Gatwick airport news up to December 2013

 

Surrey Chambers of Commerce delighted Airports Commission short-listed a new Gatwick runway

December 30, 2013

Gatwick Airport is a member of the Surrey Chambers of Commerce. It is therefore no great surprise to find the Chamber has expressed its pleasure that the Airports Commission has short -listed Gatwick as one of two sites for a new runway. They say businesses in the south east would benefit. They also believe businesses (ignoring affected residents?) would benefit even more by having a new runway at Heathrow too. They have in the past backed Gatwick’s idea of a new runway at both Gatwick and Stansted – though that has been ruled out for the time being, by the Commission. In the view of the Chamber, a new runway would provide” significant economic benefit and sustainable employment in the South East.” And they want it as soon as possible. They want “access to excellent overseas connections, not only for our local businesses but also for the multi-nationals that locate here rather than in other parts of Europe.” The Chamber will hold a panel discussion at Epsom racecourse on 12th March on the Heathrow, Gatwick and Grain runway options. “Whilst there are still decisions to be made we are confident that investment in the South East will bring an excellent rate of return,” says the Chamber. Click here to view full story…

Anger of residents near Sevenoaks over NATS’ Gatwick flight plan proposals

December 29, 2013

There is currently a consultation, by NATS, on changes to flight paths to and from Gatwick (as well as London City, Southend, and Biggin Hill airports) that ends on 21st January. There is real concern in the Weald area, that is overflown by Gatwick flights, that planes may bring them flights overhead flying at less than 4,000 feet over them from 2015. NATS and Gatwick claim the changes will “make the airport more efficient, reduce delays and allow more departures per hour”, so making things more convenient for air travellers. Weald residents are outraged at the disturbance these changes, for passenger benefit, could cause them. They have formed a campaign – the Weald Action Group Against Noise – and have organised petitions. They will deliver the signatures to Sevenoaks MP Michael Fallon and are urging people to contact him directly via e-mail and to object through the online Gatwick Airport and National Air Traffic Services public consultation as well. The action group fears the proposals would “bring considerably more flights directly over Weald village at a height of under 4,000 feet”, creating noise up to 70 decibels, equivalent to the sound of a vacuum cleaner, with more than 20 flights an hour at peak times.” Gatwick says “overall” the changes will reduce noise for those living below – but that ignores far worse conditions created for some. Click here to view full story…

Why the Commission’s ‘green light’ for a new runway could still turn out to be a ‘red light’ – due to local environmental impacts

December 20, 2013

James Lees, from the Aviation Environment Federation, writing in the Huffington Post, says that while recent days have seen the 3 major parties edge towards a potential about-face on the desirability of a new runway for the south east, the underlying reasons for their opposition to it back in 2010 have not changed. In 2010 David Cameron famously promised “no ifs, no buts, no third runway” at Heathrow; Nick Clegg warned a 3rd runway would be a “disaster”, and Ed Miliband threatened to resign from Cabinet over the issue. The reason that politicians came out against a new runway in 2010, reversing a decision in favour of new runways at Heathrow and Stansted, wasn’t for a lack of perceived need but down to the power of local opposition. This came from the impact of aircraft noise, its associated health impacts – and also local air pollution and air quality limits. The Airports Commission has so far only paid lip service to the importance of community opposition, mainly addressing only the issues of demand and capacity. The interim report provided no more than vague reassurances to the affected communities. Without satisfactory reassurances from the Commission, communities will look to politicians to provide these. The Airports Commission has failed for now to achieve its purpose to take the politics out of the airports issue. The Interim Report has just re-opened the political debate.   Click here to view full story…

Fears Ifield would be swallowed up if Gatwick builds second runway

December 19, 2013

With the Airports Commission having made a southern runway at Gatwick one of their options, the people of the villages of Ifield and Langley Green are very concerned about the impact of a very busy full length runway, merely a few hundred metres away. The Ifield Village Association has expressed fears that a runway would destroy Ifield as a pleasant place, and convert it into an area beset by noise and acting just as a service area for an enlarged airport. A 2nd Gatwick runway could lead to there being aircraft flying across the northern tip of Ifield village every few minutes for much of the day. Ifield is already disturbed every few minutes by aircraft climbing out of Gatwick Airport about a mile to the north. If the runway brings huge development and many new jobs, that would mean bringing in workers from other areas – from the UK and from Europe – who would require up to 40,000 new houses. “Crawley already has a housing crisis, new houses would be built on open country in neighbouring authorities. Ifield village could be absorbed into massive new housing estates and lose its access to open country.”       Click here to view full story…

Crawley MP says airport must show how it would manage impact of second runway

17.12.2013

Crawley’s MP Henry Smith has said Gatwick Airport must produce plans for upgrading roads, housing and hospitals if it wants to win its case to build a second runway. Following the Airports Commission’s report shortlisting Gatwick Airport and two options at Heathrow for expansion, Mr Smith said: “… if the airport wants to see runway expansion, then over the next 18 months before the Commission finally reports, it must clearly demonstrate how it would manage and mitigate the impact on the Crawley and area community, including a comprehensive plan for upgrading local infrastructure such as highways, housing and hospitals.”  Labour prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Crawley Chris Oxlade said: “I welcome the Airports Commission to include Gatwick in the three options as now a proper debate can commence over the future of Crawley and its airport.   http://www.crawleyobserver.co.uk/news/local/crawley-mp-says-airport-must-show-how-it-would-manage-impact-of-second-runway-1-5755075 

GACC says they have fought off runway plans in 1970, 1993 and 2003 – and they’ll fight this one too

December 17, 2013

Responding to the news that a second, southern, runway is on the Airports Commission shortlist for further detailed consideration next year, the local community group GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) said the news was no surprise. For the past year GACC has assumed that Gatwick would be included. Now it is clear the so-called ‘wide-spaced’ runway option will be examined – the one that would cause most environmental damage. Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC, said: ‘Now the battle is for real. The battle lines are drawn. Now the spotlight is on Gatwick the next step will be to examine the runway plans in detail, and it will be found that Gatwick is an unsuitable site. GACC agrees with Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, RSPB, WWF and other national environmental organisations that any new runway cannot be reconciled with the UK’s obligations under the Climate Change Act. A new runway used to full capacity would cause substantial environmental damage to all the towns and villages for many miles around Gatwick. In addition to the usual issues of noise, pollution and climate change, one of the emerging concerns is that making Gatwick larger than Heathrow would lead to the urbanisation of much of Surrey and Sussex. That will be fiercely opposed. GACC has fought off plans for new runways about every 10 years, in 1970, 1993, and 2003. And GACC say they will do it again this time. Click here to view full story…

Airports Commission publishes interim report with 2 options for a runway at Heathrow and 1 at Gatwick. Estuary still being considered

December 17, 2013

The Airports Commission’s interim report has put forward 3 options for a new runway, and have kept their options open on an estuary airport. There would only be one runway, not two and they consider this should be in operation before 2030. At Heathrow the choices are a north west runway, 3,500 metres long, destroying Harmondsworth; and an extension westwards of at least 3,000 metres, of the existing northern runway. They also consider a wide spaced Gatwick runway to the south. The Commission also says “there is likely to be a demand case for a 2nd additional runway to be operational by 2050.” They claim this is “consistent with the Committee of Climate Change’s advice to government on meeting its legislated climate change targets.” Stansted is ruled out, and on the Thames Estuary they say: “The Commission has not shortlisted any of the Thames Estuary options because there are too many uncertainties and challenges surrounding them at this stage. It will undertake further study of the Isle of Grain option in the first half of 2014 and will reach a view later next year on whether that option offers a credible proposal for consideration alongside the other short-listed options.” The report also contains recommendations to the government for immediate action to improve the use of existing runway capacity. Among others, these include better airspace organisation and surface transport improvements such as enhancement of Gatwick station, a rail link from the south to Heathrow, and a rail link between Heathrow and Stansted. Click here to view full story…

Responding to the Airports Commission’s interim announcement, campaigners vow to fight any expansion at Heathrow and at Gatwick

Date added: December 17, 2013 The long-awaited interim report from the Airports Commission has now been released. After leaks that Heathrow had been the main choice for another runway, this was confirmed. The shortlist sets out 3 main options: the north west runway at Heathrow, (not demolishing Sipson, but putting it right under the flight path); the northern runway option of the Heathrow Hub concept, which had suggested two runways, built west of the existing ones; and a second runway at Gatwick. Stansted is ruled out. Most Thames estuary options are ruled out, but the Isle of Grain proposal will be given further consideration and is not yet “ruled in or ruled out”. The Commission will be deciding over the next 18 months on whether the runway should be at Gatwick or at Heathrow. There is already fury over much of west London, that people face not only uncertainty for the next year and a half, till the Commission’s final report in summer 2015, but also the nightmare of a massive increase in the number of flights. The announcement will act as the trigger to 18 months of intense campaigning against Heathrow expansion, and against Gatwick expansion. John Stewart, chair of HACAN, said that at Heathrow “The scale of the opposition will be so great that we believe that they are politically undeliverable and should have been dropped at this stage.” Click here to view full story…

Extra runways at both Gatwick and Heathrow not viable without ‘illegal’ state aid

December 13, 2013

Gatwick has complained that “massive” and potentially illegal public subsidies would be needed to support the construction of additional runways at more than one airport in the South East. They say there will be insufficient demand from passengers to support building a second runway at Gatwick and a third at Heathrow at the same time. An injection of taxpayer funds would, therefore, be required to justify the costs, the airport said, although that could potentially breach state aid rules. Gatwick has published a report listing 10 reasons why Heathrow expansion would be bad for Britain in a last ditch attempt to persuade the Airports Commission that its own proposals should be included on a short-list to be published on Tuesday 17th. Rival airports have been growing increasingly concerned after leaks that Sir Howard is likely to short-list only 3 potential options for new runways, all including at least one at Heathrow. Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG, said: “We firmly believe all credible options should be considered and taken forward for more detailed assessment during the next phase of the process. This is not, and should not be a two horse race.”      Click here to view full story…

Gatwick chairman says Gatwick could not get their money back on a 2nd runway if Heathrow builds a 3rd

December 12, 2013

Gatwick’s Chairman says it will not build a second runway if the British government allows a simultaneous expansion at Heathrow. Roy McNulty said building a Gatwick 2nd runway was a “bet the company type of investment” and the timescale of getting returns on the project would double if Heathrow was allowed to expand at the same time. He said Gatwick would also be wary if it was only allowed to expand sometime after Heathrow constructed a 3rd runway. Heathrow would remove the traffic Gatwick would need to run a new runway profitably. His comments were prompted by the leak, a week early, of the Airports Commission’s interim report and its shortlist of schemes for new runways – all of which appear to involve another runway at Heathrow. Gatwick, owned by GIP (who are likely to want to sell it before 2020) suggested in July that they could build a new runway for around £9 billion, rather than over £14 billion for one at Heathrow. lt could take a decade to build either – if they could indeed ever get planning permission and meet all social and environmental constraints.     Click here to view full story…

Heathrow campaigners furious over leak that Sir Howard Davies is backing 2 new runways at Heathrow (with a 2nd Gatwick runway as one option)

December 11, 2013

Heathrow campaigners have reacted with anger and disbelief to the leaked news that the Airports Commission Interim Report, which is due to be published on 17th December, favours 2 more runways at Heathrow. From the leaks, the Commission is expected to go for a 3rd runway at Heathrow followed by a 4th Heathrow runway or a second runway at Gatwick. The draft of the report, presented to Chancellor George Osborne, ruled out new runways at Stansted or an Estuary Airport. It is thought, however, that Tuesday’s report may formally retain more options in an attempt to give it some balance. This news will cause fury across whole swathes of London and the Home Counties. with the Airports Commission’s work over the next two years in selecting from its “short list” seen as a “busted flush” with its decision already taken. John Stewart, Chair of HACAN – which represents residents under the Heathrow flight paths, said: “It is astonishing that Davies has put so much faith in an option he must know is politically the hardest to deliver. The one good thing is that he will force political parties to come out for or against a 3rd runway before the 2015 General Election.” Another Heathrow runway means thousands of people stand to lose their homes. They are not going to stand by and let that happen. The campaign against a 3rd runway starts today.    Click here to view full story…

2nd Gatwick runway could ‘spell the end’ for Hever Castle as a tourist attraction due to the relentless aircraft noise

December 14, 2013 A 2nd runway at Gatwick could “spell the end” for one of the area’s top tourist attractions, Hever Castle, which was the home of Anne Boleyn. The castle’s chief executive Duncan Leslie fears the increase in planes overhead could ruin the historic castle and gardens, due to the relentless, almost non-stop noise. To make the situation still worse, planes enter the airport’s ILS landing system close to Hever, and tend to come up into it from below, with extra engine noise, especially if simultaneously making a turn. Duncan Leslie explained that when visitors come to rural attractions they are expecting a degree of peace and tranquillity. However, with the flight path for Gatwick – just some 13 miles away – over the castle and its grounds, visitors are being deterred. Already putting on outdoor theatre is almost impossible, as the plays are interrupted every couple of minutes. A group of Chinese tour operators visiting Hever had said they were astonished that the Government allowed aircraft to fly low over Hever. A high proportion of Hever’s visitors are from overseas. Mr Leslie said: “If our internationally popular tourist attractions become noise ghettoes, it does not matter how big the airports are, we will not get more tourists coming here.” Mr Leslie has asked his local council, Sevenoaks, to oppose Gatwick’s plans for a 2nd runway.    Click here to view full story…

Airports Commission surface transport improvement plans for Gatwick airport including £180 million station upgrade

