Chairman of Gatwick GATCOM writes to Stewart Wingate, on withdrawal of routes with “detrimental effect”
The Chairman of GATCOM (the Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee) has written to Stewart Wingate, to try to get some clarification for his committee, on PRNAV departure SID implementation at Gatwick. GAL had undertaken to revert to conventional navigation and the withdrawal of P-RNAV where there has been a “detrimental effect” on local communities. GATCOM is disappointed that GAL does not appear to be honouring this undertaking and many members and local communities feel badly let down, particularly in view of the negative effects some of them are now experiencing. GATCOM is asking Gatwick Airport to withdraw a/any P-RNAV SID where it is deemed that there has been a detrimental effect on local communities and revert to conventional navigation at the earliest opportunity. They are asking Mr Wingate quite how such “detrimental effect” has been quantified in the CAA’s airspace change process. GATCOM says it is important that the way in which the Government’s policy of minimising the number of people impacted by aircraft overflight and noise is fully understood and measures put in place to fully compensate those suffering significant disturbance as a result of changes for loss of property value. Also GATCOM want the CEO of the CAA, Andrew Haines, to attend a meeting of GATCOM to explain his interpretation of the present position to members.
Letter to Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport, from Dr John Godfrey
Dr John Godfrey DL
Chairman GATCOM (Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee)
6th February 2015
PRNAV DEPARTURE SID IMPLEMENTATION AT GATWICK
I write to outline the Committee’s concerns about the way in which the implementation of P-RNAV has affected local communities under Gatwick’s departure routes and its request for GAL to honour its undertaking to revert to conventional navigation and the withdrawal of P-RNAV where there has been a detrimental effect on local communities.
As you know, GATCOM was supportive of the early introduction of P-RNAV at Gatwick on the basis of the undertaking given in GAL’s consultation document “PRNAV Departure SID Implementation at Gatwick – July 2012” which stated as part of the post implementation management oversight process set out in paragraph 3.1.5:
“Any issues identified through this management process would be fed by Gatwick Airport into development of the wider P-RNAV roll out expected to take place from around 2018 (see section 1.1.3).
Should any route, which is part of this proposed P-RNAV implementation, be deemed to be of such detrimental effect that it should be permanently withdrawn, and traffic reverted back to the conventional procedure, this will be communicated to the wider population through GATCOM and other aviation stakeholder groups (FLOPSC etc.) and the route withdrawn”
GATCOM is therefore extremely disappointed that GAL does not appear to be honouring this undertaking and many members and local communities feel badly let down, particularly in view of the negative effects some local communities are now experiencing as a result of the new technology and procedures being fully implemented, concentrating aircraft movements along a precise line and causing them significant disturbance.
In respect of the specific issues associated with the 26LAM SID, at the time of GAL’s consultation it was noted that the P-RNAV SID (Proposed Route 4) would be slightly north of the conventional SID and slightly outside the NPR. This was acknowledged by GATCOM at the time but on the understanding that:
• the post-implementation undertaking enabled GAL/NATS to have the opportunity to assess the benefits and negative impacts with time to address and rectify any issues before the final route structure was implemented in 2018 as part of the wider LAMP work.
• the post-implementation undertaking included the possibility of reverting to the previous conventional navigation and the withdrawal of the P-RNAV SID if it was deemed to have a detrimental effect.
GATCOM therefore requests that GAL should review its current position and honour the undertaking to withdraw a/any P-RNAV SID where it is deemed that there has been a detrimental effect on local communities and revert to conventional navigation at the earliest opportunity.
I fully acknowledge and accept that the use P-RNAV technology will be mandated and rolled out across the UK over the next few years. GATCOM welcomes the opportunities to work with GAL, NATS and the CAA in helping to develop the best solutions for the future. GATCOM hopes that in the time leading up to the full roll out of P-RNAV and the wider airspace changes, GAL, NATS and the CAA further explore potential P-RNAV tracks, how they fit with the CAA’s future airspace strategy (FAS), as well as with Government policy, and options for respite.
As you are aware GATCOM raised concerns about the impact of concentrating flight paths which members feel has not been fully assessed nor have possible mitigation/compensation measures been consulted upon by the Government. It is vitally important that the way in which the Government’s policy of minimising the number of people impacted by aircraft overflight and noise is fully understood and measures put in place to fully compensate those suffering significant disturbance as a result of changes for loss of property value.
So that I can keep GATCOM members fully appraised of this matter, it would be helpful if in your response to me you could also advise on the following:
• GATCOM has not been told how such “detrimental effect” has been quantified in the CAA’s airspace change process (ACP) decision letter. Can that definition be shared with GATCOM, please?
• Should it be decided to revert to conventional navigation whilst the issues are further examined, please could you outline the process by which this will be taken forward? Since the ACP for P-RNAV SIDs is now approved, will an ACP/consultation in accordance with CAP778 be required before any reversion to conventional navigation SIDs, or does the undertaking in GAL’s consultation document make this unnecessary?
I understand that the Senior Delivery Group (SDG) is considering the way in which the CAA’s FAS is to be delivered and the issues to be addressed. I know that you have fully briefed the SDG on the issues that have arisen at Gatwick. This work and the SDG’s emerging advice are of vital importance and I ask that GATCOM has the opportunity to input to the Group’s deliberations as “lead airport/ACC” at the earliest opportunity.
I would personally welcome the opportunity to discuss issues with you and the SDG and I hope that you can facilitate this. It would also be helpful if the Chief Executive of the CAA could come to a meeting of GATCOM to explain his interpretation of the present position to members and I shall be grateful if you will raise this issue with him on my behalf.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Dr John Godfrey DL
Minutes of GATCOM meetings are at