ‘vote of confidence’
2nd January 2019 – Crawley Observer


By Staff Reporter
phone 01403 751200

A majority stake in Gatwick Airport is to be sold to French operator Vinci Airports in a £2.9 billion deal.

The French firm will buy 50.01 per cent of the airport, the UK’s second busiest, while the other 49.99 per cent will be retained by current Gatwick owners Global Infrastructure Partners.

Gatwick chairman Sir David Higgins today described the move as ‘a vote of confidence in Gatwick and its future potential.’

Announcement of the sale came just days after mass disruption was caused at Gatwick by reports of illegal drones invading the airport’s airspace. The airport came to a complete standstill and thousands of people had their travel plans cancelled.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said the new deal with Vinci Airports would not mean any changes to the immediate running of Gatwick. He said he expected the transaction to be completed by the middle of next year.

“This is good news for the airport as it will mean both continuity but also further investment for passengers over the coming years to improve our services further. We currently fly to over 220 destinations around the world and are ambitious to do even more in the years ahead.”

He added: “While today’s announcement marks an exciting moment in Gatwick’s future, my team and I remain focussed on doing everything we can to. help ensure that travel runs as smoothly as possible for everyone over the rest of the festive period.”

Gatwick operates flights to more than 228 destinations in 74 countries for 46 million passengers a year. It generates around 85,000 jobs, with 24,000 of them at the airport itself.

In a draft masterplan revealed in October, Gatwick bosses set out proposals for growth including the routine use of the airport’s current stand-by runway as a second runway, along with retention of land to the south of the airport as a possible future third runway.

A public consultation over the masterplan runs until January 10th.

Protesters say the deal supports cast against expansion

Protest group CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) says the sale announcement is another reason to oppose the Gatwick Masterplan.

The group is calling for people to object to the plan in time for the January 10 deadline for comments.

“This purchase by a French infrastructure company, Vinci, should send a strong message to communities oI Sussex, Surrey and Kent that they will be Seeking to grow this West Sussex airport, at any price to those on the ground that suffer the ramifications of airport, expansion said a statement from CAGNE.

“It has been clear from the outset that Gatwick owner’s pursuit to increase share price by the launch of their master plan for growth of this airport, was to benefit shareholders and not the local economy.

“Their plan to increase concentrated flight paths from the main runway ignores the impact these routes already have on the wellbeing of residents day and night; using the emergency runways as a second runway by the backdoor, and safeguarding the land for a third runway whilst the Government has been clear that they support Heathrow expansion as it links up with other Government major infrastructure projects.

“The Gatwick master plan has obviously been used to entice investors and would seem to have succeeded with today’s announcement.

“This new profit seeking infrastructure company will clearly be looking to implement growth to recoup their investment as GIP shareholders have obtained today whilst ignoring the lack of soft and hard infrastructure; the burden this airport already creates for the local communities, local authorities and those in a 30 mile radius that suffer the intolerable noise of aircraft now.”

Gatwick News – Crawley Observer

Gatwick Airport under fire over ‘vague’ expansion masterplan
12th December 2018 – Crawley Observer

By Karen Dunn
Local Democracy Reporting Service

phone 01403 751279

Gatwick Airport has been accused of promoting its own business interests with ‘little or no concern for how its growth plans would affect the people of West Sussex.

The airport’s draft masterplan was discussed at a meeting of the county council’s environment, communities and fire select committee, in Chichester.

Gatwick’s Design Proposal Infographic showing the existing runways at Gatwick

It lays out three possible expansion plans, including the conversion of the existing emergency runway into full-time use.

The council will be submitting a response to the masterplan as part of a 12-week consultation, which ends on January to, and members were asked for their views.

But they were left frustrated by the information available, calling the masterplan ‘vague’ and ‘lacking in detail’.

Lt Col George Barton (Con, Sompting and North Lancing) said the plan had more ‘ifs, buts and maybes’ than any report he had read.