December 5, 2013

Sir Howard Davies (Chairman of the Airports Commission) has written to George Osborne, on the subject of surface access to airports. He says that as adding any new runways will take a decade (or decades), in the interim “there is a strong case for attaching a greater strategic priority to transport investments which improve surface access to our airports.” The Airports Commission have recommended improvements for Gatwick including improvements to the train station, which could cost £180 million – “subject to the airport providing an appropriate contribution to the costs of the scheme.” It is not currently regarded as being well suited to travellers, especially those with heavy luggage, so better luggage space would need to be added. The Commission says Gatwick is succeeding in getting more long haul routes, and due to capacity constraints at Heathrow, “we believe that the UK’s interests to enable passengers to more effectively access Gatwick’s increasing connections to new markets, as well as its existing route network.” The government says it will provide £50m towards the redevelopment of the station, subject to satisfactory commercial negotiations with Gatwick airport.     Click here to view full story…

New 7 year deal between Gatwick and Norwegian, that includes airline’s backing for 2nd runway

November 29, 2013 Gatwick airport has struck a deal with European low fares airline Norwegian, which includes getting their active support for the airport’s plans to get a 2nd runway. This comes weeks after the CAA agreed that Gatwick can make bespoke commercial arrangements with its airlines. Norwegian is to start low-cost transatlantic services to 3 US airports, using Boeing 787 Dreamliners next summer in addition to an increased European network. It is expected that there will be 3 flights per week to New York after July 2014, and 2 flights per week each to Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale. These may cost as little as £150 one way. The number of destinations served by Norwegian from Gatwick will rise to 33 in 2014 with 6 aircraft based there. This will make Norwegian one of the top 4 airlines at Gatwick during 2014. Low fares to the USA is expected to draw in more passengers. The airline’s CEO said: “Norwegian is very supportive of Gatwick’s runway expansion plan which would mean that the airport could offer even better operating facilities in the future.”       .Click here to view full story…

Gatwick boss Stewart Wingate says: “It’s between me and Heathrow” for a new runway

November 27, 2013

Stewart Wingate, the CEO of Gatwick, has said the growing number of new routes and rising passenger traffic at Gatwick are proof the airport is the best place for an extra runway. This comes in the run-up to the anticipated interim report by the Airports Commission, due in mid December, short-listing possible sites for a new runway. Stewart Wingate has said he will resign if Gatwick is not on the short-list, which it is bound to be. He said: “What I’m offering is a mixture of carriers with low costs, low environmental impact [?] that nobody else can offer.” There are a growing number of long haul routes from Gatwick, and Gatwick firmly believes that the hub model that suits Heathrow is not necessary for UK aviation. Much of Gatwick’s travel is low cost holiday flights to Europe, which Heathrow does little of. The recent CAA air passenger survey showed that in 2012 Gatwick had 17.5% of its passengers on business trips (12.6% international) with the remaining 82.5% travelling for leisure purposes. The number of passengers using Gatwick in the first 6 months of 2013 was 2.6% up on 2012.      Click here to view full story…

Government to make no significant change to night flights regime at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted until Airports Commission report

November 11, 2013           In January 2013 the DfT put out the first part of its consultation on the night flight regime at the UK’s 3 designated airports,Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. The DfT said then that the 2nd consultation would be publishes later this year, to include specific proposals for the new regime, such as the number of permitted night flights – informed by the evidence from the first consultation. The DfT has now published this 2nd stage, but instead of any specific measures, it proposes no significant change to the night flight regime at Heathrow until 2017. It says it does not want to pre-empt the findings of the Airports Commission which is due to publish its final report in summer 2015. The current night flight regime for the 3 airports ends in October 2014. Normally a new regime is put in place to cover the next 5 – 6 years. This time the Government has decided in effect to roll-over the existing regime until 2017. The only change for Heathrow is a proposal “to extend the operational ban on the noisiest types of aircraft to include an extra half hour, the 23.00-23.30 period.            Click here to view full story…

Packed seminar confirms opposition to any new Gatwick runway

IMG_4947 (1)

October 28, 2013

A packed seminar organised jointly by CPRE Surrey, CPRE Sussex and GACC on 25th October examined the arguments for and against a new runway at Gatwick. Some 150 representatives of county councils, borough, district and parish councils, planning officers and other experts, the Wildlife Trusts, plus four local MPs and one Member of the European Parliament, crowded into the conference centre at the Stanhill Court Hotel. There was also support from national representatives from WWF, and the National Trust. The opening speech was made by Cabinet member, Rt Hon Francis Maude, who said that the voice of opposition ‘needed to be heard with clarion certainty.’ Great concern was expressed about drawing more workers and passengers from around the country, climate change, increased noise, the impact of 40,000 extra houses, the pressure on schools, hospitals, local road and rail services. Also the recent unconventional decision by West Sussex council to support a new runway, on which the public had not been consulted. A resolution that “Those here would oppose any new runway at Gatwick airport” was passed with overwhelming support.      Click here to view full story…

GACC warns that new flight paths proposed by NATS and Gatwick airport could affect thousands around Gatwick

October 20, 2013        GACC has reacted strongly to proposals to revamp many of the existing flight paths around Gatwick , which have been put forward for consultation jointly by NATS and Gatwick Airport Ltd. These plans, which are nothing to do with a 2nd runway, include new flight paths over areas which are at present peaceful – in order to increase the number of aircraft able to use the runway; more concentrated flight paths based on more accurate aircraft navigation, which will effectively make life hell for many people affected; a major reform of the pattern of aircraft queuing up to land, which will bring aircraft noise to many areas currently not affected; and the possibility of ‘respite’ by using two flight paths on alternate days. This consultation includes nothing to show where the new flight paths might be. Instead it is couched in general terms, asking people to comment on broad concepts. There are no maps, and it is apparently intended that no maps will be produced until after the end of the consultation, and NATS and Gatwick do not intend to hold a second consultation. GACC is advising its members to study the new consultation and to express their views forcefully.       Click here to view full story…

‘Norwegian’ to challenge BA and Virgin by launching £150 flights to New York from Gatwick

October 18, 2013

Transatlantic fares from £150, one way, will be on offer from the UK when the low-cost carrier, Norwegian, begins new long-haul services from Gatwick in summer 2014 – using a Dreamliner 787. From July 2014 it will fly from Gatwick to New York (3 times per week), Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale (twice a week each). The introductory fares, one way, will be New York £149, Fort Lauderdale £179 and Los Angeles £199. Norwegian’s chief executive Bjorn Kjos said: ‘There’s great demand for high-quality flights at a low fare between the UK and the US, particularly to and from Gatwick.” These are largely holiday flights. Gatwick is excited about the new flights, as it wants to compete with Heathrow for long haul routes. Norwegian currently offers 320 weekly flights and 25 routes from Gatwick, and in January 2012, it announced a large aircraft order,of 122 Boeing 737 aircraft as part of a significant expansion. Last month Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary announced he is planning ‘ten buck’ transatlantic flights to the United States, when he can get the right planes.      Click here to view full story…

Plane noise affecting health of East Grinstead man

17 Oct 2013  (ITV) film clip. Interesting interview with doctor specialising in sleep disturbance. He says it is the stop/start nature of aircraft noise that affects sleep, as the brain cannot blank it out, as it would do for a continuous noise.And sleep disturbance can raise blood pressure, and that can have cardiovascular impacts. And more and more people are likely to be affected by plane noise, if more expansion is allowed by government  http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2013-10-17/plane-noise-affecting-health-of-east-grinstead-man/

Airspace consultation launched by NATS and Gatwick Airport – for Gatwick, London City, Southend & Biggin Hill airport areas

October 16, 2013

NATS, the UK’s provider of air traffic services, and Gatwick Airport have started a joint consultation today on proposed airspace changes over southern England. It is called the London Airspace Consultation (LAC) and it will run for 14 weeks, until January 21st, 2014. The public can respond. The consultation is on swathes of airspace – not exact routes – which will be determined after consideration of the consultation feedback. That makes commenting difficult. NATS says this is the first stage in a wider programme of proposed changes to deliver the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS), which is being developed by the CAA. The intention is that the FAS will help airlines make efficiencies in fuel use, and perhaps reduce noise for those over-flown. New European legislation requires all member States, including the UK, to revise airspace and maximise the use of new technologies, to get noise and CO2 benefits. The current NATS consultation involves airspace around Gatwick and also London City Airport. Later stages will deal with other areas of airspace in other parts of the London airports network, and should be completed by 2020. Local residents fear the real motive is to pack in more flights.      Click here to view full story…

Threat of a new Gatwick runway: bad for your health – and for your wealth

Date added: October 14, 2013

New research from Imperial College and King’s College, published last week, has found that deaths from stroke, heart and circulatory disease are significantly higher in areas with high levels of aircraft noise than in places with the least noise. The research compared data on day- and night-time aircraft noise with hospital admissions and mortality rates of 3.6 million people living near Heathrow. Though there are fewer people living under the flight-paths at Gatwick, the number at risk may be just as great because the lower background noise makes the noise impact worse. The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) says Councils and MPs have a duty of care for the health of the residents that they represent; that means not exposing them to more noise. Could local hospitals cope with these additional pressures of a new runway? The damage that poor sleep does to performance at work would also not help local businesses. The prospect of a new runway would mean house prices depressed in an area that could include over 10,000 home owners. Blight due to runway plans can cause anxiety about not being able to sell one’s house, and can lead people into acute depression.      Click here to view full story…

Gatwick campaign questions Sir Howard’s claim that a new runway is needed

October 8, 2013

At a meeting on 7th October, Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission, gave a speech concluding that ‘we will need some additional runway capacity in the south east of England in the coming decades.’ The Chairman of GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, Brendon Sewill said: “That was not surprising – if he had said that no new runway was needed he would have done himself out of a job! What was significant was that he felt the need to answer the growing volume of opinion against any new runway. But his statement is bound to add to the worry of people around Gatwick, [and other possible new runway sites] and to the misery caused by blight.” In his speech, Sir Howard ignored the impact that a new runway would have on the local infrastructure – the need for more houses (in the case of Gatwick around 40,000), great pressure on local schools, on the health service and social services, and overcrowding/congestion on roads. GACC does not find convincing the case Sir Howard made for rejecting strong arguments against a new runway, and will be taking up his invitation to submit comments by the end of October.     Click here to view full story…

Sir Howard Davies speech gives provisional support for a new south east runway – but shows how borderline the decision would be

October 8, 2013         In a speech in central London Sir Howard Davies set out what he described as the Airports Commission’s “emerging thinking” after their first 11 months of work. He said it ” it would be helpful at this stage to set out some of our early thinking on the issue of overall capacity.” He said: “Our provisional view…. is that additional capacity will need to be provided, alongside an overall framework for managing emissions growth, if we are to deliver the best outcomes in both environmental and connectivity terms.” Also that: “…our provisional conclusion from this analysis …is that we will need some net additional runway capacity in the south east of England in the coming decades.” He first went through 4 sets of arguments against a new runway (less future demand for air travel than anticipated; future demand can be met by existing capacity; carbon emissions from growing aviation could breach UK climate commitments; regional airports could take the extra demand). He then gave explanations for each why he believed the optimal solution would be more runway capacity. He said, on the guidance from the CCC on aviation CO2 emissions needing to be restricted that: “We are in the process of updating the Committee on Climate Change’s analysis and will present our findings in our Interim Report”. Comments on the speech are welcomed by the Commission until 31st October.   Click here to view full story…

Reigate & Banstead Council urges Airports Commission not to rule out 2nd runway at Gatwick for more detailed consideration

October 6, 2013

The Leader of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council has written to the Airports Commission, to ask the Gatwick runway scheme to be on the shortlist. Cllr Joan Spiers said in her letter to Sir Howard Davies that the airport is locally important for the local economy and local jobs. But she stopped short of declaring her outright support for a 2nd runway. Council chief executive John Jory said: “This council has not got a formal view yet on a 2nd runway and in no way are we trying to say to the Davies Commission we are giving this the green light and being supportive.” The letter to the Commission mentions “concern about adverse and consequential impacts such as noise, air pollution, additional traffic and pressure to provide more housing” from a 2nd runway and says: “… we believe that Gatwick’s proposals should be included in the Commission’s shortlisted options. This will ensure the fullest possible consideration of the benefits and impacts of a second runway and will allow the Borough Council, on behalf of our local communities, to reach an informed conclusion about the proposals based on robust and comprehensive evidence.”   Click here to view full story…

Heathrow hits out at Gatwick in airport tussle claiming only Heathrow can attract long haul flights

September 27, 2013      . As well as the airlines doing battle with the airports (eg. BA and Heathrow), the airports are at loggerheads with each other, in deadly rivalry. How Heathrow has publicised its dissing of Gatwick, in the hope of persuading the Airports Commission of the merits of its case. Today was the final day for any submissions to the Commission, before they publish their airport shortlist some time in December. Heathrow makes out that a single massive hub airport is vital (well, they would, wouldn’t they?) and Gatwick makes out that it can do very nicely with long haul point-to-point flights (well, they would, wouldn’t they?). Heathrow says some 20 long haul routes from Gatwick have failed over recent years, and Gatwick disputes the figure and gives reasons why some closed down. Gatwick says Heathrow can never expand as its flight path noise already affects too many people (the most of any airport in Europe). Heathrow says Gatwick could not attract airlines as they only want to come to Heathrow. And on it goes. Good luck, on ploughing through all the competing claims, Sir Howard !   .Click here to view full story…

GACC says Gatwick site is too cramped and constrained for an efficient 2nd runway

September 25, 2013      .GACC, the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, has submitted a document entitled “Gatwick Unzipped” to the Airports Commission, in response to their invitation to submit comments on the various plans for new runways. GACC believes, based on past evidence from British Airways and others, that the airport site is too cramped to efficiently accommodate an additional runway. The Chairman of GACC, Brendon Sewill, says those calling for a second runway at Gatwick ‘have never looked at a map’ and “When examined carefully the Gatwick runway plans are not nearly as good as they seem at first sight.” Some of the main points made in the GACC analysis include the suggestion ‘the so-called ‘wide-spaced runway’ is too close to the existing runway’; the plans for new runways at Heathrow, Stansted or in the Thames Estuary all show a wider separation between the runways; and the length of the new runway would be constrained by the main London-Brighton railway line to the east and by high ground to the west. Also that noise would be unacceptable in rural areas, as Gatwick is surrounded on 3 sides by Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.   .Click here to view full story…

Gatwick hopes to get one of the global airline alliances to shift from Heathrow

September 23, 2013      .Stewart Wingate, the Chief Executive of Gatwick airport, said he thought Gatwick could lure one of the global airline alliances away from Heathrow, if they win permission to build a 2nd runway. There are 3 main alliances, SkyTeam, Star Alliance – and OneWorld, led by British Airways. Stewart Wingate conceded it was unlikely that OneWorld would ever leave its Heathrow base, but he hoped one of the others might. None of them wants to move from Heathrow, but Gatwick are hopeful that: “If an alliance were to move down at some future point into Gatwick not only would there be room for that alliance to grow, but that would create more space at Heathrow for the other remaining alliances to grow too.” Gatwick wants to build a new runway to enable the airport to deal with 87 million passengers each year by 2050 compared to 34 million now.     .Click here to view full story.

