Gatwick airport applies to have LOWER costs for night flights in summer in 2017/2018
The local campaign group, Gatwick Obviously NOT (GON), has learned that Gatwick airport has applied to the CAA to be allowed to reduce the price charged to aircraft to land at night. The night period is considered, for charging, to be be 22.30 to 04.59. The current charge for the lowest noise category (Chapter 4) planes at to land at night in summer (1st April to 31st October) is £622. There is no charge for the winter period (November to March). Gatwick currently charges Chapter 4 aircraft the same £622 for the period 04.00 to 18.59 in summer, but £204 from 19.00 to 22.29. GON has asked Gatwick to reconsider. They have refused. GON has therefore asked Secretary of State, Chris Grayling, to direct them to think again, as is his right under section 38 (4) and (5) of the Civil Aviation Act 1982. Eight local MPs have written to Chris Grayling, saying: “It is therefore regrettable and in our view not acceptable that Gatwick Airport propose to charge significantly less for night flights than for day flights from 2017/18. This appears to be designed to increase demand for night flights in the run up to your review of the regulatory regime for such flights due in 2017. Any such increase would have devastating impacts on all communities in the vicinity the airport.” GON is encouraging its members to write to MPs etc to make their views felt.
Night flight fight
“Any such increase would have devastating impacts on all communities in the vicinity of the airport” – say 8 MPs
From Gatwick Obviously NOT (GON)
Through the diligence of others we have recently discovered that Gatwick have just applied to reduce night flight landing charges next year, to make them significantly cheaper than the daytime charge (they are presently the same).*
We could not believe it. We still can’t.
We checked, and double-checked. But, yes, this is exactly what they have done. They’ve admitted it, in writing.
We have, of course, suggested they reconsider. They have refused.
So we have asked the Secretary of State to Direct them to think again, as is his right under section 38 (4) and (5) of the Civil Aviation Act 1982.
We’ll let you work out why Gatwick might choose to do this. We think they’ll regret it soon enough.
Surprised? Infuriated? I’m still almost speechless about it.
Local MPs weren’t impressed either, and they all agreed to sign this letter to the Secretary of State in double-quick time. (Drafted by Tom Tugendhat’s office)
This is the moment we have discovered exactly how much trust we can put in Gatwick’s oft-repeated commitment to be a “good neighbour”. (Or put it another way: Please give us the second runway)
And this is the moment you write to the Prime Minister and Chris Grayling (Secretary of State for Transport) and let them know exactly what you think of Gatwick’s plea that they are a “good neighbour” – and your views on their right to be trusted with the platinum-plated, tax-free, ticket to expand.
I really wouldn’t bother writing to Gatwick, there’s no point. (But you can always copy them in).
Many of you have rightly called for a ban on night flights.
Just like Heathrow promised recently.
“The west London airport insisted today it had ‘exceeded’ restrictions recommended by the Commission with a proposal to ban scheduled flights between 11pm and 5.30am, which it would implement as soon as possible after a new runway was given planning consent.”
[In fact, the “promises” by Heathrow on night flights are less good than they are made to look, if studied in detail. It is just “scheduled” flights. Others would probably continue – such as any delayed flight etc. And Heathrow’s existing conditions look far better in terms of noise than the reality. AW note]
At the very least there has to be a very significant premium over day-time charges to reduce the debilitating effect of being woken frequently through the night.
To actually consider reducing the cost to land a plane at night to increase night-time profits is simply indescribably heinous.
We can win this one.
Friends, go to it:
If the PM one bounces back, there is a No.10 form here:
Perhaps for even greater effect, who knows, why not send them a postcard?
No.10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA
DfT, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Rd, London SW1P 4DR
Of Somewhere quite near Tunbridge Wells.
Gatwick Obviously Not)
* One class of particularly noisy aircraft, which accounts for only about 1% of movements, will have increased night-time landing charges.
On Twitter (@manvplane):
The text of the letter from Charles LLoyd, from Gatwick Obviously NOT (GON) to Gatwick:
The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP
Secretary of State for Transport
Department for Transport
33 Horseferry Road London, SW1P 4DR
16 August 2016
Dear Secretary of State
GATWICK AIRPORT 2017/18 NIGHT FLIGHT CHARGING PROPOSALS: REQUEST FOR A DIRECTION
We are writing further to our letter and accompanying memorandum to you of 10 August and the letter from Sir Roy McNulty and Stewart Wingate to Charles Lloyd dated 12 August.
We wish to make clear that nothing in Sir Roy and Stewart Wingate’s letter alters our assessment of the position or the request set out in our letter to you. Gatwick has made clear that it intends to press ahead with its 2017/18 night flight charging proposals which are designed, we believe, to maximize demand for night flights in clear contravention of the Government’s policy and which will impose unnecessary and excessive suffering on communities.
We acknowledge Gatwick’s indication that, subject to certain matters, it “… would not rule out introducing resultant changes in advance of the next [i.e. 2018/19] annual charges consultation”. This is a minor step in the right direction. But it is too little, it would come too late and it is too uncertain for communities impacted by Gatwick’s drive to maximize night flights.
We do not accept that it is not practicable for Gatwick to hold substantive discussion with communities, either direct or via the Noise Management Board, on its 2017/18 night flight charges. Although its process is currently intended to conclude with a GAL Decision Paper in September, we believe that the timetable could be extended and/or that GAL could make use of the exceptional circumstances provision in section 9(3) of the Airport Charges Regulations.
In any event, given that GAL has declined to engage with communities on its 2017/18 proposals we wish to reiterate our request that you direct it to develop alternative proposals, as set out more fully in our letter of 10 August.
We believe that the issues are straightforward and the need for a direction is clear. We do not believe that the timetable can or should be a reason to decline to issue a direction: there are over seven months until the new pricing period commences and communities should not be exposed for a further year to the consequences of charging proposals that are clearly in breach of government policy.
Martin Barraud (GON, Gatwick Obviously Not)
Peter Drummond (APCAG, Association of Parish Councils Aviation Group)
Dr Irene Fairbairn (TWAANG, Tunbridge Wells Anti-Aircraft Noise Group)
Ian Hare (PAGNE, Pulborough against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)
Dominic Nevill (ESCAAN, East Sussex Communities for the Control of Air Noise)
Sally Pavey (CAGNE, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)
Richard Streatfeild (HWCAAG, High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group)
Mike Ward (Plane Wrong)
The above groups are the eight community organisations represented on Gatwick’s Noise Management Board.
The letter from Gatwick on 12th August:
From the same signatories as the 16th August letter – the eight community organisations represented on Gatwick’s Noise Management Board.
For example, taking just a section of the charges tables for 2015/2016 and 2016/2017.
So Chapter 4 planes (the lowest noise category)were charged £561.07 during the night period, in 2015/2016. And in 2016 / 2017 the charge went up to £622.08. But Gatwick now wants to cut this.
Other tables of charges at Gatwick are at
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