Gatwick Obviously

e-newsletter No.67

Our Mission Statement

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

Managing the Swathe / BBC's "Skies Above Britain"

BBC's "Skies Above Britain"

Starts tonight, BBC2, 9pm.

We were interviewed at length for this series last summer and have a short part in the final episode on 14th September. Here is a link to the trailer for the series:

The ILS and the Arrivals Swathe

Last Monday, the join-points for the ILS on both sides of Gatwick airport were technically re-widened to 8–14nm. (The ILS is a signal beamed out from the runway and directly in line with it to guide the aircraft on their final approach).
We've had easterly winds since then, so this comparison is for arrivals to the west of the airport. Many of you to the west of Gatwick have been in touch to advise they have felt no change yet.

Here's why:

gon_170816_01.jpg gon_170816_02a.jpg

Tuesday July 19th 08.30-12.30

Monday August 15th 08.30-12.30

If anything, the join points have narrowed for the first morning of the re-widening!
Let's see how it develops over the coming weeks. We will be monitoring it very closely indeed.

We are assured that the joining points will be officially monitored and that we will be able to report back to you in due course with clear, long-term data.

However what is far more critical is that the use of the swathe itself is fair and equitable - and checked to be so.
Right now we (the community groups represented by the Noise Management Board) are in the process of agreeing with the industry a policy for Fair and Equitable Dispersal ('FED') over the swathes.

Once FED is taken up by NATS (assuming it is, which is quite a big assumption) we insist it must be monitored.

Why? Because it is entirely possible for aircraft joining the ILS over the re-widened join-points to actually still be concentrated within the arrivals swathe, then turn into the ILS at a narrow angle, 'sliding' into the ILS at the wider points but having brought virtually no respite to those suffering from the concentrated use of the swathe.

We therefore expect to see official monitoring of various 'gates' over the swathe, as shown here by the blue line, as well as the join-points to the ILS (orange line) and have advised the industry of this expectation.


We'll keep you posted.

Thank you to James Lee for the charts and analysis.


Martin Barraud
Gatwick Obviously Not

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August 17th 2016

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