Gatwick attempts to argue more flights from a 2nd runway = less noise, by runway alternation

September 18, 2013    .

The Airports Commission consultation on its aircraft noise discussion paper ended on 6th September. Gatwick airport submitted their response, which admits that expansion at Gatwick would mean the number of people impacted by noise could increased from 3,300 to 11,800. But they say they can lower the number – including use of respite periods, as at Heathrow now. The airport said one runway would be used for take-offs, and the other for landings, swapping between the two, and so giving people half a day of respite. As aircraft are increasingly able to fly an exact route, using a sort of aircraft SatNav, called PP-RNAV, flights can be concentrated along one route. The debate continues whether it is more humane to those overflown to concentrate flight paths, or to disperse them. The latter shares the misery around, so many more suffer, but to a lesser extent. However, airports judge the level of dissatisfaction by the number of people complaining, and dispersed routes mean more people complain.     .Click here to view full story…

Study finds a 2nd Gatwick runway could require 40,000 new houses – a town the size of Crawley

September 2, 2013    A study by independent consultants jointly commissioned by the West Sussex County Council and the Gatwick Diamond business association has found that the total number of houses in Crawley at present is around 40,000, and some 30,000 – 45,000 new houses would be needed if a new runway is built at Gatwick. The study predicts that the number of jobs created by a new runway plus the number of jobs created in firms attracted to the area by doubling the size of Gatwick would be far in excess of any available labour. That would require a substantial influx of workers from other parts of the UK or from the EU. Local councils, which are already struggling to find sites for the current demand for housing – without Gatwick expansion. Councils would need to decide whether to build a whole new town or whether to add hundreds of new houses to every town and village – perhaps a thousand houses added to forty villages! A new runway would lead to widespread urbanisation of parts of rural Sussex and Surrey, and the “dream” could turn into a nightmare.   Click here to view full story...

Gatwick 2nd runway could bring ‘mega-city the size of Brighton’ to north Sussex

July 29, 2013     During a recent West Sussex County Council debate on a motion to support ‘in principle’ a second runway at Gatwick it was pointed out that the plans would lead to a huge amount of housing built across swathes of the Horsham district, creating a ‘mega-city’. Councillor Bill Acraman (Con, Worth Forest) predicted a mega city in the north of Sussex equal to the size of Brighton, stretching across the north of the Horsham district, sprawling from Broadfield in Crawley to Forest Row. He said that the A264 and A272 would probably need to be brought up to motorway standard, and asked whether the infrastructure improvements needed would ‘magically appear’. “You can tear up the Neighbourhood Plans,” Mr Acraman said. The county council approved the motion by 42 votes to 10 with 12 abstaining last Friday, days before Gatwick made its submission to the Airports Commission public. Another councillor said if Heathrow got a new runway “and we do not have one at Gatwick I think the economy of this county will be seriously threatened.” The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), which is campaigning against the environmental impact of a second runway, remains firmly opposed to Gatwick’s plans.      Click here to view full story…

Tonbridge and Malling MP Sir John Stanley shoots down Gatwick airport expansion bid

July 24, 2013    The MP for Tonbridge & Malling, Sir John Stanley, has said plans by Gatwick airport for a 2nd runway would blight homes in west Kent and lead to intolerable noise and disruption. He has been a long standing opponent of expansion at Gatwick, due to noise suffered by those under flight paths, especially where these are concentrated over narrow areas. He said: “I am totally opposed to any expansion at Gatwick. My constituents living nearby would face intolerable noise and disruption.” He added that there were “technical issues”, which meant the option of a second runway would make it less commercially attractive, even if they could be overcome. He believes there are better solutions to the problems of the south east, and a new Gatwick runway “would not produce significant job prospects in my constituency, most of whom either work locally or commute to London.”     Click here to view full story…

GACC opposes Gatwick 2nd runway plans – to increase airport to larger than Heathrow is now

July 23, 2013       GACC, the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, are deeply opposed to the plans for a new Gatwick runway because they wish to protect the towns, villages and countryside of Surrey, Sussex and west Kent from the impact of an airport which would be bigger than Heathrow today. The plans show Gatwick growing from 34 million passengers today to around 90 million. According to Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC: “When people begin to realise what is likely to hit them, there will be a tidal wave of public resistance.” The plans make it clear that GAL’s preferred option is the wide-spaced runway – only a few hundred yards (or less?) from the residential area of Crawley. But amazingly little detail is given. No airport boundary is shown. No indication of where a new terminal (which would need to be bigger than T5) would located. The GAL submission rules out a close parallel runway because ‘the capacity benefit is relatively small’. And rules out a middle width option because there would be no room for a new terminal. There are huge environmental costs of trying to build a full-scale new runway as shown in the plans, with double the air pollution, double or more the CO2 emissions and double the road traffic.    Click here to view full story…

Gatwick publishes its 3 options for a southern 2nd runway enabling up to 87 mppa

July 23, 2013

Gatwick Airport has announced its preferred location for a 2nd runway and submitted its plans to the Airports Commission. There are 3 slightly different plans, all for a runway to the south of the existing runway – close, medium or wide spaced. The close runway could not work independently of the existing runway, while the others (at least 750 metres south) could. With the wide spaced runway, over 1,035 metres south, Gatwick could have 95 movements per hour, enabling it to have some 87 million passengers per year (compared to 66 mppa for the close option, and 82 mppa for the medium). Gatwick has managed to get support from the local business lobbies in the area for its plans, and some local council support. Gatwick’s CEO, Stewart Wingate said a 2nd Gatwick runway would cost between £5bn and £9bn and could be open by 2025. Gatwick is selling its plans to the Airports Commission on how many fewer people would be affected by noise than at Heathrow, and that it would be cheaper than some other options. Gatwick wants London to have a “constellation” system, with 3 airports each with two runways, at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. Click here to view full story…

West Sussex County Council leader welcomes 2nd runway plan for Gatwick

July 19, 2013     The leader of of West Sussex County Council, Mrs Louise Goldman, has welcomed the principle of creating a 2nd Gatwick runway and full airport expansion. This is nearly 35 years after the local authority signed a legal agreement restricting the airport to one runway. She said the county could not be preserved in aspic; and if it was to continue to provide quality jobs for its young people as well as take seriously its responsibilities to an ageing population, it had to make economic growth a priority. Somehow she manages to square that with saying she does did not mean abandoning the environment. “Quite the reverse. I have always considered myself to be an environmentalist, and protecting everything that makes West Sussex a unique place of beauty in which to live, work, and visit, remains enormously important.” And she has the naive hope that “ensuring that we mitigate environmental concerns as much as we possibly can,” will get over environmental problems. Gatwick Airport will submit its planning proposals for expansion on 23rd July.   Click here to view full story…

Gatwick Airport appoints MI6 HQ architect Sir Terry Farrell to promote its 2nd runway plans

July 9, 2013

Gatwick Airport has appointed a leading architect, Sir Terry Farrell, to help in its plans to build a 2nd runway. Sir Terry will help Gatwick in its proposals for a “constellation of 3 London airports” with 2 runways each – 2+2+2. Gatwick hopes competition between it, Heathrow and Stansted was “the best solution for London”. Sir Terry’s previous projects include the MI6 building and Home Office headquarters in London and Incheon Airport in South Korea. Sir Terry’s firm, Farrells, will look at the impact on London of having competing airports of equal size compared to a single “mega-hub” airport. He said: “The world city of London, with the largest aviation market in the world, is the hub and its airport infrastructure needs to evolve and grow around the city” and that “a single mega-hub airport is at significant odds with what London needs.”      Click here to view full story…

GACC warns of widespread blight being caused by runway proposals submitted to Airports Commission

July 1, 2013       Gatwick Airport are due to publish their plans for a new runway by the Airports Commission deadline of 19th July. GACC, the main environmental community group concerned with the airport, warn that the runway proposal will result in widespread blight in the area. Thousands of people will find tens of thousands of pounds is knocked off the value of their houses, which will be hard to sell except at a substantial loss. “Working men and women will find themselves unable to move to take up a new job; retired couples will find their hopes dashed of moving to a smaller house in another area. Anxiety will be caused to thousands of people and some may be driven to desperation.” In the days of BAA there was a Property Market Support Bond, so the airport would buy houses at the pre-blight price. The airport now says that scheme is under review and nothing will be decided until the Airports Commission reports in 2015. GACC says this demonstrates a callous disregard for the local community. GACC has asked the Commission to insist that all airports which are due to put forward plans for new runways should introduce a scheme for dealing with blight.      Click here to view full story…

Gatwick proposes revised offer to the CAA with lower fee increase on airline charges

June 25, 2013

Gatwick has proposed cutting the increases in the charges that airlines pay to use the airport, in the hope that the CAA (the regulator) will not cap the charges. The airport says this is the best deal for passengers and airlines. The CAA has proposed capping charges to just 1% above inflation. In April Gatwick initially proposed an increase of 4% above the rate of inflation for its charges. Now they are proposing an increase of 1.5% above inflation, for 4 years from 2014 to 2021. Gatwick airport earns some £274 million per year from these landing charges, and as they make so much money from them, the airport wants there to be no cap on what they can charge. They say then could then compete more effectively with Heathrow. EasyJet has said it does not support Gatwick’s proposal for a 1.5% increase, as it wants even lower charges and says the capital spending the airport is planning is not on things that their customers value.     Click here to view full story…

GACC submits response to Airports Commission discussion on airport operational models

June 19, 2013     The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) has submitted a response to the Airports Commission’s discussion document on Airport Operational models – on the rival merits of hub airports vs. point-to-point airports. GACC suggests that, if the number of passengers per plane continues to increase, there will be no need for any new runway. In 2011 the average number of passengers per flight at Heathrow was 146 compared to 138 at Gatwick. But if – with ever larger planes – over the next 20 years the average number of passengers per aircraft were to increase to 200 that would be roughly equivalent to two new runways in the South East. GACC suggests estimates of greatly increased demand for runway capacity may be exaggerated. At London’s airports the number of flights was exactly the same in 2012 as in 2002. The total number of aircraft movements at Gatwick has only increased by 2% in the past 10 years. And the number of business flights abroad by UK residents has fallen by 20% in the past 10 years. GACC gives examples of where the creation of over-optimistic ‘models’ have resulted in ‘castles in the air’ – desolate and empty airports.    Click here to view full story…

Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick says (surprise) A SECOND RUNWAY ‘IS RIGHT FOR GATWICK’

31.5.2013 Chief executive officer at Gatwick Airport Stewart Wingate believes building a second runway at the site would be the “right thing for the region”.  His comments came during the recent Gatwick Diamond Economic Growth Forum, which was aimed at giving business leaders an opportunity to talk about factors that are affecting their firms, the Crawley and Horley Observer reports.  Mr Wingate feels that extending Gatwick is the most suitable solution. “We think if we play our cards right then there’s no reason when we get into 2015 we should not be in pole position as the best option,” he was quoted as saying. Gatwick is certainly getting busier and airport chiefs recently predicted that more than 790,000 passengers would fly from the facility during the May half-term holiday. link

Illustrative flight path maps of a 2nd Gatwick runway cause consternation – and show impact on AONBs

May 31, 2013      The maps showing the probable new flight paths if there were to be a new runway at Gatwick have caused widespread consternation. These were produced by GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) in mid May. GACC has received many enquiries from councillors surprised that their areas are likely to be affected. These include anxious queries from people who live in the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which surround Gatwick on three sides. GACC has now also published new maps showing the impact of the probable new flight paths on the AONBs. ‘These areas are recognised nationally as places of beauty and peace,’ said Brendon Sewill, GACC chairman. ‘They are visited by over a million people each year in search of quiet relaxation. All the AONBs are on high ground and therefore the impact of aircraft noise is greater.’ When Gatwick Airport claim that ‘only’ 29,000 people would be affected by noise from a new runway, and that this is fewer than at Heathrow, they ignore the impact on the million or so people who enjoy the peace of the AONBs.     Click here to view full story…

Flybe to end all domestic flights from Gatwick by March 2014 after selling its 25 slot pairs to easyJet

