All articles by rob@lusid.co.uk

Who owns Gatwick?

Gatwick is wholly-owned by Ivy Bidco Limited (Ivy), a company formed to undertake the acquisition of Gatwick. Ivy is ultimately controlled by funds managed by Global Infrastructure Management, LLC, part of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) – a $15 billion dollar infrastructure fund out of New York.
Following an equity syndication process, GIP retains a 42% controlling stake in Gatwick*. The other shareholders are the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), National Pension Service of Korea (NPS), California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the Future Fund of Australia.
Incidentally, due to aggressive tax avoidance schemes Gatwick pays no Corporation Tax.

*GIP is headed by Adebayo Ogunlesi and has  shareholders  which include public pension funds from Maine, Oregon and Washington.

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Sample Letter: to Mr Greg Clark MP (Tunbridge Wells)

Dear Mr Clark - Click to download  the letter, here it is in full:

(Your address)

Mr Greg Clark MP

House of Commons

London

SW1A 0AA

Dear Mr Greg Clark,

I live in ____ , which is under a flightpath for Gatwick arrivals. I am writing to express concern at the way Gatwick Airport is currently operating without due regard for the noise and air pollution caused to residents and local businesses with particular respect to:

  • Ongoing increase of flights both during the day and especially at night
  • Imposed route changes with aeroplane ‘Superhighway’ and arrival frequency of up to one plane every minute.
  • A Second Runway that could result in a further doubling and possible tripling of plane flights and additional Superhighways.

From November, according to Gatwick’s latest ‘Consultation’, your constituency will have all of Gatwick’s arriving planes concentrated over it on one or more ‘Superhighways.’ My key concern is that Gatwick is almost entirely self-regulated and under-policed.

Residents under plane arrivals have no rights. Our local and regional councils, and even the UK Government and the European Union, have no meaningful policies or regulatory power to deal with the effects of unfettered airport expansion and the changes continually imposed by aviation companies without democratic oversight. This is worrying because Gatwick Airport Ltd is a private company with no ethical remit. Like other aviation companies and airlines, they operate globally to pursue profits and maximise dividends to shareholders.

There is a significant Public Health issue posed by increased flights, which according the World Health Organisation can lead to a ‘considerable burden of disease’. This is both in terms of air quality and also with regard to noise pollution, particularly from night flights. Gatwick’s planes come over Tunbridge Wells at unpredictable frequency, different heights, and different speeds day and night, many flown by pilots who have not been trained in noise mitigation procedures. There are no minimum heights for arrivals and noise levels go unreported and largely ignored, as do complaints. GATCOM, the public liaison committee that Gatwick is obliged to have, is dominated by people with business interests associated with Gatwick, and it is funded by Gatwick.  Gatwick runs its ‘Public Consultations’ such as the recent second runway event days simply as PR exercises. For example, the recent events apparently gave the public a choice between runway options although the wide option runway had already been chosen and submitted to the Airport’s Commission. What’s more, Gatwick submitted a larger proposal than that detailed during the runway ‘Consultation’ to the Airport’s Commission last week, and prior to the end of the consultation process. Gatwick are acting duplicitously on this matter.

Gatwick expresses the need to actively mitigate and reduce the environmental impacts of flights but in reality does as little as possible to help protect residents. For instance, Gatwick have taken no steps to encourage Easyjet to retrofit the design fix on their Easyjet Airbus 319/320 aeroplanes to prevent the high pitched ‘jet whine’ that many residents find extremely annoying. And they have just signed a flights deal that will significantly increase the number of Easyjet flights.

The air pollution and noise from planes are known to have major impacts on the health of residents both in mental and physical terms. Medical research, for example the work undertaken by the World Health Organisation, shows that allowing night flights in particular has too great an impact on health for them to be economically viable. Presumably, this is why there is a night flights ban at Heathrow.

However, there is no such ban at Gatwick Airport. Gatwick’s business plan shows that they intend to increase night flights along with day flights. Route changes Gatwick made (without public consultation) in 1999 to reduce night flights over East Grinstead and in turn to enable a higher frequency of flights to line up in approaching the airport, shifted flights further east onto Tunbridge Wells and its surrounding environs. Gatwick is now effectively operating a flight exclusion zone for the town of East Grinstead whereas there is no exclusion zone for Tunbridge Wells, despite the fact my area is much more highly populated.

