Around 900 people stage protest over Gatwick flight paths
Martin Barraud is chairman of the group “Gatwick Obviously NOT”. He commented that it is about sending a message to the airport from the people on the ground, making it clear there are a massive number of people who are affected by aircraft noise from Gatwick airport.
Flight paths are now lower over their area, and concentrated – so people suffer from intense aircraft noise,often every two minutes or so, for most of the day. Planes also fly over them at night, though less often than in the daytime.
Someone who attended commented that is was not only people over a certain age who took part, but also a large number of younger people, who are also concerned about the noise.
Watch the video of how the huge sign was populated by over 1,000 people here.
“Gatwick, how low can you go” say residents of Kent, Sussex and Surrey
Led by West Kent protest group, Gatwick Obviously Not, residents protested at Gatwick’s indifference to newly created narrow noisy highways in the sky.
Today (Sunday 16th August at 5pm) around 1,000 residents sent a message to Gatwick management and those in aviation.
“For over a century the aviation industry has done exactly as it pleased with our skies and it’s respect for ground-dwellers is virtually non-existent. This has to change,” said Martin Barraud, Chair of Gatwick Obviously Not.
The creation of noise ghettos by stealth through the dramatic narrowing of flight paths is devastating tens of thousands of people’s lives.
Gatwick is only the start as soon the industry will try and roll this out across the nation.
“This gathering, and the message for the planes is a message from Penshurst and indeed Kent, Sussex and Surrey, for the industry itself; wake up and start treating those affected by aircraft noise with real respect,” said Martin.
Presently there is no statutory body with any power to protect those on the ground from aircraft noise.
The intention of NATS, Gatwick and the CAA (no one will accept total responsibility for the changes and we keep being passed from one to the other) is to narrow a flight path to the East from around 7 miles wide to one just a little bit wider than this 100 metre message today.
“We have dubbed them ‘aerial superhighways’. One plane a minute, day in, day out, over the same areas, 15-30 miles from the airport to the East – soon to be repeated throughout the nation. And they are doing it without consultation with residents”, said Martin.
Gatwick Obviously Not asks, “Can you imagine a new motorway being planted right next to your house, out of the blue, without consultation?”
Gatwick Obviously Not’s goal is simply to change national policy for the benefit of all working closely with all the groups that surround Gatwick and Heathrow.
Last week with Gatwick’s extraordinary exaggeration of the numbers affected by noise at Heathrow (in a ruling by the ASA over Gatwick’s ads) illustrated Gatwick the low regard for accuracy and are playing a very aggressive game in its desire for ever-increasing landing fees through increased throughput derived from narrowing the flight paths.
Please note NATS state such changes will enable throughput to increase by up to 15% – but at what price to the lives of those on the ground?
“There is a widespread belief that the substantial increase in aircraft traffic is also exacerbated (inexplicably) by flying lower than they ever have done both to the West and the East.
Gatwick not only needs to review altitudes, they need to rethink their attitude towards those on the ground,” concluded Martin.