May 23, 2013        Flybe is to stop all of its Gatwick flights after agreeing to sell all its 25 pairs of slots to EasyJet for £20 million, as it needs the money. That only leaves Flybe with a few London slots, at Luton. Flybe will leave Gatwick the end of March 2014. That means the end of its flights from Gatwick to Belfast City, Guernsey, Inverness, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Newcastle and Newquay. EasyJet is under no obligation to replace domestic flights, and will just use the slots for the most profitable holiday routes. There are concerns in Inverness about losing their Gatwick link. Flybe launched an expensive complaint to the CAA in 2010, complaining about the level of its charges. However the CAA ruled in September that Gatwick was within its rights to raise its landing fees for smaller aircraft, as it prefers to use slots for larger planes carrying more passengers. Flybe has been hit because on domestic flights, APD of £13 is charged on both legs of a journey. Flybe’s Chairman, Jim French said that even if Gatwick did not want its passengers, other airports would, and Flybe would work to ensure that the “UK’s regional passengers don’t get left in the cold.”     Click here to view full story…

Heathrow and Gatwick submit their responses on Aviation & Climate Change to Airports Commission

May 17, 2013    Both Heathrow and Gatwick airports have submitted their responses to the Aviation Commission’s discussion paper on Aviation and Climate Change. Both base their aspirations of high growth rates over coming decades on evidence from the industry body “Sustainable Aviation”. Not surprisingly, both airports’ submissions are attempts to justify the unjustifiable: to claim that emitting huge amounts more carbon dioxide can be achieved with no net emissions, by various probable and improbable means. They hope improvements in efficiency by airlines and air traffic control, as well as improved aircraft design, will cut their emissions. They place unrealistic hopes in “sustainable” biofuels, with Gatwick’s submission saying “…by 2050, sustainable fuels could offer between 15 and 24% reduction in CO2 emissions attributable to UK aviation.” Gatwick also wants considerable Government support (ie public expense) to develop biofuels for the industry. And both depend to an enormous extent on international agreements through ICAO, and systems for carbon trading that do not currently exist.     Click here to view full story…

GACC reveals indicative flight paths for a 2nd Gatwick runway, showing new areas overflown

May 17, 2013     Maps illustrating probable flight paths from a new Gatwick runway have been produced by the local community group, GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign). The maps have been designed with a knowledge of the principles of air space design and aeronautical principles, and have been checked out with an air traffic control expert. The maps show the new departure routes as likely to cause disturbance in Horsham, East Grinstead, Dorking, Reigate and many villages which are at present not overflown. The arrival routes are shown as covering most of Sussex. Brendon Sewill, Chairman of GACC said of the new maps that “If Gatwick Airport Ltd don’t like them it is up to them to produce their own maps.” The problem with a 2nd runway and hence huge increase in the number of flights, is that If flight paths are to be designed to minimise the risk of accidents flight paths will need to go over areas at present peaceful. The maps are based on a so-called ‘wide-spaced’ runway 1,035 m to the south of the existing one. With planes landing and taking off on each runway, there need to be 2 parallel tracks some 1,035 m apart and flight paths would need to be designed to avoid mid-air collisions.   Click here to view full story…

GACC point out that there is no robust business case for a 2nd Gatwick runway

May 10, 2013     The Select Committee on Transport, in their report published today, recommends that Gatwick Airport Ltd should ‘develop a robust business case to demonstrate the role that a two runway airport could play in increasing airport competition.’ GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) commented that they agree with the Committee that no robust business case currently exists, and that the economics of a 2nd Gatwick runway do not stack up. Gatwick Airport has said in their business plan that a new runway and a new terminal would cost £3 -5 billion, but they only paid £1.5 billion for the whole airport in 2009. It is unlikely that the airlines will want to pay the necessary rises in charges. In reality with larger planes increasingly being used, there is no need for any new south east runways. Gatwick campaigners stand shoulder to shoulder with those at Heathrow and Stansted in resisting any new runways in the UK.     Click here to view full story…

Airport capacity in London is currently underused, says new London Assembly report

May 1, 2013     The London Assembly’s Transport Committee has published a report – “Airport Capacity in London” – which suggests existing airport capacity in London, including at Heathrow and Gatwick, could be used more effectively. Their research shows Stansted (summer 2012) was only 47% full; Gatwick was 88% full; Luton was 49% full. At Heathrow there is terminal capacity for 20 million more passengers, so if larger planes were used, there is ample surplus capacity – though landing slots are 99% filled. To encourage passengers to switch from Heathrow, the report says improving transport access from central London to Gatwick, Luton and Stansted is needed – for example, by better rail connections and actively promoting public transport. The report questions the alleged “need” for additional hub airport capacity, as the vast majority of passengers using Heathrow few direct, point to point, rather than transferring. The report also notes that 75% of flights from Heathrow are short haul and that London remains the best connected European city to 23 fastest growing economies. The Transport Committee hopes its report will inform the Airports Commission, and says the Commission must examine whether better use of existing airport capacity could be an intelligent cost-effective alternative to building new airports or runways.     Click here to view full story…

Standard reports that Shadow Transport Secretary, Maria Eagle, is “warming towards” a Gatwick runway

April 24, 2013    The Labour Party shifted last year from its post-election position of being against a 3rd runway at Heathrow to being “sceptical” about it. Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle has publicly ruled out a new Heathrow runway, and also a Thames estuary airport. However, the Evening Standard reports that Ms Eagle is now understood (how is not explained) to see a new Gatwick runway as a stronger contender than a new runway at Stansted, if the Airports Commission concludes that the South-East needs extra aviation capacity. Gatwick is opening new routes, including to the Far East, as it seeks to become a rival to Heathrow while Stansted still has spare capacity. While at the end of last year Labour was pressing for the Commission to report earlier than 2015, it now says it will await the conclusions before drawing up its new policy. Supporting expansion at Gatwick, or Stansted, has not been agreed by the shadow cabinet.     Click here to view full story…

Cabinet minister (Defence Secretary) Philip Hammond calls for 2nd Gatwick runway

April 12, 2013      Philip Hammond (the Defence Secretary) has become the first Cabinet minister to call publicly for expansion at Gatwick – writing in the Surrey Herald. He is opposed to expansion at Heathrow, opposes a Thames Estuary hub, and also opposes the idea of a large hub airport at Stansted, as it would do economic damage to the Heathrow area. Last year he was enthusiastic about the Heathwick idea – a joint hub with Heathrow and Gatwick linked by high speed rail (an idea rejected by both airports). Now he has publicly said he wants a 2nd runway at Gatwick, followed later by a 2nd runway at Stansted. Mr Hammond is MP for Runnymede and Weybridge, an area affected by planes from Heathrow. Mr Hammond’s comment has been criticised by Brendon Sewill, chairman of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), who said: “I doubt if he has walked around the area — if so he would see there is no room for a 2nd runway.” Mr Sewill said expanding Gatwick would be another example of the “short-term solutions” that had blighted British aviation policy for 60 years.     Click here to view full story…

Airlines like Emirates keen to fly from regional airports (like Newcastle) – reducing future demand at Heathrow and Gatwick

March 25, 2013     Heathrow Airport has been saying recently that, though it is desperate to get a third runway, even they realise that there is not the demand for a 4th runway. The DfT has consistently over-estimated the amount of passenger demand over the last decade. In reality, passengers from parts of the UK other than the south east can get long haul flights from regional airports. The UK Vice President of Emirates says he wants to expand flights from UK’s regional airports, rather than Heathrow or Gatwick, and has a direct flight from Newcastle to Dubai, for transfers on from there. With that happening more and more in future, the south east airports’ dreams for expansion in the south east, requiring a massive hub airport, look less and less probable. Forecasts more than a few years ahead are based on so many uncertainties and unknowns as to be almost without value. Making best use of existing airports is more efficient than grandiose new infrastructure projects which run the risk of being white elephants. Had a second Stansted runway been built by 2012, it would now be standing idle.    Click here to view full story…

Gatwick Airport wants freedom from regulation on prices by the CAA

February 15, 2013     With Heathrow and Stansted, Gatwick is one of only 3 UK airports that is subject to a price regime set by the CAA. It is arguing that should be allowed to negotiate landing charges directly with airlines, rather than being regulated, through entering into individual commercial agreements with airlines. Gatwick says such deals, which would be struck under a legally-binding framework, could incentivise airlines to offer more routes. Gatwick says even for airlines that didn’t strike commercial agreements, charges would still be lower, increasing by 1.3% above the RPI over the next 7 years. By comparison, under continued regulation, charges would increase 3.3% above RPI over 5 years – which would mean landing charges rising from £8.80 per passenger in 2014, to £11.45 by 2018/19. But Virgin Atlantic is not keen on the idea, and nor is easyJet. Virgin says “The CAA must continue to regulate to ensure that Gatwick delivers services our passengers need at a price which is good value for money.”      Click here to view full story…

Gatwick Airport produces new Business Plan to 2024 with prices based on customer contracts

February 14, 2013    Gatwick Airport has produced its Revised Business Plan to 2024 (the last one went to 2020) which sets out their proposals for the coming years. They are putting forward a new deal that would allow Gatwick and its airline customers to develop bilateral, tailored contracts to replace the current system of regulation. The CAA invited Gatwick to propose such a framework in October 2012. Gatwick says this would give better levels of quality, price and service to airlines and passengers. Gatwick says this will promote competition between airports, and mean lower charges for airlines and passengers. Under the deal, passenger fees will rise from £8.80 in 2014 to a maximum of £10.68 in 2020/21. This means an increase of RPI+1.3% over a 7 year period rather than RPI +.3.3%. Gatwick claimed that if it stays within the current regulatory framework, the maximum per passenger fee would rise to £11.45 in 5 years. The CAA will come to a decision on the initial proposal on the airline contracts framework on 30 April 2013 and make a final decision in January 2014. Gatwick is planning to invest a further £1 billion in the airport between 2014 and 2019.     Click here to view full story…

Gatwick produced its Business Plan to 2024

Revised Business plan to 2024    (Feb 2013)    the earlier plan, to 2020, is at    Initial Business Plan to 2020  (April 2012)

Gatwick airport employs PR agencies to help sway opinion in favour of 2nd runway

February 5, 2013    Gatwick Airport has brought in Fishburn Hedges (a corporate PR agency) and the London Communications Agency on an integrated PR and public affairs brief, in order to try to drum up support for building a 2nd runway. Both agencies will work directly with the airport’s communications staff. They will be aiming to work at the local and regional level to “engage key stakeholders in London and West Sussex.” Gatwick is currently developing detailed expansion plans that could double the airport’s annual capacity to around 70 million passengers and will submit its case to the Airports Commission shortly.  Local campaigners have fought the threat of a second runway for years, as it would have seriously negative environmental and quality of life impacts for the area. Gatwick is legally prevented from starting a 2nd runway before 2019.    Click here to view full story…

DfT announces start of 3 month consultation on night flight regime at Heathrow, Gatwick & Stansted

January 22, 2013    The government has begun a 3 month consultation into night flights at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports. It is calling for views and evidence on “the effectiveness of the current regime, the costs and benefits of future options and airlines’ fleet replacement plans”. The consultation closes on 22nd April 2013. Transport Minister Simon Burns says: “This consultation includes a review of current evidence on the costs of night flights, particularly noise, and the benefits of these flights. It sets out our thinking on how we would expect to appraise the policy options for the next night flights regime.” The government will publish the 2nd consultation later this year. It will include specific proposals for the new regime, such as the number of permitted night flights. The proposals in the 2nd consultation will be informed by the evidence received from this 1st stage consultation. The Dft says it aims to strike “a fair balance between the interests of those affected by the noise disturbance and those of the airports, passengers and the UK economy.”    Click here to view full story…

easyJet changes Gatwick flights to take off more steeply above East Grinstead to cut noise

January 5, 2013     easyJet has agreed to changes so flights taking off from Gatwick in an easterly direction will climb at a sharper incline than before, and climb higher much faster. This is after East Grinstead town council intervention. The change will reduce noise levels on the ground in the north east of East Grinstead. Complaints there about aircraft noise had risen by 500%, with 2,000 households in the Imberhorne suffering from early morning and late evening noise disturbance. It appears that easyJet was flying at a lower altitude over East Grinstead than other airlines.    Click here to view full story…

Gatwick’s Stewart Wingate wants Gatwick and Stansted to have 2nd runways, to compete with Heathrow

January 3, 2013     The FT reports that Stewart Wingate, the CEO of Gatwick airport, has said that London should develop 3 two-runway airports to solve its (alleged) aviation capacity challenge and limit the dominance of Heathrow. He does not want a 3 runway Heathrow, or a massive Thames Estuary airport, and he expects Gatwick’s one runway to be full by the mid to late 2020s. Gatwick’s owners want a 2nd runway costing up to £5m that would open sometime after 2020, and believe it would be cheaper to build 2nd runways at Gatwick and Stansted – some £3 – 5 billion each – rather than a 3rd Heathrow runway, which would cost about £10 billion, or a much more expensive Thames estuary airport at £50 – 60 billion. He does not believe the UK needs only one hub, nor Heathrow’s arguments that it must be allowed to expand in order to support more long-haul flights to emerging markets such as the Far East. He believes airlines like easyJet could fly in passengers to connect to long haul flights from Gatwick or Stansted, in competition to Heathrow.     Click here to view full story…

Willie Walsh tells Transport Committee there is no business case for a Gatwick 2nd runway

December 4, 2012     At the Transport Committee evidence session, Stewart Wingate, Gatwick chief executive, said he would oppose a 3rd runway at Heathrow and wanted to see Gatwick develop as a competing hub airport. But Heathrow’s Colin Mattews said airlines will only pay for expansion at one UK airport and that is Heathrow, implying he would oppose a 2nd Gatwick runway. Willie Walsh also told the committee there was no business case to expand Gatwick, and said he was not aware of any discussion with airlines about the extra amount they would have to pay for a new Gatwick runway. Willie Walsh said “the only business case you could stand over is one to invest in a 3rd runway at Heathrow, but I’m not going to waste my time because it’s not going to happen.” Divide and rule ?    Click here to view full story…

