Gatwick Obviously

The umbrella group for all areas East of Gatwick

e-newsletter No.1

'There are no noise limits or fixed height limits for Arrivals aircraft to abide by'
Flight Performance Team, Gatwick Airport Limited, 4th September 2014

Gatwick Airport '
paid no corporation tax for three consecutive years despite making £638m in profit before tax.',

Who owns Gatwick?
Global Infrastructure Partners, HQ, Stamford, Connecticut 41.95%
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority 15.90%
The California Public Employees' Retirement System 12.78%
National Pension Service of Korea 12.14%
Future Fund Board of Guardians [Australia] 17.23%


Do you think it's time Gatwick did have some noise or altitude limits, given that a foreign owned entity, paying no UK Corporation Tax, probably hasn't the best interests of Sussex, Surrey & West Kent residents at its heart?

We're writing to all their various owners to ensure they are fully aware of the social impact of their investment.

What are our key objectives now?

What should you be doing now?

What are we doing now?

1. United

Gatwick Obviously are working in parallel with CAGNE (campaigning mainly to the West of Gatwick), GACC, Airport Watch and the High Weald Aviation Group of parish councils.

The power and influence of the above groups are considerable given that they represent the grass root, established and elected campaigners from all the Counties around Gatwick

2. Social Media

We have established both facebook and Twitter accounts for
Now we would like you to help us help you by raising their profile.

Enter into debates and conversations on both Facebook & Twitter and send us your letters from Gatwick/County Councils etc. 

Trending #LGWobviouslyNOT or #Gatwicksbigenough would really help us too.

All you have to do is 'like' the Fb account and 'follow' our Twitter feed. Those behind our social media are working long and hard on both sites. All you have to do is click a couple of times to help them help us broaden the message against Gatwick's disastrous plans to create a narrow noise corridor, ripping through the heart of Sussex and West Kent

3. Thank you!

Your complaints are being heard.

Be it the confusing Consultation , its unjust proposals or simply the atrocious noise levels so many have been experiencing recently from the volume and density of what seems like a linear formation low flying planes that lasts all day.

How do we know? Because the NatMag minutes from an Extraordinary Meeting called very recently (Noise and Track Monitoring Advisory Group, chaired by Gatwick's Tom Denton) and published on Friday 5th September state:

'Local activists and members of parliament have been making a significant amount of complaints and representation to the airport which make reference to the establishment of a 'superhighway' between the holding stacks and the 26L ILS'. [the runway when approached from the East]

We also note that Matthew Balfour, KCC Cllr, advised at the meeting that 'the activist groups are now gaining increased support from the wider population' 

4. '
These airspace changes are being implemented as part of the Government's Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) which must be undertaken as part of an EU-wide directive on airspace'.
Paul Carter, Leader, KCC, supporter of 2nd runway

'Must be undertaken'?
Really Paul?
Are you sure?

Are the flight path proposals really a result of an EU Directive (as has been claimed) - or not?

Note this clause from the same NatMag meeting. Are you clear? We're not:

20. John Byng [GACC] asked if GAL are telling people that the concentration of flight paths are required under EU environmental directives. Tom Denton explained that EU directives feed into the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) and that the EU SESAR (Single European Sky) sets the targets for FAS. John Byng said that Gatwick are not telling the truth and that PRNAV is supportive of FAS and SESAR to which Charles Kirwan-Taylor clarified that concentration and PRNAV are necessary rather than required under the EU directive. 

Please ask Tom Denton and Paul Carter a straight question for us and let us know if he replies. Tom's in charge of Corporate Responsibility so should be able to give an answer even if Paul can't:

Dear Mr Denton & Mr Carter
Are Gatwick's proposals a direct result of an EU Directive or not?
What does 'necessary rather than required' actually mean?

5. Noisy and low planes? Here's how to complain

Note down the time of the incident and click on the 'Click to email an aircraft complaint' button on

It's important that each complaint for each plane is sent in a separate email and includes the time, your postcode and that you request a response.

If you have time, use 

to gain accurate height and flight information for past flights.
Follow our CASPER set up guide at:

6. Have Gatwick been running trials over our area of East Sussex and West Kent?
You decide - this is taken from the NATS blog, September 16th 2013
(our bold, below)

One of our objectives was to reach a declared capacity level of 55 aircraft movements an hour - that's a take-off or landing every 65 seconds.
In order to reach that goal, the ACDM55 project (as it became known) had three main air traffic control components:

One of the key suggestions emerging from the project team was an approach stabilisation trial, which we ran at the end of the peak summer season last year, and again from March to September this year [2013]. 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.

