Gatwick Obviously

e-newsletter No.49

Our Mission Statement

Full dispersal • • • Maximum altitude • • • Continuous Descent

"A wider distribution of joining points is expected to provide more fair and equitable dispersal."

Not our words.
Although you'd be forgiven for thinking they were, given that a return to 'fair and equitable dispersal' is what we have demanded since Day 1.

These are actually the words of the Arrivals Review* team in their interim report, presented to campaign groups last week at Gatwick. NATS and the CAA were in the room. And perhaps representatives from Gatwick management, who knows?

To achieve that dispersal, core to their proposals is a re-widening of the arrivals swathe, from its present 2 miles to 6 miles.

This is our Holy Grail, for, without a re-widening, there can be no effective dispersal.

In 2013, before the changes, we had all lived relatively happily (and largely unknowingly) within a 5-mile wide swathe.
Then, again entirely unknowingly to most, it was narrowed by 60% to just 2 miles.
Cue uproar in the skies and on the land.

The Review's proposals include full use of that airspace via the existing vectoring for approximately the next 5-7 years, until satellite technology is fully installed.
Once it is, they presently propose multiple PBN routes, across the same swathe. At last week's meeting they suggested 4 in total, including the straight-in route.
Satellite technology is coming, we all recognise that. Whether we as the communities below want 4 or a greater number of paths, perhaps over an even wider swathe is another matter, and one we can look at once the final proposals are known.
Not so much about picking our battles, but taking our time to decide what is the least worst option.

They are also looking to address the altitude of the aircraft, and the smoothness of their descent.

The Review team expressly asked us to share their interim report with you. It is on our website here or via this link:

We imagine you're pretty busy right now, so do jump to slide 17 on their PDF for the critical information.

They finish their 'listening period' at the end of December. If you want us to pass on any comments before then, please send them to and we will forward them in full.

Their final report will be presented to all on 28th January. Until then we reserve judgment.

But I sense we are significantly further forward in terms of the aviation industry listening than we were 18 months ago.

Thanks to you.

Happy Christmas.

Martin Barraud
Gatwick Obviously Not

*Following your hounding of the aviation industry, and GON's Stephen Hazell-Smith's and others hounding of Sir John Major, Chair to the Advisors to Gatwick, Sir Roy McNulty, the Chair of Gatwick itself offered an 'Arrivals Review' to see if all that could be done to alleviate arrivals noise was being done
We at Gatwick Obviously Not duly negotiated hard on the Terms of Reference, and insisted on 'fair and equitable dispersal' being a key phrase within the final, agreed Terms.

December 22nd 2015

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