Gatwick and Heathrow attack each other in row over hub airport status, new runways and flights to Far East

December 3, 2012      Heathrow and Gatwick have given evidence to the Commons Transport Committee. Colin Matthews for Heathrow said Heathrow should be the single hub, and needs a 3rd runway. Stewart Wingate, Gatwick chief executive, said he would oppose a 3rd runway at Heathrow and wanted to see Gatwick develop as a competing hub airport. Gatwick announced plans to connect low-cost domestic and European flights to long-haul services, to the Far East or USA, with improved baggage transfer, to take on Heathow’s hub airport model. Mr Wingate also proposed London should be served by three 2-runway airports, with both Gatwick and Stansted getting an extra runway, instead of Heathrow getting a 3rd. He rejected suggestions that the South East was facing an airport crisis and said: “There’s a lot of capacity in the system. The challenge is how to make better use of it in the short term.” As well as representatives from the 4 main London airports giving evidence, there were also anti-expansion campaigners. EasyJet said “The importance of the hub airport has been massively overstated.”    Click here to view full story…

Korean Air to suspend Gatwick service in winter

 29 Nov 2012    Korean Air is to suspend its new Gatwick-Seoul service during the off-peak winter season, from January 12th. An airline spokesperson explained that a substantial proportion of traffic on this three-times-a-week service, which only started in April, comprises Asian group tourists who fly into London but return with Korean Air from another city in mainland Europe.  The flights will resume from April 27 in time for the busier summer season. Flights will continue to operate at the same flight frequency and with the same aircraft type, a B777-200 configured with 8 first, 28 business and 210 economy class seats. One factor in Korean Air’s decision for the winter suspension may be the increase in capacity on the route from Sunday (December 2) when BA will be returning to Seoul after an absence of more than 10 years. BA’s five times a week service to Seoul from Heathrow begins on December 2 using a Boeing B777-200.    Link 

Gatwick announces more profit, slightly more passengers and hopes of 2nd runway

November 29, 2012     Gatwick airport has announced increased profits, and increased numbers of passengers compared to last year. Comparing each month with the same month a year ago, passengers were up by 2.1% in October; up 2.4% in September; up 0.2% in August; down – 0.1% in July; up 4% in June and up 2% in May. Profits increased by 4.8% over the same April to September period in 2011. Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s chief executive, says the airport is opening up new long-haul routes to Russian, China, Vietnam and Korea. He says the growing numbers of passengers “is why we recently announced our plans to explore 2nd runway options as we believe growth at Gatwick is the best option for increasing connectivity for the next generation.” He says there is an over-emphasis in the UK on the need for a single hub airport and London could follow a similar model to New York, which is served by 3 key airports. Rival Heathrow says the New York model wouldn’t work in the UK as there is only one major network airline in this country – British Airways – compared to three in the US.    Click here to view full story…

Gatwick campaign, GACC, says “in a civilised world there would be no night flights”

November 19, 2012     The Government is due to publish within the coming month a consultation on the future of night flights at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted. At their recent AGM, GACC members expressed support for people across Europe who are holding a ‘day of action’ against night flights on 24th November. At Gatwick there is a quota for the number of planes allowed to land at night, and a separate quota for the number of noise points. Under pressure from GACC the noise point quota has been steadily reduced over the past 20 years. There are about 50 flights each night in summer at Gatwick, more than at any other UK airport except East Midlands. But the night noise is lower than at Heathrow – because the aircraft are on average smaller. GACC will now be asking for both quotas to be reduced. The new aviation White Paper – which will be produced in spring 2013 – should recognise the desirability of reducing the number of night flights. GACC is opposed to a ‘respite period’ in the middle of the night if that meant more flights at the beginning and end of the night.    Click here to view full story…

Heathrow rejects both “Heathwick” and any idea of a dual hub with Stansted

October 30, 2012    On 21st October, Philip Hammond (now Defence Secretary, but who was Transport Secretary) said a Thames estuary airport would be very expensive and require closing Heathrow, which he believes would “destroy” the economies of West London, the Thames Valley, and the Surrey-Sussex corridor and be a complete disaster. He also said “I have long thought the answer is one hub across two sites, with a fast shuttle service between Heathrow and Gatwick.” Now José Leo, BAA’s [now renamed Heathrow Ltd] company’s chief financial officer says “Heathwick” would mean Heathrow would lose a “critical element of competition” if passengers had to spend time on trains between airports. So neither Heathrow nor Gatwick want Heathwick. On the suggested rail link between Heathrow and Stansted, Mr Leo said that had a dual hub system between Heathrow and Stansted been viable, BAA,would already have pursued that option, but it would not be of use to Heathrow.   Click here to view full story…

Gatwick 2nd runway – GACC explains the 10 key reasons why not

October 22, 2012    GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign – has set out clearly the reasons why a 2nd runway at Gatwick should not be built. First, the runway would be only 400 yards from homes in Crawley, with the airport boundary just 100 yards away. The noise and pollution for those residents can only be imagined. The impact of an airport the size of Heathrow at Gatwick would have immense consequences on the area, in terms of noise, large inward migration of labour, additional housing, the urbanisation of rural areas, not to mention loss of peace an quiet. The runway shown on the Gatwick airport plan is too close to the existing runway to allow space for a new terminal and for aircraft to manoeuvre safely on the ground. Gatwick can never accommodate 4 runways, which would be needed if a vast hub airport was regarded as necessary for the UK. The expansion of air travel on a scale to require new runways would be ruled out by the UK’s climate change targets. The forecast expansion of aviation is largely due to aviation fuel not being taxed and air tickets not being subject to VAT (APD is small by comparison).    Click here to view full story…

Gatwick airport to push for 2nd runway – opponents say scheme has repeatedly been found impracticable

October 17, 2012 Gatwick has declared its intent to push for a 2nd runway and is to start drawing up detailed plans for government approval. The airport says the runway is “affordable and practical” and will allow it to compete with Heathrow. Although an agreement prohibits any new runway opening before 2019 at Gatwick, the airport is to start detailed work on the options, to be presented to the Davies Commission – with a view to getting the go-ahead after the next election. The airport says a 2nd runway would increase capacity to 70 million passengers a year (it handled around 33 million in 2011) and would also mean the construction of a third terminal building. Campaigners warned they would “fight tooth and nail” against any proposal. Brendon Sewill of GACC said: “The option they have got does not make for a good airport, with no proper space for planes and a new terminal between them [the runways] – unless they’re demolishing part of Crawley. We are totally opposed on environmental grounds. I don’t believe a new runway will be built until Stansted is full, but it’s a long way off. They’re putting their hat in the ring. They’ve said they want to sell the airport in 2018 so our guess is that they’re aiming to keep the price up for when they sell it rather than building a runway.”    Click here to view full story…

Surrey County Council rejects new runways at Heathrow and Gatwick

October 16, 2012      Conservative-led Surrey County Council have rejected plans to build more runways at Heathrow and Gatwick, due to their concerns about the impact on the environment. It will write to the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, to say it is against airport expansion. Council leader David Hodge said SCC opposed any plans to build additional runways “out of line with the existing county council policy”. SCC had a policy agreed in March 2008 opposing expansion unless there was “comprehensive and creditable investment” satisfactorily addressing environmental issues. Lib Dem councillors said the airports have reached their limit. They want alternatives elsewhere to increase in UK airport capacity. Opposition leader Hazel Watson said increased capacity at Gatwick would lead to the loss of “precious countryside” and “irreplaceable historic buildings”.    Click here to view full story…

Transport Minister Norman Baker urges no expansion at Gatwick

September 26, 2012    Norman Baker, MP for Lewes, has said here should be no expansion at Gatwick, but a high-speed rail connection with Heathrow – dubbed ‘Heathwick’ – should be looked into. He made the comment at the Lib Dem conference during the debate on the Policy Motion, “A Sustainable Future for Aviation.” Mr Baker outlined his strong commitment to ensuring that the environment does not play second fiddle to airport expansion, and underlined the Lib Dem manifesto commitments – “no” to a 3rd Heathrow runway, “no” to airport expansion in the South-east and “no” to an airport in the Thames Estuary. He said the Lib Dems “will not walk away from our commitments to the environment“ and that there is spare capacity at Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Luton and Stansted, contrary to what is often reported in the press, and using this capacity better is a priority for the short term.    Click here to view full story…

GACC welcomes the low priority given to a new runway in the Gatwick master plan

July 23, 2012   GACC, the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, has commented on the Gatwick Airport Master Plan that was published last week.  They welcome the assurance given by the Gatwick CEO, Stewart Wingate, that “Gatwick Airport is not actively pursuing, promoting or lobbying for a 2nd runway”. However, GIP, the major shareholder in Gatwick, wants to sell its shares in around 2018 and the prospect of a new runway would improve the price.  GACC reiterates that there is no space for an efficient new runway (as the master plan admits) and it is doubtful if a new runway would prove profitable. GACC chairman, Brendon Sewill, said: “If any new runway ever became a serious possibility, there would be massive opposition from across Surrey, Sussex and Kent.” GACC have also rubbished the economic figures in the master plan, with its hugely exaggerated jobs claims, and inaccurate and inflated figures of alleged economic benefit.   Click here to view full story…

Consultation on P-RNAV for departure routes from Gatwick airport

July to October 2012

For three months Gatwick held a public consultation on proposals to refine the existing aircraft departure routes from Gatwick Airport within the next 5 years.   The full consultation document is at: Gatwick P-RNAV Departure SID consultation     http://www.gatwickairport.com/prnav

Gatwick runway being re-surfaced

29.6.2012  Costing several million ££s, starting on 28th June, the main runway is closed for around seven hours six nights a week for the mammoth task of relaying the surface, replacing lights and working on the sub-stations, among many other vital upgrades. The work takes place once air traffic is switched from the main runway to the maintenance runway. The airport says:  “The world’s busiest commercial runway at Gatwick is 2,300m long and 91m wide and sees up to 53 flights an hour, working 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. It was last resurfaced in 2000”. link.

Justine Greening confirms, in Parliament, no new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted and no Heathrow mixed mode

June 29, 2012     Transport Secretary Justine Greening has insisted the Government will stick to the coalition agreement’s restrictions on airport expansion, ruling out a 3rd runway at Heathrow. She also confirmed the government’s support for the full agreement, signed between the Tories and Liberal Democrats, which also rules out further runways at Gatwick and Stansted. The question she was asked, in Parliament, was (by Julian Huppert, Cambridge Lib Dem) “Will the Secretary of State confirm that the Government will stand by the whole of the coalition agreement in this area? Will she confirm that they will stand by the cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow, as she has said, will refuse additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted, and will rule out mixed mode at Heathrow?”. Her reply was: “I think I have been very clear: the coalition agreement, in its entirety, stands. That is the position.”   Click here to view full story…

Gatwick Airport renews push for second runway after 2019

June 24, 2012     Gatwick will publish a “master plan” next month setting out what the airport will look like in eight years’ time, including 2 scenarios for how it could develop after 2020 – including the case for a 2nd runway. The airport’s MD, Stewart Wingate, says a 2nd runway at Gatwick or Stansted would be easier and cheaper than either a new airport in the Thames Estuary or expansion at Heathrow. Fewer people would be affected by noise at Gatwick or Stansted than at Heathrow. Gatwick is restricted from building an extra runway before 2019 but has safeguarded land for the purpose. Mr Wingate reiterated his view that many foreign airlines have been given the false impression London’s aviation market as a whole is “closed for business” due to an “obsession” in some parts of the industry with Heathrow. There is plenty of capacity now at Gatwick and at Stansted, to increase flights to business destinations.    Click here to view full story…

Boris: dead against 3rd Heathrow runway, but wants runway at Stansted or Gatwick reconsidered (while waiting for the estuary airport)

May 29, 2012     Interviewed by Allegra Stratton, of BBC’s Newsnight, Boris Johnson said London should follow Hong Kong’s example and build a new airport. And quickly. Boris Johnson has accused the government of trying to kick a decision about a new airport into “the long grass” until past the next election, and that this was down to the coalition leadership trying to “appease their ideological environmental wing” of both parties. Boris said his colleagues in central government appear to be “tip-toeing back towards the electrified fence of the third runway,” and says that if they go ahead they will get “the most powerful shock”. He opposes a 3rd Heathrow runway, but urges the government to discard the coalition agreement and consider expanding at Stansted or Gatwick as an interim solution ahead of any new airport built in the South East.   Click here to view full story…

Noise from planes approaching Gatwick flying over Edenbridge at ‘damaging levels’

20.4.2012    Noise from planes flying over Edenbridge is at potentially damaging levels, according to a Courier investigation. Edenbridge is about 8 miles from Gatwick, directly under the approach path.  Our study of sound levels over the town showed residents are being forced to put up with conditions that some experts believe could have long-term health implications, such as hypertension, hearing impairment and increased risk of heart disease.  Recently monitoring of the noise there showed spikes of up to 91 decibels under the flight path, around 9am, checking 29 planes flying overhead. They had an average volume of 72.7 decibels and a peak of 91. Local residents find it is the constant repetition and long duration of the noise that makes it so annoying.   http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1879

British Airways plans to cut almost 600 jobs at Gatwick Airport

April 11, 2012    Almost 600 BA employees at Gatwick could lose their jobs or be transferred to another company as part of BA plans to cut costs. It plans to cut 170 customer service and management support jobs and outsource 400 ramp worker roles. The jobs it plans to outsource include baggage, de-icing and coaching operations, and the arrivals baggage service. BA has begun consultation with unions over the plans. The GMB said the announcement was a “disaster for staff morale”. Unite said the plans were “extremely worrying” and called for the airline to guarantee no compulsory redundancies. BA is the only airline operating out of Gatwick with its own ground staff workforce. BA overall employed 7.7% fewer staff in 2010 than in 2009.  Click here to view full story…