Asking how members were supposed to criticise, support or weigh up what was in it, he added: “I find this position we’re in now almost impossible.”

He was supported by Heidi Brunsdon (Con, Imberdown), who said: ‘We simply have no details about this plan. “It is a marketing plan for the benefit of a private company who frankly, as I see it, are simply out there trying to promote their own business, with little or no concern about the West Sussex impact for our residents.”

When asked about the amount of detail in the masterplan, airport spokesman Russell Guthrie said: “We are following best practice and consulting people early on our intentions. “While ,this means that not all the detailed work has yet been worked up, more detailed plans, and a public consultation, are likely to follow if we pursue our plans to use our standby runway.”

The impact on residents in Crawley was a point made by Brenda Smith (Lab, Langley Green and Ifield East), who described the masterplan as ‘a second runway by stealth, and said expansion at Gatwick would be ‘absolutely disastrous’.

A number of issues were discussed by members, with concerns raised about sleep deprivation due to noise levels, damage to the local infrastructure from the increase in traffic, and the impact on the environment.

Committee chairman Andrew Barrett-Miles (Con, Burgess Hill North) said: “Growth of business is a good thing. It’s part of our West Sussex plan. But it can’t be at the expense of the environment, of people. There has to be a balance.”

There were also concerns that, if Gatwick was allowed to grow too large, it would suppress economic diversity in the area and lead to ‘significant economic issues’ for the county if anything went badly wrong.

Members suggested that the council could seek a new legal agreement with Gatwick, once the current one expires next year, to safeguard land south of the existing runway for at least 15 years, preventing the building of a second runway.

Mr Guthrie added that Gatwick’s plans could have a ‘significant positive impact on local people, with the possibility of 20,000 new jobs and £2bn in economic growth.

Gatwick News – Crawley Observer

Gatwick noise reduced by quieter jets, says airport
5th December 2018 – Crawley Observer


By Staff Reporter
phone 01403 751200

Gatwick Airport says it has reduced the number of residents suffering noise from Jets.

It says newer planes are up to 50 per cent quieter than older planes.

An airport spokesman said: “The area in the airport’s noise footprint, the standard measurement 52dB leq contour, has reduced by nine per cent since 2008 while numbers of flights in the last decade have grown nine per cent.

“This reduction has been driven by many of the airports new routes being flown by new generation aircraft, for example the Airbus A320-neo -aircraft which are up to 50 per cent quieter on departure than the current models which they are replacing.”

He added: “More recently Gatwick has focused on incentivising airlines to modify their current aircraft fleet. 97 per cent of the Airbus A320 family of aircraft flying from Gatwick, which account for half of all of the airport’s flights, have been modified to reduce noise.

“This modification was a significant factor in reducing the airport’s noise footprint by three per cent in the last full calendar year according to independent noise analysis by the Civil Aviation Authority, despite a three per cent increase in traffic over the same period.”

New generation aircraft, such as the Airbus A320-neo, will be phased in over the coming years.

Gatwick estimates around 30 per cent of its fleet will comprise new quieter aircraft by 2022, 60 per cent by 2027 and 90 per cent by 2032. Growth plans for Gatwick Airport – including controversial proposals for a second runway – were unveiled in October.

Three possible expansion plans are being put forward including the conversion of the airport’s existing emergency runway into full-time use which bosses say could create as many as 20,000 new jobs.

Gatwick News – Crawley Observer

Gatwick Protest
21st November 2018 – Crawley Observer


By Staff Reporter
phone 01403 751200

Protesters from Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) and Community Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE) gathered outside County Mall on Saturday.

They were protesting against controversial plans which would give Gatwick an extra runway, and also earmark land for a third runway. CAGNE chairman Sally Pavey said Gatwick requires taxpayers to sign a blank cheque.

