We heard late last Friday that we had been refused Permission to proceed with our JR against the CAA.
Naturally we were disappointed and GON's Strategic Team of 15 spent much of the weekend conferring on the best way forward. We had to review and understand the reasons for the Order to Refuse and take the advice of our QC, John Steel.
Having done so, the very strong consensus was to go to Appeal, and we have now given those instructions to our Counsel. We expect that to happen in the Autumn.
It is not without some thought that one takes on the CAA, Secretary of State for Transport, Gatwick and NATS and the same care was given to our decision to go to Appeal.
Thank you for all your support both financial and moral since we launched the JR process back in February. I managed to write to over 30 of our major donors individually last night informing them of the situation and the responses I have received today have been wonderful, generous and kind.
Intriguingly, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, while refusing the Permission, added this postscript, seeming to suggest that there is indeed perhaps an issue about Consultation for 'seismic' events (such as we have all suffered in our skies, and core to our JR) – simply, in his opinion, one for the lawmakers, not the lawyers:
25. As was acknowledged by Counsel for the CAA, Mr Nardell QC, at the oral hearing, the Secretary of State has a general power to give directions as he thinks necessary or expedient in relation to matters concerned with environmental impact (see s.39 of the Transport Act 2000). This could include further directions to licence holders to consult in certain circumstances. Whether there is a case for doing so in relation to what some might be regard as 'seismic' changes in vectoring practices is, however, a matter for the Secretary of State, not the Courts.
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Gatwick Obviously Not!
August 5th 2015
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