“Gatwick Obviously Not” tells Stewart Wingate to come clean publicly on flight path changes

In their recent e-newsletter, the recently formed group, “Gatwick Obviously Not” (GON) representing people over flown by planes in all areas east of Gatwick, set out some complaints to Stewart Wingate. It is widely recognised that Gatwick has not been open and transparent over airspace changes and trials this past year.  A key issue causing anger and outrage across areas affected by Gatwick is the claims by the airport that nothing has changed, when it is clear to many thousands of people that it has. GON is now calling upon Mrs Ellman, MP, Chair of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee to call Gatwick in to find out what has really been happening. While Gatwick says there is no “superhighway” in the sky plan, GON repeat the statement from CAA that “We discovered that by removing the shortened approach path as aircraft turned into land, we were able to achieve a 25% reduction in the spacing variation.” This is to “maximise throughput”. Gatwick wanted to re-establish the trust of its passengers after its disastrous flooding last winter. It needs to stop being economical with the truth on flight path matters too, it is to regain any trust locally.


e-newsletter sent out by Gatwick Obviously Not.org

(Gatwick Obviously Not is the umbrella group for all areas East of Gatwick)


Can a government of any hue really trust Gatwick with the keys to a 2nd runway?

Change is in the air.

Dear Mr Wingate

Enough is enough.

Yesterday Kent, England’s largest two-tier County Council (by population) publicly stated it is changing its stance and now opposing Gatwick’s 2nd runway.

Quite a blow we imagine.

And its Leader, Paul Carter, CBE, pulled no punches in his fury at the treatment of his constituents in West Kent.

We call upon Mrs Ellman, MP, Chair of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee to call you in for a discussion on what has really been happening in the air. You’ll know the way, as I see you were called in earlier this year after Gatwick’s disastrous response to the flooding crisis over Christmas, when, in your own words, your “actions fell short”

In a comment in January 2014 you also said of the events (see link):

Clearly it will have had an impact on our reputation. Hopefully we will able to regain the trust of our passengers in 2014.

You could use this one again, just replacing “our passengers with “anyone‘”

Time for a change, CEO?

Martin Barraud
Gatwick Obviously Not.Org

Gatwick say (and have said many times)
“… the impression may be that something has changed, although I can assure you nothing has …”
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive, Gatwick
18.07.14 to Charles Hendry MP

Are you sure?



Gatwick said:
Changes in Gatwick flight paths have prompted Kent County Council to withdraw its support for a second runway at the West Sussex airport. Council leader Paul Carter said the new flight paths had made life intolerable for people …”
24.11.14, BBC  (see link)

What has changed big time is that the National Air Traffic Control have started to implement changes in flight paths …
Paul Carter, Leader, KCC, BBC


Gatwick’s colleague on Gatwick’s Executive Management said this:
“… flight path changes had reduced the number of people who were affected by aircraft noise but those under the new routes did have more noise … There will be no further changes while we look at this and we try to learn would be the best way to implement them …”
Alastair McDermid, Airports Commission Director, Gatwick
24.11.14, BBC


The public seem to think something has changed …
11,311 noise complaints in the first 6 months of 2014 versus 2,645 for the whole of 2013.

We say:
Where are the figures for July-September? It’s nearly December!


Gatwick said that:
A feedback report detailing the results of the consultation will be published on this [Gatwick’s] website in September 2014.   (see link)

We say
Where is it?


Gatwick said:
“There has not been any trial of a ‘Superhighway’ on our westerly approaches and we are not planning any trials.”
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick, 28.08.14

NATS said
One of the key suggestions emerging from the project team was an approach stabilisation trial … It involved analysing the operation to find ways of improving the consistency of the spacing provided between arriving aircraft in order to maximise throughput.
We discovered that by removing the shortened approach path as aircraft turned into land, we were able to achieve a 25% reduction in the spacing variation.

Steve Anderson, General Manager, NATS Gatwick 16.09.2013,
describing what was discovered to be the ‘ACDM55 Project’

Gatwick Obviously Not.Org