Gatwick Obviously

e-newsletter No.81

Our Mission Statement

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

Hot & bothered?

Many of you have been in touch recently because of the acute failure of the industry to engage with Fair and Equitable Dispersal (FED) in the air. We will try and reply to you all.

It transpires that there is a single, clear reason for this; they have not asked their Air Traffic Controllers to do so!

Yes, we're as shocked as you may be.

Instead, they allow the aircraft to be 'vectored' (i.e. sent) anywhere within the Radar Manoeuvring Area (RMA) by the controllers. This is a vast area stretching from the west of Gatwick to the east of Tunbridge Wells. The blue arrow shows Gatwick. It is very telling that it seems to be impossible to find a map of the RMA that also shows any identifying land-based features, except the coast line. In other words, they have zero interest in where people live. (Google 'Gatwick RMA' and see if you can find one)


The industry cannot hide behind any statement that they "can't disperse due to the quantity of traffic".

Because they've done it, even if they didn't know they had. Take a look at these charts. Both are for very busy periods.


4-6pm, 3rd July 2017


4-8pm, 17th June 2017

Look closely at the combined chart below. The trails, in effect, cover much of the original swathe, pre 2013, bar the very nearest 7nm join point to the ILS (final approach line).


For the most startling piece of data look how many are flying west of Hever in the yellow trails chart (See red arrow). Hever, which gets so hammered when the industry can't be bothered to make use of the full available airspace.

Then look at how few straight-ins now exist.(i.e. from the eastern coast): - zero!!


Airspace wise, they can disperse if they try. The data above proves it.

There is no hiding place.

We've attended countless meetings over the last 12 months to try and secure FED as promised in the Arrivals Review. (See extracts below from the Final Report).

But now we need your help.

Why not remind them that they can disperse if they try? Here's the email address for the CEO of NATS. His air traffic controllers are responsible for dispersing - or not dispersing - aircraft.

Please ask him to ask them to use the airspace to achieve what was promised under IMM-10 as set out below. Here’s an extract:

"…which should, in effect, largely recreate both the locations and the width of the arrival swathes seen at Gatwick before 2013…"

Many of you are asking if it is time for some more activism, like this.gon_170916_01.jpg
We think it's certainly getting closer.

CAA Survey

One other request: the CAA are trying to be more proactive on noise issues and have launched a noise survey to help them better understand the issues that matter most to the public. The more people who participate, the more we can put pressure on them to take action, so please complete the survey (it only takes a few minutes) and forward it to anyone else who might want to. Here’s a link to it. Thank you.


Martin Barraud
Gatwick Obviously Not

Extracts from the Gatwick Airport Arrivals Review Final Action Plan, RECOMMENDATION Imm–10:

"GAL to request NATS to utilise the increased swathe from minimum 8nm to 14nm when straight in approach is not applied, for arrivals to both Runway 26 and Runway 08…

"The intended impact of this action is to recreate a greater geographical dispersal of arriving aircraft tracks, so that they are more closely aligned with the arrivals tracks which existed at Gatwick prior to 2013…

"This recommendation calls for an adaptation to NATS radar vectoring methodology to use an ILS joining point located between a minimum of 8nm from touchdown and 14nm, which should, in effect, largely recreate both the locations and the width of the arrival swathes seen at Gatwick before 2013. In addition, when traffic conditions permit, aircraft from the east for Runway 26 will join on a straight in approach even further east, and for 08, straight-in further from the west."

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July 11th 2017

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