“You have to ask yourself if Gatwick is so wonderful for our local economy, why are our roads crumbling, our railway overcrowded with passengers and luggage, and there is a serious lack of affordable housing, social and health care, and schools now in the surrounding counties?

“Local authorities are already struggling to meet current demands so is this the right time to be agreeing to something that would add 70m passengers with just two runways to our roads and railway line with potentially an inward migration of an additional 12,000 workers?

“The truth is that this Master Plan would escalate our local authorities financial issues further by asking taxpayers to pay for the infrastructure and amenities to support a three runway airport long after the Gatwick management have sold their shares to another overseas pension fund.”

The next and last Gatwick Airport Master plan event is on Saturday November 24, from 3.30pm to 7.30pm in Horley Leisure Centre, Anderson Way.

Annual General Meeting – GACC

From the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign
8th November 2018

Dear GACC Member or Reader,

A reminder of GACC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) this year.

Friday 23rd November 2018

Commences at 7:30pm Doors open 7:00pm

Ardingly Suite
Copthorne Hotel
Copthorne Way
West Sussex RH10 3 PG

Full Agenda to follow but items will of course include :-

  • Report on the past year
  • Accounts for 2017-18
  • Election of Committee **
  • Discussion on Gatwick’s Draft Master Plan and update on Flight Paths

**There are some vacancies occurring on our Committee as some members are retiring after many years of service.

If you are interested in joining the committee please let the Chairman know by 5:00pm on Friday 16th November.

Peter Barclay
Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign

For more information about Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign
phone 01293 863369

Gatwick Airport – Crawley Observer

Gatwick road show ‘avoid’ rural areas
7th November 2018 – Crawley Observer


By Staff Reporter
phone 01403 751200

Gatwick Airport has been accused of overlooking rural communities as it consults on its latest expansion plan.

Gatwick is holding a series of exhibitions this month, setting out ‘its expansion plans. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has accused them of cherry picking urban areas while ignoring rural districts.

A statement from the group said: “Gatwick is to hold public exhibitions in Crawley, Croydon, Horley, Tunbridge Wells, Brighton and Horsham throughout November.

“However, no exhibitions are planned for the neighbouring districts of Mid Sussex; Tanbridge and Mole Valley which are all within the so-called ‘Gatwick Triangle’.”

CPRE Sussex Chair, David Johnson said: “People forget this is a relatively rural area. “The environmental obstacles for Gatwick are extremely serious and cannot be underestimated or ignored. And yet Gatwick has chosen to hold its consultation exhibitions well away from the rural areas which would take the brunt of this damaging proposal.

“Instead they have cherry picked unaffected urban centres in what appears to be a publicity road show which shows no consideration at all for the environment.

“The countryside can’t speak for itself and its voice is being completely drowned out in a shameful publicity drive which is all about profit. Gatwick expansion is not just about a runway – it is also about the millions of extra passengers, cars, new housing and infrastructure which would change the face of Sussex forever.

“Expansion comes with huge baggage that would destroy the very landscapes we seek to protect and promote for future generations. This scale of destruction of wildlife, tranquillity, dark night skies and clean air should be properly appreciated and responsibly publicised before any decisions can be made.

“These venues will be seen as highly inconvenient and quite inaccessible to affected rural communities and those living in the wider Sussex countryside.”

When Gatwick launched its 12-week consultation process last month, CEO Stewart Wingate said: “We would encourage as many people as possible to take part in our consultation process.”

Gatwick Airport – Crawley Observer

Planet ‘cannot afford’ expansion plans – MEP
2nd November 2018 – Crawley Observer


By Staff Reporter
phone 01403 751200

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for south east England, joined protests against plans to expand Gatwick Airport.

He said that, having been passed over in favour of Heathrow Gatwick had devised a plan for expansion ‘by the back door’.

The plan is for the airport to use its emergency runway to create extra capacity.