In May 2012, during a seven-hour peak period, we declared one hour at 53 aircraft and 11 to 12 hours at 50+, as a result of the trial we now have the capability of declaring a 55-aircraft movement capacity. [Now achieved]
That level of change in the delivery is incredibly significant, and all the more so given the high performance starting point of operations at Gatwick.

Airlines have been telling us that the new approach procedure is much more straightforward, with less uncertainty. And from the airport's perspective, the reduced variation in the final approach spacing has resulted in a record capacity declaration for the winter 2013/14 schedule'.

7. Why do East Sussex & Kent County Councils still back a 2nd runway at Gatwick?

Paul Carter, Leader, KCC, backs a 2nd runway. We understood of course that this was about votes, votes from those that may have been affected by Boris Island. Now that issue has gone (for the moment) we believe there is no reason why Mr Carter has to continue to work so adamantly against the wishes of his electorate in West Kent.

Mr Carter, Conservative, is the Leader of Kent County Council. They stated unequivocally recently that
'KCC recommends that a second runway at Gatwick is delivered soon after the 2019 planning agreement ends'

Sir John Stanley, MP, wrote to Paul Carter on 1st July asking him to rescind that recommendation, noting KCC's statement that KCC 'makes every effort to represent the views of its residents in every area of the County (see website for full letter)

At a public meeting recently Sir John called KCC's stance 'incredibly damaging.'

Rupert Simmons, influential Cabinet Member for the Economy, East Sussex County Council, also staunchly supports the 2nd runway.
Here are the minutes where ESCC took the decision to back Option 3, the most damaging one they could have chosen:

This is what Campaign Group GACC say about his stance:
'East Sussex undemocratic
East Sussex County Council has declared its support for a new Gatwick runway.  But that was the decision of one man, the Lead Cabinet Member for the Economy, based on a report by officers which made no mention of the environment, no mention of new flight paths over East Sussex towns and villages, and no mention of the impact on Ashdown Forest.  And the one man is in a minority administration.'

Given the experience so many of the residents of both Counties have had this Summer, even before they narrow the broad swathe to create a noise ghetto we know not where, we hope many of you will write, even if you have before.
They just simply need to fully comprehend what their support for the 2nd runway will unleash in terms of extreme noise pollution if it is built.
For all know and understand the present proposals will be of enormous benefit to Gatwick when they apply for the 2nd runway.

Please email Mr Carter, cc'ing Mr Simmons & Mr Glazier and let them know if you disagree with their decision to support the 2nd runway.
1-click email tab on our site, with suggested letters

8. Keep up the pressure on easyjet, Airbus & Gatwick to modify the A320 series that emit a debilitating whine.

The Airbus A320 series has a serious design fault that Air France & Lufthansa are looking to fully rectify as quickly as they can. It's an easy fit that easyjet refuses to carry out any time soon, merely stating that 20% of the fleet will be fixed by 2017 (actually largely due to new, additional planes arriving without the issue)
It really is a piercing noise - you can hear the difference on our website.
Want to complain? Email the CAA - part of their role is to ensure all airlines minimize their environmental impact.

9. The High Weald Aviation Action Group

We are working in tandem with this group who are the elected representatives, where we are a grass-root campaigning umbrella organisation
Led by Maj (Retd) Richard Streatfeild MBE, who says
'We are a group of eight Parish Councils representing communities across  the High Weald from Dormansland to Bidborough.  We would like all local Councils to join with us to support our agreed policy which can be found at
If your Parish or Town Council is not part of the group please encourage them in any way you can'.

10. What do some of England's Heritage Assets of National Importance have to say about both the present situation and Gatwick's proposals?

'The increasing number of airplanes flying over Hever castle really do threaten its existence as a viable heritage attraction.
Unlike virtually any resident or other type of business the castle cannot move.
The popularity of attractions like Hever , Penshurst and Chiddingstone is largely because they are perceived to be tranquil and are of course set within one of the Country's few AONB on the doorstep of our capital city.
It seems perverse that despite plenty of airspace and Hever being over 12 miles from Gatwick that airplanes are made to fly over West Kent's hotspot for beauty, heritage and tourism.
Hever, Penshurst and Chiddingstone implore the powers that be to ensure this popular destination with visitors from all over the county, country and the World continues to be a popular destination.
Collectively these heritage assets attract over 400,000 visitors/clients a year'.