David Cameron says Britain needs bigger airport for London (mentions Gatwick)

March 19, 2012   Mr Cameron’s comments came in a speech in London shortly after a meeting of the so-called Quad of senior Tory and Liberal Democrat ministers to put the final touches to Wednesday’s Budget. He said:”I’m not blind to the need to increase airport capacity, particularly in the south-east.” “We need to retain our status as a key global hub for air travel, not just a feeder route to bigger airports elsewhere, in Frankfurt, Amsterdam or Dubai.” Gatwick is emerging as a business airport for London, under a new owner competing with Heathrow.”  “Yes, this will be controversial. We will need to take decisions for the long-term – and we will be bringing forward options in our aviation strategy which will include an examination of the pros and cons of a new airport in the Thames estuary.” “The aviation paper that we will be producing will look at a range of options and possibilities, scope the whole issue but also look at what the estuary options are – obviously there is more than one.”   Click here to view full story…

Boris Johnson’s London Assemby colleague calls – again – “for Heathwick”, a 4 runway virtual airport

March 7, 2012    A 4 runway airport? That means a second runway at Gatwick too. Lady Victoria Borwick, a GLA member who has twice stood for the London mayoral elections, has again put forward her hopes for a “four runway virtual hub” – which means the discredited “Heathwick” scheme. That would involve a high speed rail link cut between Heathrow and Gatwick. Gatwick Airport Ltd itself has said A “virtual” hub makes no sense …. The airside to airside transfer times, and the difficulties with baggage, will make it deeply unattractive to travellers. Why transfer through such a hub when it can be done so much more easily at a number of airports in Europe?” The idea of Heathwick fails because of a number of key and insuperable problems such as if deep-bored, it would be vastly expensive for little benefit; if not deep-bored it would do huge environmental damage. And other reasons. Perhaps Lady Borwick has not done her research. Click here to view full story…

James Colman to Join Gatwick as Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Director

24.2.2012  Gatwick Airport announced  that James Colman will be joining the Executive Management team as Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Director, taking up the post in April.   He will lead a team of 22 people spanning media and PR, Public Affairs, Internal Communications, Airport Communications and Corporate Responsibility.  2012 will be a critical year for the Government’s new aviation policy and James will be responsible for positioning Gatwick in the critical debates about the future of UK aviation, as well as continuing to promote Gatwick as London’s airport of choice, emphasising quality of customer service compared with its competitors. http://world.einnews.com/247pr/264646

Gatwick: A sensible approach. GACC meeting with GAL

January 24, 2012    The community group representing residents near Gatwick Airport (GAL), the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), recently met senior staff at the airport to discuss issues of common concern. GACC welcomed the realistic approach taken by GAL to the new aviation policy, concentrating first on improving the passenger experience and keeping out of the overheated press speculation about new runways or a new Estuary airport. GACC welcomes the airport’s recognition that ‘Heathwick’ (Gatwick linked to Heathrow by high speed rail to make a virtual hub) makes no sense.” The airport says it operates generally at around 78% capacity. (GACC press release)    Click here to view full story…

Gatwick airport says it has had 3.3% passenger growth March to September

November 30, 2011   Gatwick airport says it has had an underlying passenger growth rate of 3.3% over the 6 months March to April. (The apparent increase of 8.5% is distorted by the ash cloud effects in 2010).  In practice, passenger numbers fell for much of 2010 so the rise does not signify much. Passengers were higher in 2008 and 2009. Gatwick has increased the aircraft landing charge during summer and removed them in winter to encourage greater all-year round use of the airport. Some new airlines will start to operate services from Gatwick this Winter, including AirAsia X, Vietnam Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa.  Click here to view full story…

Response by GACC to the Gatwick Master Plan 2011

November 21, 2011    Gatwick Airport produced its draft Master Plan on 13th October. The consultation lasts till 13th January. GACC, the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, has produced a thoughtful, well researched and hard hitting response, picking out the many areas on which the master plan is deficient, where information is left out and where assumptions and forecasts are made which are unrealistic. The response highlights issues such as the absence of consideration given to rising oil prices, and to the amount of money taken out of the UK by holiday makers travelling abroad – the tourism deficit – which cuts UK tourism employment. It also questions dubious economic figures, for which the airport cannot produce evidence. Click here to view full story…

GACC finds Gatwick Master Plan contains serious misrepresentations and is deeply flawed

October 24, 2011     The GACC committee finds the master plan contains several serious misrepresentations. It conceals the increase in noise that will occur from a rise in number of flights by 60%. It says the aviation industry contributes £53 billion to UK’s economy per year, while the DfT gave the figure of £9 billion. They have committed the elementary economic error of using gross turnover rather than net output. It omits mention of jobs exported due to outward-bound tourism and makes over optimistic jobs claims.   Click here to view full story…

Gatwick master plan consultation launched, with runway in prospect after 2020

October 13, 2011    The new Gatwick master plan, published today, contains plans for a possible new runway some time after 2020. “If that were ever to become a serious threat it would be fought tooth and nail by GACC, with support from hundreds of thousands of people throughout Surrey, Sussex and Kent, said Brendon Sewill, GACC chairman. “But we believe it will never happen. It is Government policy that no new runways should be built in the South East. The official forecasts show that the London airports will not be full until 2030, and it would make no commercial or environmental sense to build a new runway while there is still unused capacity. If oil prices rise the date may well be much later.” Click here to view full story…

Business chiefs drop bid to win Gatwick Diamond Enterprise Zone status

21st June 2011     Business chiefs have called off a bid to win special Enterprise Zone status for the Gatwick Diamond area. The Coast to Capital Board Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), had indicated the Gatwick Diamond as one of its favoured areas for Enterprise Zone status. But of the four areas being looked at, the board announced its intention to submit the Bognor Regis Enterprise Zone proposal to central government by the end of the month.   Click here to view full story…

earlier …

Local Enterprise Partnership submits Gatwick Diamond enterprise zone bid

 13th May 2011      The Gatwick Diamond area could become one of the Government’s next round of enterprise zones under plans proposed by local business leaders. The Coast to Capital LEP, which stretches from Croydon to West Sussex, has made the submission, along with bids for the Croydon and Bognor Regis areas. Enterprise zone status is designed to stimulating growth and investment by relaxing the planning regime and providing incentives to business.

Air quality under the microscope at Gatwick

7th March 2011     Norman Baker, the Parliamentary Under-secretary of State for Transport, will be giving the keynote speech at a seminar into air quality – Sussex-air 2011 – at Gatwick on 11th March.  The Sussex Air Quality Partnership (Sussex-air) was set up more than ten years ago to support Sussex authorities with their duties under the Environment Act of 1995, and with the implementation of the United Kingdom Air Quality Strategy.     Click here to view full story…

Gatwick’s new owners take £330m dividend just 15 months after buying airport

5th March 2011     The 5 owners, led by 42% controlling shareholder GIP, are pocketing the payout as part of a quicker-than-expected £1.2bn refinancing. The size of the dividend has infuriated BAA and Ferrovial, which had to sell Gatwick. Taking more than £300m out of the business so soon highlights the degree to which regulators have assisted a transfer of value from BAA’s shareholders to Gatwick’s new owners. Since the sale GIP has sold down its equity.    Click here to view full story…

Gatwick: Is a runway plan stopping golf fairways?

3rd March 2011    A year ago, the chairman of owner GAL, Sir David Rowlands, stated publicly that the company had “not a shred of interest in a 2nd runway”.  Concerned residents, who have been fighting any such plans for decades, were further reassured by the coalition Government’s opposition. But now a local landowner who has been trying to get consent for a golf course on an adjacent site, finds the airport objecting at every turn. Doubtless they want it for a runway.    Click here to view full story…

NOT GUILTY of annoying the airport by complaining about Gatwick aircraft noise

16th February 2011     An elderly lady was recently arrested, at the instigation of Gatwick Airport, for lodging too many complaints with the airport noise complaints line. She was charged with the criminal offence of using a telephone to cause annoyance or anxiety – although she only spoke to an airport answerphone set up to receive noise complaints. She was taken to court but found not guilty. GACC said it was a disgrace the case had ever been brought, wasting public money.    Click here to view full story…

Gatwick chairman blasts airport expansion ban (not a surprise)

2nd December 2010     The government moratorium on airport expansion has been strongly criticised by the former permanent secretary at the DfT, who warned that ministers could not ignore the demand for new runways. Sir David Rowlands, now chairman of Gatwick Airport, said the need for new airport capacity in the UK could not be avoided and warned that aviation’s contribution to the British economy was not appreciated as much as it should be. (Guardian)         Click here to view full story…

Managing director, Stewart Wingate, leaves Stansted – succeeded by David Johnston

2nd December 2010       BAA today announces that David Johnston has been appointed managing director of Stansted Airport, succeeding Stewart Wingate, who has chosen to leave the company to join Connaught plc. David is currently group procurement director, having joined BAA in 2007 as managing director of Edinburgh Airport.   This is the 4th change of MD in four years.           Click here to view full story

Gatwick chairman blasts airport expansion ban (not a surprise)

2nd December 2010 The government moratorium on airport expansion has been strongly criticised by the former permanent secretary at the DfT, who warned that ministers could not ignore the demand for new runways. Sir David Rowlands, now chairman of Gatwick Airport, said the need for new airport capacity in the UK could not be avoided and warned that aviation’s contribution to the British economy was not appreciated as much as it should be. (Guardian)     Click here to view full story…

“Gatwick hell” eases as airport queues speed up

24th November 2010       Gatwick has turned around its reputation as one of Britain’s worst run airports a year after it was sold by BAA to GIP in Dec 2009. Regular passengers say they have been astonished by the banishing of &lquot;Gatwick hell&rquot; at an airport once notorious for long queues and surly staff. Gatwick, which handles about 32 million passengers a year.  GIP promised £1 billion of improvements to its two ageing terminals and politeness training for staff.  (Standard)    Click here to view full story…

Gatwick runway victory celebrated

16th November 2010 Over 40 representatives of local councils and environmental groups attended the annual GACC meeting. The keynote speech was given by Crawley MP Henry Smith who said  “While everyone recognises the significance of the airport to the local economy it is important that the area should not become over-dependent on one industry.   The volcanic ash close-down, the threat of terrorist attacks and the recession all remind us of how vulnerable the aviation industry is”     Click here to view full story… Includes map showing where a northern and a southern runway might be positioned (northern runway unlikely)

£1bn Gatwick Airport revamp starts take-off including runway upgrade

6th November 2010     Gatwick is inviting tenders for the upgrade of the main runway, which forms a key part of the airport’s £1bn overhaul.   GIP  expects to spend around £40m over the next 2 years completely rebuilding the runway system and fitting new ground lighting. More than 70,000 tonnes of blacktop needs to be laid to resurface the  runway and linking taxiways.  Construction work is due to start next autumn and is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.     Click here to view full story…

Passenger numbers drop at Gatwick Airport

21st October 2010
Gatwick has announced a drop of 2.6% in passenger numbers during September due to the continuing effects of the economic downturn and lower numbers of leisure travellers. Long-haul travel to destinations other than North America was the only sector to see any increase in passengers, recording growth of 7.1%. Passengers going to Ireland decreased by more than 10%, while travellers on services to north Atlantic destinations fell by just over 1%.         Click here to view full story…

 

‘No noise assurances’ from airport over Airbus A380 using Gatwick

20th October 2010       GACC is urging caution after Gatwick Airport was granted  permission to operate the Airbus A380 superjumbo. Gatwick has  already invested £43m to build  6 new stands after Crawley Borough Council removed restrictions preventing the giant aircraft from landing unless in an emergency.   But GACC  has expressed concern about the potential increase in noise and disturbance to local residents. Gatwick Airport Limited must introduce a vortex compensation scheme.       Click here to view full story…

Gatwick cleared for A380 superjumbo flights

19th October 2010 Gatwick has been granted planning permission to operate the world’s largest commercial airliner, the 555-seat Airbus A380 superjumbo. BA and Virgin Atlantic, which operate from Gatwick, have both ordered the plane. Previously, Heathrow, Stansted & Manchester were the only UK airports to regularly accommodate it. Gatwick has spent £43m preparing for the A380, with 2 of its 6 new large aircraft stands able to accommodate it. (BBC)         Click here to view full story…

Gatwick Airport unveils £53m station revamp

14th October 2010 Network Rail said the station was the busiest airport station in the UK last year, and the scheme would provide improvements for passengers. It involves creating a new platform and refurbishing the concourse, as well as upgrading the track and signalling. Work will start next autumn and is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. Network Rail (= the taypayer) will pay £44.9 million towards the upgrade, and Gatwick Airport £7.9 million.     Click here to view full story…

Gatwick’s Wingate vows end to playing `Second Child’ to Heathrow

6th October 2010 Gatwick airport plan to cut fees, improve rail links and lure long-haul carriers in a bid to boost the annual passenger count as much as 40% and better compete with Heathrow. Infrastructure improvements and more competitive rates for airlines could help lift traffic at Gatwick to as many as 45 million people/year. GIP aims to establish Gatwick as a London gateway for services that don’t require onward links, distinguishing it from Heathrow. (Bloomberg)     Click here to view full story…

GIP eyes sale of stake in Gatwick airport

27th September 2010 Global Infrastructure Partners is in talks to sell part of its shareholding in the airport to an unidentified investor. GIP is apparently holding negotiations to offload a minority stake to a global institutional investment group. The stake up for sale is similar in size to the 12% stake purchased by South Korea’s national pension fund for just under £100m. The acquirer may be a sovereign wealth fund from Asia or the Middle East. (Telegraph)         Click here to view full story…

Gatwick Airport passenger numbers fell by -3.1% in July

13th August 2010
Gatwick saw a -3.1% drop in passenger numbers in July compared with July 2009. Total passengers were 3,431,100 million approx. Air transport movements were down – 5.1%. Cargo was up +95%. About half Gatwick’s passengers are on European scheduled flights, and these were down -3.3%. Flights to Ireland down -11.5%, European charter down -3.6%, North Atlantic down -12%. But long haul other than North America were up +9% (with +3.3% for year to date).         Click here to view full story…
by comparison

Heathrow  new record in July to 6.7 million but BAA airports   pax only up +0.3% in July

10th August 2010
 Heathrow  had its highest number of passengers during July, up +3.5% compared to July 2009 (which was itself up +0.9% compared to July 2008). For BAA’s UK airports, passengers were up by only + 03% this July, and they were down yet again at Stansted, – 7.2%. Passengers were down -3.6% at Glasgow, down – 1.4% at Southampton, down – 4.1% at Aberdeen, but up 0.6% at Edinburgh. Air transport movements were down slightly – 0.4% for all BAA’s UK airports.     Click here to view full story…

 

Gatwick plans to cut carbon by 50% !! (not including the flights of course)

6th August 2010 Eureka ! Gatwick Airport has outlined its 10-year green plan, including a bid to cut its carbon emissions by 50% by 2020, compared to 2009 levels. (That of course ignores the airport’s intentions to grow from 32 – 40 million passengers per year … massively increasing carbon emissions). The airport has all sorts of good intentions like reducing waste sent to landfill, using less energy and less water, and is even being applauded by the Carbon Trust ….. heigh ho ! Click here to view full story…

London Assembly opposes any increase in flights at BAA’s London airports.