We currently get around ten thousand night flights per year. Tunbridge Wells now has more night flights concentrated over it than any other major town in the country. Please find night flight print outs attached – and these are all ‘off peak’.  In the summer peak time when people often sleep with their windows open, we are already getting up to 50 planes per night on average, and as shown by readings at the temporary monitor near Bidborough each one is commonly in excess of 60dB. I am sure you can appreciate that 60dB is more than enough to disrupt sleep patterns. A decent night’s sleep is essential for health and wellbeing, especially for children, and normal sleep has been shown to be disturbed by plane noise as low as 35dB.

To compound this unfair situation the responsibility for reporting noise disruption is placed on residents to report plane ‘incidences’. Lack of complaint is taken as evidence of acceptance. Yet scientific evidence has shown that while sleep can be severely disrupted by planes, most people usually do not fully wake up.  Therefore how on earth can people reasonably be expected to complain about disrupted sleep when they are by definition unaware of it i.e. in a state of unconsciousness?

I am writing to ask that you take immediate steps to correct this unbalanced and unreasonable bias in favour of aviation companies. I am grateful for your work in the past on this issue, for instance, chairing the local Public Meeting about aviation last year in Langton Green. However, your position on this issue has not been entirely visible to date, and I want you to better represent my interests by being more proactive in the aviation debate on behalf of your constituents from now on. At the very least, I ask that you call for an immediate ban and moratorium on night flights at Gatwick Airport given the significant public health costs of such flights, as has been done in many other countries including Germany.

May I also take this opportunity to point out that allowing the aviation industry unfettered growth restricts business opportunities for other industries in your constituency such as Sports, Leisure and also Tourism. The predicted effect of increased and potentially more concentrated flightpaths on wildlife and in places like Penshurst and Chiddingstone Castle as well as on the Ashdown Forest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a case in point.

Yours truly,

 

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How to complain about individual NOISY aircraft

If any aircraft is too low or too loud – complain, you have every right. What follows is every detail Gatwick Ltd need to investigate your complaint. 

Every complaint MUST be do in a separate email, if you group a days worth of complaints into one email, it only gets counted as ONE single complaint annoyingly!

OPTION 1. Complaining via email:

First – copy and paste these addresses into a new email to:

NOISE.LINE@GATWICKAIRPORT.COM,CAGNEcomplaintemails@gmail.com, dftcomplaints@dft.gsi.gov.uk, richard.deakin@nats.co.uk, mark.simmons@caa.co.uk, amanda.farrow@nats.co.uk

Next - copy and paste this into your subject box: AN OFFICIAL AIRCRAFT ARRIVAL COMPLAINT TO GATWICK NOISE LINE

Next - copy and paste this content into the message area and fill in the details

I WISH THIS EMAIL TO BE LOGGED AS AN OFFICIAL COMPLAINT AND I WISH A RESPONSE VIA LETTER PLEASE

DATE OF COMPLAINT: i.e. 08/06/14

TIME OF COMPLAINT: i.e. 17.43

FLT NO: i.e. EZY79BM (you can get flight numbers by using Casper flight  tracker - How to use Casper flight tracker follows this post)

NATURE OF COMPLAINT: i.e. LOW FLYING AIRCRAFT WITH

HIGH NOISE LEVEL, PASSING DIRECTLY OVER MY HOUSE

EST ALTITUDE FROM CASPER:  i.e. 4776FT (How to use Casper flight tracker follows this post)

DB READING FROM FOUR WINDS MONITOR: (A noise monitor sited between Bidborough and Penshurst – sometimes available on Casper for past flights)

MY NAME: your full name

MY POSTCODE & ADDRESS: Gatwick need your postcode to investigate – include your full address if you want a reply via post

MY EMAIL: your email address

MY TEL NO: your full telephone number

OPTION 2: COMPLAINING VIA GATWICK LTDs WEBSITE

Gatwick provide a Noise enquiry page on their website ou can go to the Noise Enquiries page on Gatwick.com and use their form. We at Cagne East have found it quicker to complain via email but feel free – it is broadly laid out as the email option 1 above.. but a little illogical in its layout and user friendliness!

OPTION 3: COMPLAINING VIA GATWICK LTDS NOISE ENQUIRY LINE

0800 393 070 is the number they provide – good luck, it is rarely answered in our experience but you might strike lucky. Apparently every call is logged.

