Gatwick Obviously

e-newsletter No.33

Discussions cleared for take-off?


"Dear Mr Hazell-Smith,

Sir John Major has shared with me your letter of 9th May. Sir John has asked me to look into this matter and reply to you direct.

Having reviewed the issues… I have concluded that the best course is to carry out a fresh review of the whole situation as regards westerly arrivals into Gatwick …

Yours sincerely

Roy McNulty"

Sir Roy McNulty
is the Chairman of Gatwick Airport Ltd.

Sir John Major, former Prime Minister, is Chairman of the Senior Advisor Panel at Global Infrastructure Partners, (GIP) which is the largest shareholder in Gatwick.

Stephen Hazell-Smith is one of my Strategic Team of 12 and the de-facto MD of Gatwick Obviously Not. (He also jointly founded AIM 20 years ago as it happens)

'westerly arrivals' are those coming in from the east to Gatwick - in other words the narrowed swathe we have all been suffering from.

This opportunity for tranquillity is entirely as a direct result of your tireless campaigning and your thousands of emails, calls and letters to Gatwick, the DfT, the CAA, NATS and the media, as well as the work of several dedicated Campaign Groups, including this one.

Thank you.
So much.

Here we go.

Martin Barraud

Here's a film we made for you. It's just over 2 minutes long. It's about how we may need you to help us. Needs a bit of volume.


What you can do now

It's taken a full year for Gatwick to hear us all but please don't stop now.

We know it's time consuming but it could be incredibly helpful if some of you can write to the owners, telling them (politely!) what you think of their investment's behaviour over the last year, and what Sir Roy McNulty should be concentrating on in his review.

We do not have email addresses for any of them, which is a shame. The last time we asked you to use our 1-click campaign button (on the Airports Commission Air Quality Consultation) over 1,000 of you did so. Incredible.

Sir Roy's full letter is below and on our web site here (PDF - 246kb)

One of Stephen Hazell-Smith's particular tasks has been to keep all the offshore owners* of Gatwick Airport Ltd informed about what their investment has been up to, as well as repeatedly urging Sir John Major to fully engage with his duties as Chair.
He's not one to give up.

And, as you can tell, an entirely worthwhile use of his time for us all.

Here are some issues you may want to mention. The point here is not to wantonly criticise Gatwick, but to show their investors why and how you think they are the neighbour they are, what their culture of care is for those on the ground and how the investors need to force change in their investor's behaviour via any review very, very quickly indeed.

Whether we use legal, protest, appeals or these letters, the end game is always securing greater tranquillity.

  1. Change or no change?

    Gatwick deny there has been any change in the arrivals swathe to the east of their airport. A rise in complaints by 899% in 2014 over 2013 (some 25,000 in 2014) suggests otherwise, as do the words from the Chair of the CAA, who confirmed that the arrivals swathe had been narrowed by 60% from 7-12 nautical miles to 10-12nm's.

    We need Gatwick to 'review' their attitude, accept that change has taken place and immediately re-instate full dispersal to arrivals

    Compare & contrast:

    "… the routings that the aircraft are taking has remained the same ……
    the impression may be that something has changed, although I can assure you nothing has.
    Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick to The Rt. Hon. Charles Hendry MP
    18th July 2014
    (See full letter on our web site here - PDF - 1.8Mb)

    "Since 2013, NERL's operational procedures have involved moving the minimum establishment point from 7 nautical miles to 10 nautical miles on both approaches."
    Dame Deirdre Hutton, Chair, CAA
    28th April 2015

  2. Altitude

    Gatwick defend their destruction of our tranquillity by saying there are no restrictions on noise or altitude for arrivals into the airport. The absolute debacle of the last 12 months proves that this needs to change. Thousands and thousands of you have said the aircraft are often considerably lower than they used to be, or need to be.

    If Gatwick want to be seen as a good neighbour and the investors want to be sure of the moral standing of their investment, they would agree to restrictions being implemented, and maximum altitudes being guaranteed at all times, not some times (subject to safety issues).

  3. Integrity

    Are the investors aware of what a senior British MP thought of their investment?

    "On the grounds that Gatwick Airport Ltd has totally failed to be transparent about its financial evaluation, and has concealed the public expenditure implications of the infrastructure needed for a second runway, its proposal should be rejected by the Airports Commission."
    Sir John Stanley, MP, House of Commons
    December 18th 2014

  4. Openness

    Are the investors aware of what the Secretary of State thinks of their investment?

    "Although Gatwick insisted no changes to flight paths had been made, as a result of a Freedom of Information request we now know that fight paths have shifted eastward … I feel very strongly that they have not acted in an open and transparent manner."
    Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark MP
    June 12th 2015
    (See full letter below or on our web site here - PDF - 1.6Mb)

  5. Night flights

    Gatwick make it cheaper for flights to land at night. How infuriating is that?

    "Yes night time slots are cheaper … It is important that the airlines can offer their customers day and night flights in order that they can spread their loads."
    Charles Kirwan-Taylor, Gatwick Director of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability
    20th May 2015, Parish Councils meeting

    Profit over people. Un-taxed profit for offshore owners at the expense of the wellbeing of thousands of disturbed residents of the UK.
    This needs to change.
    An end to night flights, as Sir Howard Davies recommended for Heathrow in his Airport Commission report.
    Full stop.

* Full ownership details

Global Infrastructure Partners 41.95%
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority 15.90%
Future Fund Board of Guardians, Australia 17.23%
The California Public Employees' Retirement System 12.78%
Pension Service of Korea 12.14%


Investor Contacts

Sir Roy McNulty
Gatwick Airport Ltd
Destinations Place
Gatwick Airport
West Sussex

The Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH
Chairman, Senior Advisor Panel
Global Infrastructure Partners
P.O.Box 38506

John McCarthy
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
211 Corniche
PO Box 3600
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

Raphael Arndt
Chief Investment Officer
Future Fund of Australia
Future Fund Management Agency
Locked Bag 20010
VIC 3001

Ted Eliopoulos
Chief Investment Officer
The California Public Employees' Retirement System
Lincoln Plaza North
400 Q Street
California 94229–2704

The Executive Fund Director,
Fund Management Center
National Pension Service of Korea
Kumin-Yeonkum Building,
13, Olympic-RO
South Korea


Jack Cowell
Media Enquiries
Global Infrastructure Partners
12 East 49th Street
NY 10017
New York,

William Woodburn
Global Infrastructure Partners
12 East 49th Street
NY 10017
New York, USA

Michael McGee
Global Infrastructure Partners
5 Wilton Road

Andrew Gillespie-Smith
Investment Principal
Global Infrastructure Partners
12 East 49th Street
NY 10017
New York, USA

Letter from Sir Roy McNulty to Stephen Hazell-Smith


Letter from Greg Clark MP,
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government



July 10th 2015

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