18th June 2010 The London Assembly has unanimously called for a ban on any increase in the number of flights operating from BAA’s London airports. It expressed concern that following the Government’s decision to reject a 3rd runway at Heathrow, BAA may try increase the number of flights from its airports by the back door, by operational and regulatory changes like allowing mixed mode operations and increasing the number of night flights. (These would be strongly opposed).       Click here to view full story…

California Public Employees Retirement System buys 12.7% stake in Gatwick

19th June 2010
The US’s biggest state pension fund has confirmed it was buying an equity stake in Gatwick airport. It will buy a £106m ($157m) stake from Global Infrastructure Partners, the buy-out group. GIP, which bought Gatwick from BAA last year for just over £1.5bn, is selling stakes to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia), one of the world’s leading sovereign wealth funds, and South Korea’s National Pension Service, the fifth-biggest pension fund in the world.     Click here to view full story…

Gatwick Airport: public reactions to the absence of aircraft noise during the volcanic ash crisis

11th May 2010 For 6 days peace was restored to the countryside around Gatwick. Older people commented that the world had gone back to what it was like in the 1930’s. It was a less fraught world with blue skies and birdsong, where one could talk to one’s neighbours without constant interruptions and sleep more soundly at night. It was a reminder of how life would be if aircraft had not been given exemption from the laws limiting noise which apply to every other industry.   Click here to view full story…

What the political parties told “Gatwick Can Be Quieter” about their aviation policies

6th May 2010 On 29th April, Gatwick Can Be Quieter (GatCan) asked 32 local election candidates in the area, and the central offices of each major party to make their views on aviation matters known to the electorate. The asked what plans the parties have for controlling spiraling growth in air traffic, making the polluter pay in aviation, phasing out old and inefficient aircraft, regulating the aviation sector etc – the replies received are printed in full. (GatCan)     Click here to view full story…

Gatwick: Survey of ‘unexpected peace and quiet’

19th April 2010 While having every sympathy for those stranded without flights, GACC is using the unanticipated closure of Gatwick as a scientific opportunity to test what the Surrey, Sussex and Kent environment would be like with much quieter aircraft. GACC will be conducting a survey of councils and environmental groups (around 100 are GACC members) to establish how much road traffic is related to the airport, and the contrast with the peace and quiet at present. (GACC)   Click here to view full story…

“Gatwick Can Be Quieter” issues an election challenge

 13th April 2010
The new local group at Gatwick, “Gatwick Can Be Quieter” has put out a challenge to the prospective parliamentary candidates near the airport to say what they will do to reduce the impacts of aviation, and its expected growth. They particularly want to get answers from candidates on making the polluter pay, controlling spirallying aviation growth, and phasing out older, inefficient and noisier aircraft. Click here to view full story

 Gatwick Airport – passengers up 3% in March and cargo up

9th April 2010 In March, passengers at Gatwick were up 3% compared to March 2009 – which was itself down – 17.7% compared to March 2008. Gatwick was not much affected by the BA strikes. North Atlantic traffic fell by – 17.6%, and European charter traffic fell by – 10.3%. However, European scheduled traffic rose by + 10.8% ATMs fell by 0.9% compared to March 2009. Air cargo was up by + 65.8% compared to March 2009, which was itself down by – 55.2% compared to March 2008.   (Gatwick)       Click here to view full story…

Passengers and air cargo up at Gatwick during February

10th March 2010 During February, compared to Feb 2009 passengers were up 3.2%, ATMs were up by 3.5% and air cargo was up by 38.9%.     Cargo tonnage grew for the fourth consecutive month but remains down on a rolling 12 month basis. European scheduled services have grown 10.5% while European charter  was down 11.6%. North Atlantic passengers were down by 21.1%.   Other long haul was up 7%.   A year ago, all were considerably down on Feb 2008.        Click here to view full story…

UK-to-US traffic down 10% in 2009; Heathrow’s share of market jumps from 60% to 75% in two years

9th March 2010       In 2009 there was a 10% fall in passengers on UK-US  routes, compared to 2008. This was the lowest level since 1997 and a long way short of the 20 million which the growth in the market during the late 90s would have suggested. Only 14% of UK-US flights are from airports other than Gatwick and Heathrow. Heathrow’s share has leapt from 61% in 2007 to 70% in 2008 and 76% in 2009. Gatwick US flights fell by 31% in 2009. (anna aero) Click here to view full story…

New Gatwick owner rules out second runway

8th February 2010
Sir David Rowlands, Chairman of the Board of Gatwick Airport, says a 2nd runway will not be considered any time in the foreseeable future, and “We at Gatwick have not a shred of interest in a 2nd runway. It’s not government policy and it’s not in our policy. Even if the Government started to look more favourably at the prospect, we would have to think very hard about spending £100 to £200 million on a planning application with an uncertain decision.”     More …..

Abu Dhabi fund to take 15% Gatwick stake

5th February 2010 The owners of Gatwick have sold another stake – about 15% – in the airport, this time to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world’s leading sovereign wealth funds. Earlier in the week, South Korea’s National Pension Service took a 12% stake in Gatwick. GIP plans to retain overall control. The spokesman declined to say precisely how much Adia had paid. (FT)       Click here to view full story…

South Koreans to take 12% stake in Gatwick Airport

2nd February 2010 South Korea’s National Pension Service, the world’s 5th biggest pension fund, will next week take a 12% stake in Gatwick airport, an investment of a little less than £100m.    The NPS last year bought the headquarters of HSBC in Canary Wharf for £773m in cash. GIP, which owns Gatwick, said the deal was part of plans on  the purchase of Gatwick to sell a minority interest in the airport in its portfolio management.    Click here to view full story…

Global Infrastructure Partners announces board for Gatwick Airport

24th November 2009 GIP has announced the following appointments to the Board of Gatwick, to take effect following completion of the acquisition in the 1st week of December. GIP will be investing through Ivy Bidco Limited, a company established for the purposes of making the acquisition. The board will be chaired by Sir David Rowlands, the former Permanent Secretary at the DfT. Also Michael McGhee, Bill Woodburn, Andrew Jurenko, and James van Hoften. (BAA)       Click here to view full story…

New Gatwick owners – GIP – set out plans

23rd November 2009 The new owners of Gatwick. Global Infrastructure Partners, have promised a “relentless” focus on customer service. They have announced a new board to run the airport following its takeover from BAA, and want to “inject real competition into the London airports market.&rquot; GIP expects to complete the acquisition of Gatwick in the first week of December. (TravelMole)         Click here to view full story…

Government refuses Gatwick inquiry

23rd November 2009 The Government has refused to hold a public inquiry into plans to expand the North Terminal, saying it should be left to “local democracy”. The planned developemnt is bigger than the total size of many regional airports. GACC believes that to permit it with no detailed examination and no safeguards for the environment is a disgrace. The expansion would allow the airport to expand from its previous peak of 35 million passengers a year to 40 million. (GACC)         Click here to view full story…

Gatwick – NO Runway pledge given by key Tory MP

16th November 2009 At the AGM of GACC, Horsham MP Francis Maude made the pledge that a Conservative government would say no to a new runway at Gatwick. Mr Maude is the man in charge of implementing the next Conservative manifesto. He said &lquot;That is a firm Shadow Cabinet decision which will not be changed, whatever the pressure from the airlines. We will be authorising a high-speed rail link to the north of England”. (Reigate etc Life)  Click here to view full story…

Government puts Gatwick expansion plans on hold

20th October 2009 The Government has imposed an Article 14 Direction on Crawley Borough Council to prevent them giving planning permission to extend the North Terminal until the Government decides whether there should be a public inquiry. Crawley had unexpectedly brought forward a decision on the BAA planning application, and it was debated on 19 October. The Council were ‘minded to approve’ but prevented from giving the go-ahead.    Click here to view full story…

Gatwick extension faces objection

19th October 2009 Campaigners against the expansion of Gatwick are objecting to plans to extend its North Terminal and build a multi-storey car park. Gatwick has submitted 2 applications to Crawley council for developments which will allow it to handle an extra 5 million passengers a year by 2018. Objectors say the plans will increase noise, pollution, traffic and create water shortages. Gatwick said environmental impact had to be balanced with economic benefits. (BBC)         Click here to view full story…

GACC are calling for Gatwick terminal expansion enquiry

12th October 2009 A planning application to extend Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal may be called in by the Government and lead to a public inquiry, the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) has suggested. The group has written to Crawley Borough Council’s head of planning objecting to a full application from the airport for the building of southern and eastern extensions to the North Terminal in Departures Road. (UK Airport News)     Click here to view full story…

Gatwick sale back on as talks progress

 11th October 2009
A long-awaited deal to sell BAA’s Gatwick Airport to Global Infrastructure Partners could be approaching take-off after positive talks last week. Both sides have made minor concessions over price. GIP, a joint-venture between Credit Suisse and US conglomerate General Electric that owns London City Airport, initially bid £1.3bn – £1.4bn. BAA may be keen to do a deal before 19th October, which is the BAA Competition Appeal Tribunal.     (Telegraph)   Click here to view full story…

BAA traffic drops 2.6% in Sept, but they see recovery signs

9th October 2009 Passenger traffic at BAA airports fell 2.6% in September, matching modest declines of recent months. Air transport movements dropped -6.1% Cargo volumes shrank at their slowest pace for 10 months – down -6.3%. Passenger numbers at Heathrow were down -0.3% on Sept 2008; down -0.5% at Gatwick but dropped -11.6% at Stansted. Edinburgh’s passenger numbers grew for the 6th successive month +3.8%, while Glasgow fell -8.9%, and Aberdeen – 5.3%. Southampton down -4.6%.     Click here to view full story…

BAA July traffic figures – BAA airport traffic stabilising

10th August 2009 BAA data for July show passengers at BAA UK airports were down 2.4% compared to July 2008. They were down 4.8% at Gatwick, down 5.7% at Stansted, down 12.9% at Glasgow, and down 9% at Aberdeen – smaller drops than in previous months. However, passengers were up 0.9% at Heathrow, and up 5.6% at Edinburgh. Air traffic movements were down 5.1% at BAA UK airports, and down 3% at Heathrow. UK domestic traffic was 4.8%, and European scheduled traffic rose 1.2%. (BAA)         Click here to view full story…

BAA expects rise in Heathrow passenger numbers – to avoid selling Gatwick

10th August 2009         BAA showed a rise in July passengers at Heathrow of 0.9% compared to July 2008. Total passenger numbers across the group – including all BAA UK airports showed a marked slowdown in the rate of decline, down -2.4% on July 2008. It says this reinforces the claim that it does not need to sell Gatwick to meet a £1bn debt payment. The company argues it can make a crucial £1bn debt repayment next March without having to sell assets or access new capital. (Guardian)         Click here to view full story…

Gatwick airport submits application for North Terminal extension

Gatwick has put in a planning application for an extension to the North Terminal and other works to enable the airport to expand from its previous peak of 35 million passengers a year to 40 m, with 20,000 extra flights a year. The increase sought is larger than the total size of many regional airports, and will mean more noise, and more pollution. The impact of the application would be more than double the total climate change impact of Crawley Borough.   6.8.2009    More …..