Duncan Leslie MRICS
Chief Executive
Hever Castle Ltd

'I couldn't agree more with Duncan and I think his figures are probably spot on. Chiddingstone Castle is a small charitable trust that receives no public funding - we strive hard to keep this Accredited Museum and Historic House open to the public for their enjoyment and learning. Should this one-a-minute aircraft superhighway above our heads continue in its current form we will ultimately fail in our endeavours and the Castle would be forced to close for the reasons Duncan has outlined - thus leaving the country short of one of its national treasures'.

Ali Ditzel
Chiddingstone Castle

'Penshurst Place joins with Hever Castle and Chiddingstone Castle in seeking a rethink of the current Gatwick proposals. The effects on the West Kent visitor economy of this proposal will be profound, and will have serious consequences for jobs and growth in this rural part of the county'.

Ben Thomas,
General Manager
Penshurst Place

11. Working Together - some quotes.

Following a meeting of all Campaign Groups on 26th August in Kent against Gatwick's present plans, and their inter-dependant desire for a 2nd runway, we had these comments from some of the groups mentioned above:

From Simon Byerley, co-founder of CAGNE East - Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions East:

'We here in Kent have joined to grow a large supportive, action based community of ignored residents and skilled professionals. As a unified voice we are sharing knowledge across our affected communities and demanding meaningful and open dialogue. We now present a single loud voice objecting to a grossly inappropriate runway proposal, noisy night flights and wholly unjust flight paths.
An arrogant 'Gatwick Obviously' is being met by a unified 'Gatwick Obviously Not!'

Sarah Clayton of Airport Watch:

'The degree of upset and concern about the increased over-flying of areas of Kent is very significant. The meeting demonstrated very clearly the determination of people in previously quiet areas of Kent and Sussex not to allow Gatwick to destroy their peace, and their quality of life. The new groups are organised and effective; the new opposition from east of Gatwick is a force to be reckoned with'.

Peter Barclay of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC):

'We are pleased to be associated with and to support the powerful voices that are coming together following Tuesday's meeting in Penshurst. The aviation industry must recognise that imposition of new or increased noise on communities is simply not acceptable in today's world and that the impact on people in rural areas is greater than in urban areas.

Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions, West Sussex:

'We are delighted that so many protest groups are now working together to place pressure on those in a position of authority to stop a second runway from being built at Gatwick Airport.  Since May, when Gatwick introduced PBN (Performance Based Navigation), we are all now experiencing the affects of a concentration of flight paths compared to dispersal as previously flown.  In other countries PBN has been implemented to benefit residents but it would seem that Gatwick has been allowed to design the routes to benefit them with no consultation to the affects it will have on us residents.    PBN is having a devastating affect on so many people's quality of life and is implemented with no research into the affects concentration of flight paths has on residents'.

Jeremy Stirling, Langton Green Village Society. Committee member:

When the government privatised the airports they lost then focus on the UK's strategic needs and set the individual airports up in competition with each other, regardless of the country's actual needs.

Gatwick's new owners have a very simple objective: to grow and sell the company in as short as time as possible for as much profit as possible.  They are not driven by the UK's strategic needs nor do they care about the negative impact their actions  have on the communities they affect.  They are reported to pay no UK corporate tax. 

There is strength in numbers which can be achieved in a number of ways.
In some instances it would be most effective if many groups took similar actions on a certain point...for example writing to an MP, on the basis that the more letters are received the louder the noise and the more likely one is to get attention.

On the other hand there will be instances where the only chance of being taken seriously is where a number of groups club together under a single umbrella which can be said to represent a very large number of people with a common viewpoint.

That is why the Langton Green Village Society is joining GON.  We will where appropriate do our own thing, such as our recent complaint to the CAA but there will be other actions where we are part of a much larger total as that will have he best chance of being effective. 

Fran Flamminger, of emerging group campaigning to oppose new flight path for westerly departures turning north:

Residents in many areas south and south east of Dorking are very angry about the new flight path for westerly departures which is suddenly sending a stream of planes over previously tranquil areas. We have communicated directly with over 3,000 people urging them to reply to the consultation and to keep complaining to Gatwick, and we believe many have done so. Now the consultation has closed we are turning our attention to next steps and forming a group.”

Kevin Chandler, Campaign Against Aircraft Noise:

'Mortified by this years dramatic increase in Aircraft traffic and noise it then took some time for us in Buxted and the surrounding areas to appreciate the full horror that Gatwick are proposing to impose upon us, and gain some traction in what we could do about it.
It was with a sense of relief to find, firstly other like minded residents to confirm I had not lost my sanity, then a growing number of small campaign groups rising up all over the place.  
While our numbers continue to grow rapidly and our voices start to be heard, we also recognise the benefits of working under an umbrella organisation that appears to have real clout already. That's why we're working with GON to active collective success'

September 12th 2014

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