Straight-talking letter to Stewart Wingate, from aggrieved resident tired of aircraft noise and inadequate Gatwick answers
Residents in Kent and East Sussex have been particularly irritated at perceived changes to flight paths over their areas, by planes arriving at Gatwick. Thousands of people is areas such as Penshurst, Chiddingstone, Tunbridge Wells, Hartfield, Ashurst, Hever etc deeply resent the intrusion of more aircraft above them, with more noise. They particularly resent the failure of Gatwick or the CAA to give straight answers to their questions. One such resident, at the end of his patience, has sent a letter to Stewart Wingate, setting out specific complaints about an aircraft on 31st December. The letter is copied to a large number of people, including Dame Deirdre Hutton at the CAA, and many MPs. And he does not pull his punches. Here are a couple of samples: “Quite why you would seemingly wilfully antagonise people when you are trying to curry favour for a new runway is absolutely beyond me.” And “We all know what is going on – GAL has achieved 55 movements an hour at the cost of the destruction of the quality of life for those constantly overflown and that is something that must be changed; the CAA can assist by renouncing its risible current stance that ‘nothing has changed’.”
Letter sent to Gatwick Airport – to Mr Stewart Wingate
and copied to many,many others including firstname.lastname@example.org and Charles.Kirwan-Taylor@gatwickairport.com
as well as many others including many MPs, and Dame Deirdre Hutton of the CAA
Dear Mr Wingate
I hope you will excuse the fact that I have copied you to this official complaint, but it appears that mails to email@example.com are no longer granted the dignity of a response; perhaps you think the very existence of a complaints line encourages nutters to complain about the destruction of the quality of their life, or maybe you are getting just too many to handle?
Either way, just as it doesn’t go dark when you put your hands over your eyes, neither does ignoring bona fide concerns make them go away – despite the clearly doctored figures I saw recently regarding the number of complaints received.
Attached is a series of screen shots [ Official Complaint to GAL CAA and DfT Low Flying 31.12.2014 ] tracking the progress of flight RAM672S on 31st Dec at 18.38 hrs and it is about the low flying and excessive noise of this aircraft I would like to register an official complaint, and I would like a response.
I have copied the leaders of two of the key campaign groups, GatwickObviouslyNot.org and the HWCAAG and will invite them to share these images with those they represent; however, it will only serve to confirm what they already know and GAL and the CAA still, unbelievably, deny – there has been a significant change in the use of the airspace from dispersed to concentrated and planes are lower than ever.
Quite why you would seemingly wilfully antagonise people when you are trying to curry favour for a new runway is absolutely beyond me; you clearly feel that the additional profit to be had from squeezing every last movement out of the runway justifies the fury and mistrust you have created.
I would like a response as to why this plane was so low although in truth I could choose any one of thousands since you implemented the airspace changes without consultation or permission in the summer.
If you are unable to respond ahead of our meeting on 2nd Feb let’s discuss it then and hopefully you can tell me what you are planning to do to remediate the currently intolerable situation.
Matthew XXX will be with me and I intend that he and I will be able to report back to Paul Carter with your plans to remove the unnecessary, undemocratic and unfair PBN that is causing such uproar.
I have included our friends in East Sussex as they have recently written to the Secretary of State announcing that ESCC is ‘alarmed’ by the level of correspondence and stating that it does not believe that PBN is appropriate in the rural areas around Gatwick.
Dame Deirdre, I have had as many anodyne and frankly unbelievable explanations from your staff as I can stomach and now I would prefer to hear from you directly, if that is not too brusque.
The claim that this mayhem is because of ‘safety’ concerns was exposed as flim flam by a recent FOI request and no one believes for a minute that ATC ‘vectoring choices’ is anything other than a collection of letters; I’ll not dignify the objective of reducing noise and pollution from fly-bys.
We all know what is going on – GAL has achieved 55 movements an hour at the cost of the destruction of the quality of life for those constantly overflown and that is something that must be changed; the CAA can assist by renouncing its risible current stance that ‘nothing has changed’.
The recently created easterly departure superhighway is just another thumb of the nose to a newly created minority.
I have copied those at Penshurst Place, Chiddingstone and Hever Castles – they know something has changed and the ludicrous loop that is now flown to the east is why their heritage buildings are being destroyed as businesses.
I have copied Greg Clark because now that you send planes over Tunbridge Wells the council has called an extraordinary meeting on 7th January to debate: “This Council is opposed to any further expansion of Gatwick Airport, and the proposed concentration of flight paths, and supports a significant reduction in the number of night flights. ”
You simply can’t treat people like this and I think because of the furore you have created you could end up worse off as a business than you were.
As it is the time for resolutions I am happy to share the fact that I am resolved to do whatever it takes to prevent you destroying the environment and the quality of my family’s life to the sole benefit of a foreign investment vehicle that pays its stakeholders a dividend whist contributing nothing by way of Corporation Tax.
(full name supplied)