Gatwick Obviously

The umbrella group for all areas East of Gatwick

e-newsletter No.17

Thank you x2

1. On New Year's Eve we asked you to contact Mark Swan at the CAA if you had a concern over the proposed departure changes that he is formally reviewing.

We have been cc'd on many of your messages and your response has been simply phenomenal. Only Mr Swan will know the total number of responses but it is huge.
Hopefully he will 'get the message'.
(Deadline today - see our website and newsletter 15 on it if you haven't yet responded and would like to, or else click this link for how to respond)

2. We receive so many messages of thanks for what we're doing and simply want to apologise for not being able to respond to them all.
Each is read and greatly appreciated.

Martin Barraud

What's happening next …

January is going to be extremely busy for this Campaign, and for how you can help try and restore some tranquility to our skies.

Don't forget you can unsubscribe to these newsletters at any time.

January's tasks will include;

We will of course do the groundwork in preparing the information you need.

The first of these - East Sussex - will be later this week.

In case you're wondering …

We are aware many of you have subscribed more recently as news of our existence has grown and we thought we should try and answer some questions you may have.

What is Gatwick Obviously Not? ('GON')
GON evolved out of Planes over Penshurst. POP itself came about in late June 2014 when a few of us came together in response to a request from Michael Knowles, OBE, of Penshurst, for a Campaign to be started to alert people to a Consultation about new flight paths.
(Only 14 people responded to Gatwick's previous Consultation and few apart from Michael had heard about the then current one).
Michael had done an enormous amount of research into the issues, knew that we had worked successfully on other local campaigns - and the rest is history.
Suffice to say that without him, Gatwick would now be trialling the first elements of the devastating 'Superhighway' (it said so in their 'Consultation').
Instead, and thanks to you and him it has been stopped - for now.
We soon changed the name to GON as we were representing an area far wider than just Penshurst

Why 'Gatwick Obviously Not'?
Gatwick's campaign for their second runway is 'Gatwick Obviously'.

Who is GON?
A Strategic Team of 12 with a great variety of complementary skills.

Have we (that's you) had any effect?
Unquestionably. The combined Campaign Groups (there are now around 12) surrounding Gatwick effected the halting of that 'unfit for purpose' Consultation.
The CAA admitted as much, in writing:
"You will have seen in the news however that Gatwick have postponed such a submission for change following significant local resistance."
Peter Gardiner, Business Manager to the Chair and CEO, CAA, 1st October 2014

Gatwick were rather less willing to admit that reason for the deferral, which only served to make many of you even more frustrated with them
"Gatwick Airport and NATS will defer submitting any proposals to change local airspace until more detailed work is done to better understand the available options and next steps"
Gatwick Media Centre, 12th September 2014

Even the Airports Commission makes note of the opposition to Gatwick's plans.
"4.19 The Commission has noted that recent trials of revised flight paths at Gatwick have met with considerable public opposition."

Kent County Council completely changed its stance on the second runway, and you played a very significant part in that.
Here is what a leading Kent Cllr told us;

"An unprecedented number of emails were sent to the Leader of Kent County Council by local residents of West Kent who were angry and frustrated at the noise generated by aircraft flying over the area this summer.  Those emails, following the pathway so clearly set out by the Gatwick Obviously Not website, were the single factor in forcing the County Council to change its aviation policy and, as a consequence, to openly and publicly reject the proposed second runway at Gatwick."
Kent County Councillor Clive Pearman, 11th December 2014

Have we any actual stats to back these claims?
Gatwick very recently issued the Final Report from their woeful Consultation and one interesting feature is how they have broken down the respondents.

You can see that POP/GON followers contributed at least 1,540 responses, plus some from Campaign 4 (their analysis is a bit confused here).

This from a Campaign group that had its first public meeting on 7th July, having formed in late June 2014 - with the deadline for the Consultation referred to in this table being mid-August!

gon_050115_01.png Appendix 1, Main Report, page 94

Why haven't we started any full-scale fundraising?

In the very early days we asked for funds to help cover initial costs, to be given via PayPal. We quickly reached a 5 figure total and this has been enough for our day-to-day costs (thank you!). The serious money is needed for our legal expenses and once this route has been clearly defined, we will go very loud with our appeal, with payments possible straight into our bank account

How do we spend your money?
Income so far £13,730
Expenditure £5,903
Costs breakdown:
Printing £2,145.00 (Posters, banners, Consultation information)
Website & MagicMail £3,258.00 (Registering domains, design and cost of emailing newsletters)
Administrator £500.00 (Primarily in the early days of POP to register and coordinate followers)

All finances are handled independently by our Treasurer who is a Partner at one of the Big Four City firms.

Does anyone look at the website?
Indeed they do. Over 1,000 unique visits a month since we launched. And they can't all be from Gatwick's top brass.
We're soon going to start taking advertising to help with our fundraising.
Here's our stats for 2014.


The website has a very long front page - are we going to change it?
Yes, that is underway now. Like all things connected with this Campaign, we are in a fast-evolving situation on many levels. (For instance we were looking into challenging the validity of the Consultation legally when Gatwick suddenly deferred it due to your pressure - so we didn't have to).

Are the various Campaign Groups talking to each other?
Yes, absolutely. GON called a meeting of all the Campaign Groups just before Christmas and we agreed on a draft joint message. Once ratified, we will issue this to you all. Gatwick may have hoped they could pick us off, one by one.
It's not going to happen.

Is the Government listening?
See the letters to us on our website from No.10 and the Secretary of State for Transport.

How can people register on our Mailing List?
If you know anyone who would like to register please ask them to email

Any questions?

January 5th 2015

This newsletter goes out to well over 1,000 people on our database which grows by the day.  Consequently, this may mean that it ends up in your "spam", as our first newsletter did for some. Please be sure to mark up anything from us as "not spam" to prevent that.

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