That is the message from Tom Denton, the airport’s head of corporate responsibility.
Residents have been complaining about the use of Pr-nav, a new navigation system which means planes fly in tighter corridors, thereby meaning more planes fly over a smaller space.
Last week Gatcom, (Gatwick Consultative Committee) a group which advises airport bosses on issues affecting the community, sent a letter to Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate. Written by chairman Dr John Godfrey, it calls for Gatwick to honour a previous agreement to stop using Pr-nav due to its “detrimental effect” on the community. (See link).
Speaking to the Mirror, Mr Denton said the airport would not rush to make changes to the use of Pr-nav despite public opposition.
He said: “There was an acceptance that should there be detrimental impact we would seek to revert to previous methods.
“Having received all the feedback we are now in the process of assessing that information and assessing the impact of Pr-nav in order to determine if there has been a detrimental effect.”
He added: “Simply switching [Pr-nav] off across the nine routes we are using it on would be a massive undertaking. It is something we need to make sure we have assessed properly.”
While other airports have waited to implement Pr-nav, Mr Denton said the quieter airspace around Gatwick meant Pr-nav was easier to implement there.
But he admitted the system had not been used before and said Gatwick bosses had not known how the community would react.
However, he added: “There are significant positives. But, as is often the way, we hear more from those who are negatively affected.
“We have heard from some people who are happy they are no longer being over-flown, they like that. We are now looking, on a purely factual basis, at how many people are affected by the change to Pr-nav.”
Mr Denton said the assessment of the results of Pr-nav could take “days or weeks” but added it would be done “as quickly as possible”.