Keith Taylor, Green MEP

The protest on Tuesday October 30, saw the senior Green politician join local residents, Green Party members and campaigners from the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) at Gatwick Airport.

Mr Taylor, a member of the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee, said: “l’m joining campaigners here because Gatwick’s plans for expansion by the back door are as deceitful as they are reckless. The planet cannot afford airport expansion.

“At the same time, residents cannot afford to have their health and wellbeing even further impacted by the air and noise pollution generated by the airport’s greed.

“Earlier this month climate scientists from across the world came together to highlight the need for urgent and radical action to avoid the very worst effects of a climate breakdown that is already in process. Airport expansion quite literally flies in the face of the government’s claim that it is committed to protecting our planet and our environment.

“Aviation is a top ten global polluter and emissions from the heavily subsidised industry are set to balloon by 300 per cent if action is not taken sooner rather than later. Not accounting for any airport expansion, emissions from aviation are already expected to use up more than two-thirds of the UK’s carbon budget by 2050.

At the same time, the ‘Clean’ Growth Strategy the government has been promoting this month will already see the UK miss its legally-binding climate targets. As Greens, we support a fairer frequent flyer levy that would help reduce demand driven by the privileged few and reduce costs for the average UK holidaymaker.”

GACC chair Peter Barclay, who joined Keith at the protest, added: “Gatwick has decided in a month that highlights the health impacts of noise and an announcement from the UN’s IPCC warning of a crisis in meeting carbon emission limits, to contribute further noise and pollution by suggesting additional runway capacity in its latest Master Plan.

“Having lost the south east runway challenge to Heathrow the owners of Gatwick have decided to create their own runner-up prize via the back door.

“The proposals will create a huge increase the problems already being experienced by local communities – noise, air pollution and excessive road traffic. lt would also put even greater pressure on the tottering road and rail infrastructure both locally and further afield.”

‘Not Now. Not Ever’, say CAGNE protesters

Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE) has launched a new campaign against the expansion plan.

CAGNE members at the Gatwick Masterplan event on November 3

CAGNE chair Sally Pavey said: “This Master Plan is about continuing the blight of these counties for Gatwick’s pursuit of profit. We therefore call upon residents to join us in rejecting the Gatwick Master Plan for a three runway airport in West Sussex.

“lt is more than just airport expansion; it is about the enormous increase in noise that is proposed for the people that have no respite today.

“It is about flying in the face of carbon reductions to save our planet, concreting over our green space for mass housing and industrial parks, not to mention huge road infrastructure projects that would be needed to support an airport of this size.”

Gatwick Masterplan events will be held at County Mall 11am to 5pm Saturday November 17 and Horley Leisure Centre 3.30pm to 7.30pm November 24.

Plan is hailed as ‘ingenious’ and ‘a masterstroke’

The Gatwick Diamond Initiative is backing Gatwick’s expansion plan.

Rosemary French OBE, executive director of the partnership said: “This masterplan is also a masterstroke because in one idea, it has identified a low-cost, safe, sustainable and fast solution to meet its growth needs.

“This important proposal means that our area could benefit from a much-needed second runway in just a few years, possibly even before the third runway is built at Heathlow.

“Time is of the essence, as connectivity with existing and new export and visitor markets is vital as we seek to protect and improve the prosperity of local businesses and people in a post Brexit world.

“We believe that utilising the existing standby runway is a fast, efficient and cost-effective option and the environmental implications are minimised.”

Platinum Publishing Group also welcomed the plan, – calling it ‘an ingenious way to expand’. “What a great wheeze to get around the ridiculous decision to award the second runway to Heathrow,” said a statement from the group.

“The decision should always have been develop both but it seems the government, in their great wisdom, didn’t agree.” It added: “With Brexit upon us, Gatwick’s development will help meet future aviation demand with sustainable growth and ensure strong connections between Britain and global markets.

“It will also provide new opportunities for the South East and-continue to bolster the local economy for future generations.”