FYI: ALWAYS REQUEST A REPLY EITHER BY EMAIL OR PREFERABLY BY POST

Simply click on this file to download:

HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT INDIVIDUAL AIRCRAFT

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The network of campaign groups and other addresses

Campaign groups to the East of Gatwick

GACC -ALL around Gatwick  http://www.gacc.org.uk

CAGNE East - Bidborough Kent http://cagne-east.lusid.co.uk

Penshurt – Kent www.planesoverpenshurst.com

WAGAN – Sevenoaks Weald, Kent timolley@eeolley.co.uk

ESSCAN - Crowborough, East Sussex - esccan@outlook.com

 

Campaign groups to the West of Gatwick

CAGNE - West of Gatwick http://www.cagne.org

National bodies and campaign groups

Airportwatch - UK group working to control and reduce the local, national and global environmental impacts of the air transport industry www.airportwatch.org.uk

MPs etc.

See how to complain articles

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How to use CASPER flight tracker

CASPER flight tracker records aircraft movement live (with a delay) and allows you to search back up to a month for previous flights at specific times over specific postcodes. Casper differs from the other excellent Flightradar24 purely in its ability and ease of rewinding to previous flights. Flightradar really comes into its own when you want instant identification of aircraft flying over you right now! 

I regularly use both and here are my top tips on using Casper to help you seek out and ID a noisy aircraft. Its a bit of a faff to set up but once done its quick to use. Pretty much all functions are on the left hand side of the main screen map

A QUICK SET UP GUIDE:

1. Set the map to your postcode and hit the magnifying glass to enable

1

2. Set to ‘show tracks’ to see how many planes have come over your area

2

3. In ‘Settings’ I enable ‘remember settings’, ‘show planes’, ‘show tracks’ ‘show expanded’, ‘show departures’, ‘show arrivals’

3

HOW TO FIND A NOISY PLANE FROM A PREVIOUS POINT IN TIME

4. TOP LEFT CORNER Set to ‘Replay’ rather than ‘Live’ – there is a downward arrow to the right of the little clock that opens to a calendar (therefore midnight is actually 00:00:00 today)

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5. There is a sliding bar below the calendar that you can slide to nearest 1/2 hour and arrows to more forward/backward in time by minutes

6. click OK and the map should go back to that time

7. I ALWAYS set replay to about a min or 2 before a plane goes over and wait for it to appear close to my house – using the ‘pause’ on the play speed (1x, 2x, 5x etc.) allows you to pause the plane (like catching a slippery fish!)

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8. click ON the plane label on the map to reveal more info 

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9. Using ‘pause’ simply write the height, time, flt number into your email template

10. Press SEND to make your complaint

CASPER stores data for a month

 

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2nd Runway: How big will Gatwick be?

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 18.41.56

Simply put – With a second runway Gatwick aims to grow from C35million passengers today to 95million, that’s bigger than Heathrow.

To put this in context: Heathrow handled 72 million passengers in 2013, JFK approx 50 million and Newark 34 million. At the proposed size, Gatwick would be bigger than JFK and Newark combined!!

Who will profit and who will lose? – here are some facts

 

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And what will the effect be on our rural economy?

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 00.16.42

How many houses will need to be built to sustain the volume of workers for a 2nd runway?

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 00.16.27

 

What happens next?

As far as the 2nd Runway goes:

January – June 2014:  The Commission will work with each of the airport promoters to develop their plans into a draft proposal, including a draft impact assessment. This has been done and the public ‘consultation’ completed with and overwhelming rejection by local communities to the idea of ANY of a 2nd runway at Gatwick

Summer 2014:  Draft proposals and impact assessments for each potential site will be published for public and expert scrutiny… an opportunity for us all to question the detail… we hope

2015:  Final proposals submitted to Airports Commission, who publishes a final report on where the new runway, or runways, should be and, as there is a General Election in 2015, the new Government will decide whether to proceed…

Question: Will you vote for a party that supports a 2nd runway?

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Where will the Superhighway be? Introducing… Map 35

map 35

Where will the superhighway be? who knows – in a bizarre ‘Pin a Tail on the Donkey’ way, it’s up to us apparently to comment on a narrow flight path when we don’t actually know its location.  ‘Map 35′ in the 2nd consultation shows a large red swathe between Tunbridge Wells and East Grinstead. Within this, Gatwick propose to create a very narrow ‘Superhighway’ where ALL Easterly aircraft will approach (excluding the existing narrow corridor between Hildenborough and Tonbridge) from the ‘merge point’ down south. This proposal is not linked to the 2nd runway, therefore if a second runway is agreed we may end up with 2 Superhighways – would the second be placed in the ‘respite’ route shown?  who knows?

The red area is optimistically labelled ‘more than 35 planes a day’ in reality this means 250+ per day at between 2300ft and 4000ft!