EasyJet’s Gatwick price claims rejected

27th June 2009 The High Court has dismissed allegations by easyJet that price increases approved at Gatwick last year were legally flawed, the Civil Aviation Authority said on Friday. EasyJet had accused the CAA, which regulates the airports network, of unlawfully raising the cost of using the airport, claiming that the price hike followed private talks between the regulator and BAA after the deadline for a consultation period passed. (Reuters)   Click here to view full story…

British Airways to end 4 Gatwick services and switch 5 to Heathrow

 24th June 2009
British Airways is to transfer 5 services from London Gatwick to Heathrow with the start of its winter schedule. Its flights to Barcelona, Gibraltar, Madrid, Malaga and Pisa will switch airports with effect from Sunday 25 October 2009. BA is transferring passengers on affected flights to alternative flights to and from Heathrow. From the same date, the carrier has cancelled services from Gatwick to Alicante, Krakow, Malta and Palma. (Times)   Click here to view full story…

London Gatwick Airport launches public consultation on its draft noise action plan

20th June 2009 Gatwick Airport has launched a 16 week public consultation on its draft noise action plan. The noise action plan, which is to be published to comply with the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006, is a 5 year plan that the airport has to produce, to manage noise arising from aircraft departing from and arriving at the airport. The plan will be in line with guidance issued by the DEFRA in March. (BAA)     Click here to view full story…         Consultation ends 7th October

Gatwick bidders get second shot at airport

1st June 2009 Bidders shut out of the Gatwick auction could re-enter the fray after Manchester Airports Group, the frontrunner, held talks about enlarging its bidding consortium. It is understood that MAG has discussed teaming with Global Infrastructure Partners, and Lysander, a consortium made up of Citi Infrastructure, Vancouver Airport and John Hancock Life Insurance. MAG would welcome a 4th partner in a consortium with two other members. (Observer)         Click here to view full story…

Airlines ask BAA to cut back on Gatwick improvements

26th May 2009       With passenger numbers dwindling and a new owner due soon, Gatwick’s carriers are concerned that they will be stuck with a £900m bill. BA, easyJet and Ryanair have urged BAA to cut back work on its £900m improvement scheme after warning that the project is futile in the face of dwindling passenger numbers. Airlines have demanded curbs in the programme because they will have to pass on the costs to recession-hit passengers through fare increases. (Guardian)         Click here to view full story…

Bondholders in fresh threat to BAA finances

20th May 2009         BAA’s bondholders have hired investment banking advisers amid growing fears that the Government’s proposed changes to regulation could cause the airport operator’s finances to unravel. The DfT is consulting on plans to introduce a “special administration” regime for BAA, giving ministers special step-in rights should the business fail. BAA is backed by £13.1bn of debt, including £9.6bn that is ring-fenced against the 3 London airports. (Telegraph)           Click here to view full story…

Setback for Ferrovial as Gatwick bidder quits

19th May 2009 Ferrovial’s hopes of securing a higher price for Gatwick have been hit by the withdrawal of one of its two remaining bidders. The departure of Global Infrastructure Partners from the current sale process leaves the Spanish infrastructure group with only one remaining offer, from a consortium led by Manchester Airports Group and Borealis, the Canadian infrastructure fund. BAA must repay £1bn of its existing bank debt in March next year. (FT)  Click here to view full story…

BAA to challenge airport break-up

19th May 2009         BAA says it will appeal against the decision by the Competition Commission ordering it to sell 3 airports. The commission told BAA in March that it must sell Gatwick and Stansted and either Edinburgh or Glasgow. BAA said the ruling did not take into account current economic conditions, and the commission’s report was “affected by apparent bias”. BAA has raised questions about Professor Peter Moizer, one of 6Competition Commission panelists. (BBC)       Click here to view full story…

GIP’s Gatwick Bid of More Than $2 Billion Said to Be Rejected

19th May 2009 It is rumoured that Global Infrastructure Partners, the owner of London City airport, which made a £1.3 billion to £1.4 billion bid for Gatwick airport was rejected by BAA. Sources said the fully financed offer was turned down May 17 on the grounds that it was too low, BAA was seeking at least £1.5 billion, and said BAA it planned to appeal a UK antitrust ruling forcing it to sell 3 airports by 2011 because it didn’t take account of the recession. (Bloomberg)       Click here to view full story…

Late arrival lands bid for Gatwick – Lysander

30th April 2009 Lysander Gatwick Investment Group – a consortium of Citigroup infrastructure fund, Vancouver Airport and John Hancock Life Insurance Co, is reported to have belatedly submitted a bid for Gatwick Airport. BAA is reported to have received the bid on Tuesday afternoon 24 hours after the original deadline for offers had closed. (Crains)    Click here to view full story…

Ferrovial receives depressed bids for Gatwick

28th April 2009 Ferrovial received at least 2 bids for Gatwick on Monday as the first part of the forced break-up of BAA. The offer prices, estimated by analysts to be in the range of £1.3bn to £1.5bn, due to the recession, a steep decline in traffic etc, were well below Ferrovial’s expectations of last September, when it hoped to attract bids in the range of £1.8bn to £2bn. Offers were submitted by Global Infrastructure Partners and a consortium led by MAG. (FT)         Click here to view full story…

BAA faces smaller bids for Gatwick

25th April 2009         Three rival consortia will make bids on Monday for Gatwick, but the offers will be far lower than first expected by BAA. Analysts said offers could be in the range of £1.4bn – £1.5bn, well below the level of more than £1.8bn initially sought by BAA. The valuation of the airport has been forced down by the rapid deterioration in its operating performance in the past six months, as passenger volumes have fallen sharply. (FT) At the same time, bidders have been forced to increase the level of equity in the bids under preparation, as it has become more difficult to raise bank debt.       Click here to view full story…

Gatwick bidders say second runway is vital

25th April 2009 Despite concerns about pollution and the environment, the bidders wanting to buy Gatwick each argue that a 2nd runway is crucial, if they are to be able to compete effectively with BAA. An earlier government pledge guarantees no new runway would be built until at least 2019. GACC argues why a 2nd runway is a non-starter, partly as there is no physical space for it between Horley and Crawley, and there is massive local opposition including councils and MPs.    (Standard)   Click here to view full story…

Low Gatwick passenger number may hit price-bidders

24th April 2009         BAA may raise less than it hoped from the sale of Gatwick after latest passenger numbers there disappointed, putting downward pressure on its valuation. A source close to one of the bidders said that BAA significantly over-estimated passenger numbers for March – which were 17.7% down on March 2008. The deadline for prospective buyers to put in bids is April 27. Gatwick is very reliant on “bucket and spade” summer charter flights. (Guardian)         Click here to view full story…

Gatwick worth ‘just £1.3bn’

26th March 2009 A report commissioned by 3 of Gatwick Airport’s biggest airlines suggests that the hub could be worth as little as £1.33bn – far below the £2bn-plus BAA initially wanted. The study, by Frontier Economics, was concludes that Gatwick is worth between £1.33bn and £1.73bn. Gatwick has a regulatory asset base of £1.6bn. The report was presented in December. Its passenger traffic went down 14.4% year-on-year in February. (UK Airport News)         Click here to view full story…

Competition chiefs check on bidders for Gatwick

 17th March 2009
The Competition Commission has begun to vet bidders for Gatwick to ensure that they are suitable candidates. The commission’s analysis comes as easyJet, the low-cost airline, begins a High Court action today in an attempt to block price increases at the airport. Any consortium deemed to have insufficient funds or experience running an airport will be blocked from submitting a final bid. Those bids are due by the end of April. (Times)       Click here to view full story…

Competition Commission to screen Gatwick bidders

18th February 2009         Rival groups seeking to buy Gatwick are to go before the Competition Commission in early March to allow potential bids to be screened by the watchdog. They are already holding meetings with the DfT. The watchdog will only have formal powers over the sale process of the airports after publication of its report. The selection of the preferred bidder is likely by mid-April with a further period of up to six weeks expected to gain antitrust clearance. (FT)       Click here to view full story…

Two groups pull out of Gatwick bid – leaving just three

17th February 2009         Two of the 5 consortia considering bids for Gatwick have abandoned the process 6 weeks before final binding offers are due to be submitted. Membership of the remaining consortia is still fluid, and some investors could switch groups in order to remain in the process. The Gatwick Future Partnership led by Babcock & Brown European Infrastructure Fund and RREEF, and a consortium made up of 3i’s infrastructure arm and 2 Canadian pension schemes out of the running. (FT) Click here to view full story…#

Hochtief drops Gatwick bid as first round ends

26th January 2009 German construction company Hochtief has pulled out of the bidding for London’s Gatwick airport, leaving five suitors to enter a second round, a person familiar with the process said. Analysts have said bids could be up to about £2 billion, but may be nearer £1.7 billion. The remaining bidders are listed. (IHT)         Click here to view full story…

Gatwick runway story ‘over-blown’

19th December 2008 The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign consider the Times’ story on 18th Dec under the headline ‘Secret Plans Revealed for 2nd Gatwick Runway’ was over-blown and off-mark. The information seems to be little more than extracts from the 2003 Air Transport White Paper. GACC comments: “Fortunately we believe it will never happen. The main effect of the Times story will be to cause blight and misery as thousands of home owners find it even harder to sell their houses.         Click here to view full story…

Secret plans revealed for second Gatwick runway

Date Added: 18th December 2008

A new runway could be built at Gatwick rather than Heathrow or Stansted under plans secretly being developed by companies bidding to buy Britain’s second largest airport. BAA has sent bidders a confidential memorandum with a section entitled &lquot;Gatwick builds a second runway&rquot;. The Competition Commission effectively endorsed the idea yesterday. If Gatwick were to be expanded, up to 300 homes would have to be demolished, and many more affected by noise. (Times)     Click here to view full story…

Gatwick sell-off will put pressure on Government to allow 2nd runway

Date Added: 18th December 2008 Gatwick is Britain’s 2nd-biggest airport, with flight paths over sparsely populated countryside and good road and rail links. It has not been considered for expansion as BAA has been content not to press for this while the Government supports new runways at Stansted and Heathrow. Passenger numbers fell by 13.5% last month and the only way BAA could get anywhere near the asking price is by talking up the development potential. (Times) Click here to view full story…

Crawley weighs job hopes from Gatwick expansion against destruction of homes

Date Added: 18th December 2008 Residents in Crawley, the town that is home to 7,000 airport staff are divided in their reaction to proposed 2nd runway. Crawley is the new town 2 miles south of the runway, whose fortunes rise and fall those of the airport. The town is home to 1 in 3 of the airport’s 25,000 staff, with low unemployment. Some residents think the airport’s expansion could boost employment. It would mean demolishing 300 homes in Crawley, and 18 listed buildings. (Times)   Click here to view full story…

Gatwick airport 2nd runway: Crawley residents ready to fight any expansion

Date Added: 18th December 2008 Residents near Gatwick have promised to mount a ferocious campaign against any plans for a 2nd runway. The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) said there was too little land between Gatwick and Crawley to allow a new runway and terminal to operate efficiently. Brendon Sewill, GACC chairman, said every local MP and council is against it and the campaign against the runway will be every bit as strong as the campaigns at Heathrow and Stansted. (Times)   Click here to view full story…

BAA told to sell three airports

Date Added: 17th December 2008 The Competition Commission has said it will require BAA to sell Gatwick, Stansted and Edinburgh airports. The watchdog says the decision is subject to a final consultation but is necessary to improve levels of service at UK airports. “Under separate ownership, the airport operators including BAA, will have a much greater incentive to be far more responsive to their customers, both airlines and passengers,” the Competition Commission said. (BBC)     Click here to view full story…

Gatwick’s falling passenger numbers likely to knock sale price

Date Added: 15th December 2008 BAA’s hopes of securing a top price for Gatwick received a setback when it was revealed that passenger numbers at the airport in November were down 13.5% on the same month last year. This comes less than 2 weeks after BAA started the sale process, and will depress the price they are likely to achieve. However, they claim the airport has scarcity value as capital city airports rarely come up for sale. (Times)       Click here to view full story…

Icy weather shuts Gatwick runway

Date Added: 11th December 2008 Icy conditions have forced the closure of Gatwick Airport’s runway, affecting at least 60 flights. BAA Gatwick said the runway and taxi-ways were shut at 0650 GMT to allow de-icing to take place after a sudden fall in temperatures overnight. The runway was expected to re-open at 10.30 when work to relieve a large backlog of flights would start. (BBC)     Click here to view full story…

Ferrovial starts clock in race for Gatwick

Date Added: 8th December 2008 Ferrovial has started a race to complete the sale of Gatwick, calling for indicative bids by January 19. The first potential bidders received the information memorandum for the controversial sell-off, which could command bids of about £2bn, this week. The Competition Commission is engaged in the final phase of a two-year investigation. Passenger numbers at Gatwick plunged by 10.3% in October, and were down 1.1% in the first 10 months of 2008. (FT)     Click here to view full story…

BA announces job cuts at Gatwick

Date Added: 8th December 2008 British Airways has announced it is planning to cut more than 100 jobs at Gatwick airport. The company said it was planning to operate up to 15% fewer departures at the Sussex airport next summer. Four aircraft will also be withdrawn, reducing the number from 41 to 37. Ground operations staff are expected to be affected. The reason is the worsening economic climate and BA’s trend of moving operations in London to Heathrow Terminal 5. (BBC)       Click here to view full story…

BAA moves to get Gatwick airport sale rolling

Date Added: 29th November 2008 BAA has agreed to appoint auditors – Grant Thornton – to monitor its disposal of Gatwick airport and to report to the Competition Commission on the fairness and transparency of the process. Grant Thornton will be shadow monitoring trustee in an effort to head off concerns among potential bidders and airlines. The disposal of the second largest UK airport will begin in earnest next week. The first indicative bids may start in January and may end in March. (FT)     Click here to view full story…

Gatwick Airport

Date Added: 18th November 2008 Ferrovial wants £2.5bn for Gatwick. A deal at that price could struggle to take off with passenger numbers nosediving. The credit crisis and fuel surcharges have grounded consumers and belt-tightening could slow captive retail demand. BAA said Gatwick passenger traffic last month fell 10.3% year on year. Ferrovial will hope buyers are not scared off by short-term turbulence. (FT)       Click here to view full story…

 


 

 

http://www.uk-airport-news.info/gatwick-airport-news.htm

All articles in reverse date order