What we know is that this Superhighway will be like ‘standing within 1 metre if a vacuum cleaner’. If the aim is to lessen the impact on numbers of communities overflown, bizarrely this will actually mean a corridor of communities having an intolerable increase in noise pollution day and night whilst a wider swathe approx 1mile either side also having constant noise… no one wins. (see our FAQs on what the Point Merge system is)

Yet we are being asked to decide what we feel about this on the basis of a vague .ppt map by August 14th 2014! FYI the ‘respite’ option shown is proposed only for night time and has not been agreed at any level. Therefore there is no respite.

Worryingly for residents as far south as Crowborough and the Ashdown Forest, who border the sub 4000ft zone…Map 35 does not even cover their area, yet the proposed Superhighway will impact them greatly. Here are a few numbers:

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 00.17.01

 

To download our 2nd consultation guidance below  click on these files below

Local response to the 2nd CONSULTATION v2 Paraphrasing of 2nd consultation Questions for ease of understanding

What happens next?

Flightpath changes

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will assess the airspace change proposal that is being developed by Gatwick Airport Ltd and National Air Traffic Services (NATS). The CAA will then make a recommendation to the Department for Transport (DfT) and it will ultimately be the Government, through the Secretary of State for Transport, to approve the changes. 

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Welcome to Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions – East

WHO ARE WE?

CAGNE East was set up by concerned residents of Bidborough in Kent, to provide campaign support to a growing network of residents, communities, campaign groups, Parish Councils and NGOs who are all concerned about Gatwick expansion. The original CAGNE was set up by residents directly West of Gatwick in protest to the new departure route trials. CAGNE East is the sister group for all residents and local communities East of Gatwick Airport – simple. We oppose the 2nd runway, noisy night flights and concentrated flightpaths which unchallenged, pose a grave threat to our way of life and our regional economy. 

Email: cagne.east@gmail.com

WHAT IS OUR UNITED MESSAGE?

Arrivals

  • Using PBN to achieve maximum dispersal of flight approach paths without using merge points.
  • Using PBN to achieve the greatest possible safe height with smooth Continual Descent Approach at all times
  • Noise and noise shadow rather than Co2 to be the primary consideration down from 6,000 feet in the design of all arrival routes
  • No night flights

 Departures

  • Using PBN to achieve the maximum dispersal of flight departure paths (restricted to areas previously overflown) within Noise Preferential Routes
  • Using PBN to achieve the greatest possible safe height with smooth Continual Ascent Departure at all times
  • Noise and noise shadow rather than Co2 to be the primary consideration up to 6,000 feet in the design of all departure routes
  • No night flights

The Airbus (single aisle aircraft series) design fault

Issue:

The A320 series of aircraft have a design fault in their wing fuel filler caps which cause a debilitating whine.  A straightforward fix exists via the fitting of a ‘vortex generator’

Resolution:

Ensure the retrofitting of vortex generators to correct this fault on aircraft used by easyJet and other operators at the soonest opportunity, by all means possible

WHO EXACTLY IS UNITED UNDER THIS MESSAGE?

CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)

CAGNE-East (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions East)

ESCCAN (East Sussex Communities for Control of Air Noise)

GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

GON (Gatwick Obviously Not.org)

HWCAAG  (High Weald Council Aviation Action Group)

LGVS (Langton Green Village Society)

PAGNE (Pulborough Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)

Plane Wrong

SPAG (Speldhurst Parish Action Group)

 

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We  hold village meetings and are fully supportive of  gatwickobviouslynot.org.  We share information and coordinate with our colleges in Penshurt, Tunbridge Wells, Langton Green, Speldhurst and campaign groups from Crowborough to Petworth 

FOR ALL LATEST INFO AND NEWSLETTERS PLEASE GO TO

 http://www.gatwickobviouslynot.org

 

How to use this blog.

We’ve arranged everything in categories (on the left) and all content is in short posts, most can be downloaded. Simply search under the relevant headings for: letter templates, how to’s, infographics, useful contact names, FAQ’s and downloads. There’s also a simple search bar (top right).

The newest posts will appear at the top of each category, scroll down for more. If there’s nothing in a category its simply because we’re still busy working on it! As we develop further we’ll have smarter tools for you to use… this blog should already work on tablets and smartphones.

Who is this blog for? Its a factually based resource for all campaign groups and individuals in Kent, Sussex and Surrey who are concerned about Gatwick Expansion. Wherever possible when providing a fact we’ll also provide the source. It is a very complex and emotive subject so we aim to give you the tools to make up your own mind on the issues that are of growing concern to many local communities.

See our FAQ post to find out some of the questions people ask us.

 

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